WATCH: Sabalenka And Jabeur Mic'd Up During Wimbledon Practice

WATCH: Sabalenka And Jabeur Mic'd Up During Wimbledon Practice

by Nurein Ahmed

One of the most exciting features at the Wimbledon Championships since last year was the players' use of wireless audio devices during practice sessions.

It has been great for fan engagement, providing an inward look into a player's personality and thought process. What happens is that the players usually wear a wireless microphone and can engage in a normal conversation while practicing.

For instance, last year, Wimbledon tested this idea by fitting seven-time champion Novak Djokovic with an earbud with microphone capabilities during his practice session. He was then interviewed while simultaneously hitting balls on Centre Court.

This is becoming part of Wimbledon's tradition now that the top-ranked tennis players are permitted to acclimatize to the iconic court before the start of play.

Two Top 10 WTA players shared the stage on Saturday as Aryna Sabalenka and Ons Jabeur practiced together. The tournament has now shared behind-the-scenes footage on its YouTube channel.

Sabalena and Jabeur have a blossoming friendship and tend to have an interesting camaraderie with former World No. 2 Paula Badosa. Their practice session was chaired by retired doubles No. 1 Pam Shriver, who asked all the pertinent questions courtside in front of a handful of photographers.

The Belarusian is the tournament's third seed and will play American Emina Bektas in the first round. However, she is not operating at 100% physically after retiring from Berlin with a shoulder injury.

Tunisia's Jabeur, who is a two-time Wimbledon runner-up, also retired from the WTA 500 event in the German capital because of illness. Both players were keen to forget their previous mishaps.

When it was pointed out to Sabalenka that she was not in the same half of the draw as Jabeur, she was relieved because she could avoid a potential showdown before the final against the World No. 10 who eliminated her in the 2023 Wimbledon.

"Oh thank God. It's not gonna happen the last year's result."

Sabalenka upon learning her draw 

Jabeur then sparked beef when she told viewers that Sabalenka refused to shake her hand before their quarterfinal match in 2021. The two-time Australian Open champion could not recall the incident, and worse off, didn't remember she won the match.

"I'll tell you a secret, what happened in the quarterfinals. You refused to shake my hand. I did like this (hand gesture) and you were supposed to see it."

Jabeur tells Sabalenka she regused to shake her hand before their match in 2021

"You stole my luck!"

Sabalenka feels that's why she lost the match

"But you won the match!"

Jabeur reminds Sabalenka she won the match


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