Friday, March 31, 2023

Sabalenka says WTA doing its greatest to help gamers amid tensions resulting from conflict

World quantity two Aryna Sabalenka mentioned the Girls’s Tennis Affiliation (WTA) was doing a superb job of supporting gamers from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus amid tensions within the locker room following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine final yr.

Ukraine’s Lesia Tsurenko withdrew from her match with Belarusian Sabalenka at Indian Wells resulting from what she mentioned was a panic assault triggered by a chat with WTA Chief Govt Steve Simon about tennis’s response to Russia’s invasion.

Belarus has been a staging floor for what Moscow calls a “special military operation”.

The highest-ranked Iga Swiatek referred to as for extra help to be provided to Ukrainian gamers after Tsurenko’s pullout and mentioned the actions taken by the tennis management was not sufficient.

“Nobody can control the emotions of others. I think the WTA are doing their best,” Sabalenka mentioned after reaching the Indian Wells last on Friday.

Sabalenka mentioned there was nonetheless stress between gamers however particular person athletes had not completed something incorrect.

“Not me, not Russian athletes, not Belarusian athletes, not one of us did something bad. So what else I can I say? I think the WTA are doing a really great job to support both sides,” Sabalenka mentioned.

“All of us are trying to keep calm in the locker room and keep understanding that this is not our fault and that all of us understand Ukrainians and we really feel bad for them.”

Sabalenka takes on Russian-born Kazakh Elena Rybakina within the last at Indian Wells on Sunday in a rematch of their Australian Open title conflict which the Belarusian received for her first Grand Slam crown.

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