Victoria Azarenka Sides With Sloane Stephens and Hits Back at Player Criticism Following WTA’s Wimbledon Decision

Published 05/25/2022, 1:09 PM EDT

USA Today via Reuters

2-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka has had a tough time on the court in the past few months. Earlier, in the first round of the French Open, she broke down in tears after not being able to play her natural game. Despite that, she won the match and moved to the second round.

In the post-match press conference, she had to face some tough questions regarding the recent controversy surrounding Wimbledon, as a few players felt there was a lack of communication. 


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Victoria Azarenka opens up about the Wimbledon decision

Notably, a few Ukrainian players, like Marta Kostyuk, criticized the Belarusian tennis player and the player council for not communicating with her and other Ukrainian tennis players before making the decision about Wimbledon. In the press conference, she said, “Look, I can say a lot of things that will make headlines here, which I’m not going to do, because I don’t believe that talking about things like this is important press. This is what’s going to be handled in a private matter between players.”

“I’m, as a player council, is available to any player that have any questions. I have no problem talking with anybody and explaining behind the scenes what’s going on. But there is a saying that you can bring water to the horse, but you can’t make the horse drink the water. It’s not — don’t take it literal. It’s just a saying. So again, I believe that we are doing the best we can to inform people,” she explained further. 

Then, she added, “Player council doesn’t vote, to be very, very clear on that. So if, you know, hopefully moving forward, if any players have any questions, there are eight players, I believe, if I’m correct, on the player council, and their names are: Me, Sloane Stephens, Donna Vekic, Christina McHale, Kristina Mladenovic, Gaby Dabrowski. If I forget somebody, please don’t… Jessica Pegula. Jesus Christ. Jessica Pegula, she just joined. Spread the word, please,” she added. 

Meanwhile, the other member of the player council, Sloane Stephens, also supported the WTA’s decision to take ranking points from Wimbledon. She said, “I think the decision that was taken was the correct one.”


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Azarenka is through to the second round at the French Open 2022

Meanwhile, today at the French Open, Azarenka won her second-round match against the German player Andrea Petkovic. This was a much better performance than her emotional first-round match. 

via Reuters

Watch This Story: Serena and Venus Williams’ best moments at the Wimbledon championships


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In the next round, the former world no.1 will face the 23rd seed Swiss player Jil Teichmann. How far can Azarenka go in the French Open? Give us your thoughts in the comments. 



Debkinkar Maity

1468 articles

Debkinkar Maity is a Tennis Author at EssentiallySports. His desire to become a sports journalist inspired him to take up a degree in journalism and mass communication, and he hasn't looked back ever since. Following the sport for over a decade now, Debkinkar has an ardent love for Roger Federer.

Edited By: Tony Thomas