(Paris) The Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, considering herself mistreated by certain media because of her nationality, obtained “the authorization of the organization” of Roland-Garros not to participate in the press conference on Friday after her qualification for the round of 16, we learned from the French Federation (FFT).
The 25-year-old “will therefore not be fined” for not showing up after her victory against Russian Kamilla Rakhimova (82nd) 6-2, 6-2, according to the same source.
Instead, a “group of journalists” gained access to Belarus and their responses were distributed to the rest of the press in transcript form.
After his victory in the second round in particular, a Ukrainian journalist asked him insistently questions about his relations with President Alexander Lukashenko, an ally of Moscow, and his position on the war in Ukraine. Under the fire of these questions, the player had refused to answer.
“I have been answering these questions at every tournament for months and have been very clear about my feelings and opinions. These questions do not bother me, I know that I have to answer the media on questions that are not related to my tennis or my matches. But on Wednesday (after the second round, editor’s note), I didn’t feel safe,” she explained.
“But I should be able to feel safe talking to reporters after my games. For my own mental health and well-being, I decided not to put myself in this situation today (Friday, editor’s note) and the tournament supported my decision, “she added.
“The last few days have been complicated and now I have to concentrate to play well,” concluded the world number two.