Aryna Sabalenka on the situation of Russian and Belarusian athletes: “None of us did anything wrong”
“I feel abandoned by the WTA”said Friday Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko on our site. A few days ago, she forfeited just before facing Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in Indian Wells. The player explained that she had a panic attack after a discussion with Steve Simon, the organization’s boss, who worried her about the tennis world’s response to the invasion of her country. Asked at a press conference on Friday, Sabalenka gave her vision of the situation.
“No one can control other people’s emotions. Yes, of course, there is a lot of tension between us. I am still convinced that I did nothing wrong to the Ukrainians. Neither I, nor the Russian athletes, nor the Belarusian athletes, none of us did anything wrong. Some of us even try to help but not by saying it publicly”explained the one who had just qualified for the Californian WTA 1000 final.
“I think Tsurenko’s package was more than a panic attack or a political situation”
Hesitant about what to say next, she insisted on going after her thought: “I’ve been through so many hard things, and unfortunately I can’t really say it because, who’s going to believe the girl from Belarus? About his trainer… I’ve been through hell too, and I understand that… Maybe I should stop talking. I think Tsurenko’s package was more than a panic attack or a political situation. I had a very difficult time last year with his coach, compared to the way he behaved with me. So I think that guy put a lot of pressure on him and that explains what happened. »
She ended her remarks on the role that the WTA could have in managing tensions: “She is doing her best. What can they do? No one has control of this situation. We all try to keep as calm as possible in the locker room and to make it clear that it’s not our fault, that we all understand Ukrainians and that we really feel sorry for them. »