“I Didnt Feel Safe” – Belarusian Tennis Ace Aryna Sabalenka Shares Her Unapologetic Views Upon the Recent Controversy Surrounding Reporters at French Open

Published 06/03/2023, 4:41 AM EDT

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Aryna Sabalenka, the Belarusian tennis ace who is seeded second in the French Open, sparked a significant discussion in the sports world. In her last match, Sabalenka chose not to take part in the traditional post-match news conference. Instead, she decided to speak exclusively to a group of reporters selected by the tournament organizers, excluding even the BBC from the conversation. The tennis player cited concerns about her mental health and well-being as the reason behind the peculiar move.

This controversy provides an avenue to examine Sabalenka’s unapologetic perspective on the need to prioritize the safety and mental health of athletes. It is an issue that has been gaining more attention in recent times.

Aryna Sabalenka shares her strong views after the recent reporter controversy


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Aryna Sabalenka asserted her right to feel safe when interacting with journalists after her recent match at the French Open. At the post-match press conference on Wednesday, she had been posed a question regarding the recent sensitive issue concerning the current president of Belarus. The question had made her very uncomfortable. Such questions have not generally bothered her before. However, the specific context prompted her to prioritize her mental health over other media requirements.

According to the BBC, the Belarusian tennis ace shared, “These questions do not bother me after my matches.”


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Sabalenka recognized the expectation to address media questions beyond tennis-related matters. However, she firmly stated that she did not feel safe during the press conference on Wednesday. She said, “I should be able to feel safe when I do interviews with the journalists after my matches… For my own mental health and wellbeing, I have decided to take myself out of this situation today, and the tournament has supported me in this decision.”

Sabalenka secured her place in the last 16 of the French Open with an emphatic straight-sets win over Kamilla Rakhimova of Russia. Maintaining her dominant form, Sabalenka triumphed with a comfortable 6-2, 6-2 victory.

READ MORE- ‘Why We Have to Go Loud..’ – Moments After French Open Fans Aggression, Belarusian Tennis Beauty Aryna Sabalenka Rebuts Long-Standing Claim With a Powerful Statement


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The Belarusian now awaits her next opponent, the former US Open champion Sloane Stephens. Tennis enthusiasts eagerly anticipate Sabalenka’s future matches as she seeks to leave her mark on the prestigious tournament.

Sabalenka once shared her voice on the Russia-Ukraine crisis

In 2022, Sabalenka voiced her staunch support for Ukraine amid its ongoing strife with Russia. She had pledged to wear the ribbon to show solidarity. The Belarusian had stressed the importance of peace while expressing her deep concern and prayers for the people in Ukraine and hoped for a positive resolution.


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Sabalenka had also confessed that she has been attempting to limit her phone usage. The constant influx of distressing content was taking its toll on her mental and emotional well-being. She spoke of her sadness every time she looked at her phone, which render her powerless amidst the crisis. Sabalenka remains resolute in her wishes for peace and unity. As Sabalenka progresses further in the tournament, her impactful stance off the court serves as a lesson to fans and players alike.


Written by:

Dr Aditya Raveendran Menon


One take at a time

Aditya Menon is a Tennis Writer at EssentiallySports, covering several high-profile tournaments and events. With a passion for writing that matches his love for the sport, he has a special interest in covering the activities of tennis legends like Serena Williams and the ‘Big Three’ of men’s tennis. Aditya’s interest in tennis started at a young age when his father introduced him to the sport.
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Edited by:

Tony Thomas