EFEReading: 4 min.
Aryna Sabalenka He admitted that there is “a lot of tension” between the tennis players due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and defended that the WTA is doing the best it can to deal with this situation.
Sabalenka, who qualified for the Indian Wells final on Friday, was asked at the press conference about the relationship between Russian, Belarusian and Ukrainian tennis players and if the WTA has done a good job in this regard.
The Belarusian was also mentioned in the same question about the withdrawal of the Ukrainian tennis player Lesia Tsurenko, who did not jump on the court against Sabalenka in the third round and who later claimed to have suffered a panic attack.
“No one can control the emotions of others. I think the WTA is doing the best it can to control it,” she said. “Yes, of course there is a lot of tension between us. I mean, I still have this belief that I did not do anything wrong to the Ukrainians. Neither I, nor the Russian athletes, nor the Belarusian athletes, none of us did anything wrong. Even some of us are kind of helping out. Not publicly, if you will.”
The Belarusian said that she has also been through unpleasant situations in relation to this tension in the circuit. On the other hand, Sabalenka hinted that, in addition to the panic attack and the “political situation” in Ukraine, Tsurenko’s decision could be related to her coach. “I think there’s something else. I had a really tough situation with her coach and the way he acted with me. So I think that man puts a lot of pressure on her,” she opined.
“It has nothing to do with the WTA. I mean, they are doing the best they can. What can they do? No one of us has control in this situation. We are all trying to keep the locker room as calm as possible and understand that it is not ours. blame and that we all understand the Ukrainians and we really feel bad for them. That’s all. I think I’ve talked a lot,” he closed.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has slipped these days into the Indian Wells talks, where several tennis players have spoken about the war and its consequences before the microphones of the media. For example, Tsurenko explained about the withdrawal from him, on the portal Big Tennis of Ukrainewho had a panic attack after speaking with WTA Chairman and CEO Steve Simon.
“I was absolutely shocked by what I heard from him. He told me that he doesn’t support the war but if the players from Russia and Belarus do, that’s just his own opinion and other people’s opinions shouldn’t bother me.” explained the tennis player.
In an interview with the BBC This Friday, Simon reiterated that the “solidarity” of the WTA “is at the highest level” with all Ukrainians. “We continue to speak (with the Russian and Belarusian players) to make sure they understand the sensitivities here and are competing as neutrals.”
“What is happening in Ukraine deserves condemnation. You cannot support it in any way, not what the Russian government is doing,” he said. A very heard voice on the circuit is that of the Polish Iga Swiatek, number one in the world and who publicly supported Tsurenko. “I totally understand why she retired because honestly I respect the women of Ukraine so much and because if a bomb fell on my country and my house was destroyed I don’t know if I could handle that and play and compete on the WTA,” she said Tuesday. .
Swiatek, who urged the tennis world to support Ukrainian tennis players more, also defended that athletes have “the responsibility to set a good example” and implicitly criticized the Russian Anastasia Potapova, who in Indian Wells wore a jersey of the Spartak Moscow football before one of their matches.
The WTA, in a statement collected on Thursday by media such as CNN, assured that it “has formally advised the player that this is not an acceptable or appropriate action.”
Also in the men’s competition, the war has been talked about by the Russian Daniil Medvedev, the most fit player at the moment with 18 consecutive matches won and three consecutive tournaments won (Rotterdam, Doha and Dubai).
“Yes, it’s a difficult question to answer. First of all, I’m definitely sorry for all the Ukrainian players and what they’re going through,” he said Wednesday. “Regarding the ‘top’ players, of course we have a responsibility and it depends on what each person or individual does with it. I have always said the same thing: I am in favor of peace throughout the world and, to be honest, it is all I can say,” he added.