Watch: Aryna Sabalenka jokes: “I know you’re waiting for Novak Djokovic!”


Aryna Sabalenka beat Elina Svitolina in straingh sets, in the quarterfinals of the Roland Garros 2023, qualifying for the best 4. The match was characterized by the controversy that arose with her challenger Ukraine. Sabalenka then spoke of the decision taken in recent days, when she avoided questions about the war.

Sge said: “I felt disrespected. The reporter was trying to put words in my mouth that weren’t mine. I didn’t feel comfortable. That’s all. I always respect every press conference. I am always very open to dialogue when I answer. I felt really bad for not attending the conference. I couldn’t sleep, all those bad feelings were in my head. I really respect all of you guys.”

Sabalenka finally focused on the field, because her goal is to leave Paris with her second Grand Slam title and first position in the WTA ranking. “The match against Svitolina was very tough and I’m super happy for the win and for having reached the semi-finals. To become queen at Roland Garros I just have to keep focusing on myself, on my game, and try to play my best tennis every time I go out on the court.”

In the on court interview, Aryna also joked with the crowd in Paris, also bringing up Novak Djokovic: “Thank you so much for being here and for the support you have given me. We all know you are waiting for Novak Djokovic, but I’ I’ll take it like it’s for me!”

Sabalenka on the handshake issue

After the match won, Aryna Sabalenka immediately wanted to clarify her position after the accusations of Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian player thinks that the gesture made by the Belarusian, who waited for her rival at the net hoping for a handshake that never happened, was purely provocative.

She explained: “I don’t know, it was an instinctive gesture. I do it in every match. She didn’t deserve the booing. I really respect what she’s doing after giving birth. The photo with President Lukashenko? We’ve played a lot of the Fed Cup in Belarus and he would take pictures with us after the games.

On those occasions, however, nothing bad was happening in Belarus, Ukraine or Russia. I’ve said it many times already: I don’t support war. I don’t want my country to be involved in any conflict.

My position is clear. I don’t want sports to get involved in politics, because I’m just a 25-year-old tennis player. If I wanted to be in politics, I wouldn’t be here right now. I don’t support war any more than I support Lukashenko right now.”

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