Belarus’ world quantity two Aryna Sabalenka says she has confronted “hate” within the ladies’s tour locker room however hopes tensions with Ukrainian gamers will finally ease.
Australian Open champion Sabalenka misplaced to Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in Sunday’s Indian Wells remaining and on the media day for this week’s ATP-WTA Miami Open was requested about her current feedback on “tensions” within the locker room between Ukrainian and Russian and Belarus gamers.
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“It was actually, actually powerful for me as a result of I’ve by no means confronted that a lot hate within the locker room,” mentioned Sabalenka.
“After all, there are a variety of haters on Instagram while you’re dropping the matches, however like within the locker room, I’ve by no means confronted that,” she added.
“It was actually powerful for me to grasp that there’s so many individuals who actually hate me for no motive, like no motive. I imply, like I did nothing,” she mentioned.
Sabalenka mentioned generally the stress had gone past awkward silences and abrupt conversations.
“I had some, not like fights, however I had some bizarre conversations with, not the women, however with members of their staff. It was actually, it was powerful. It was powerful interval. However, now it’s getting higher,” she mentioned.
In feedback at Indian Wells Sabalenka had mentioned she had been in a dispute with Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko’s coach Nikita Vlasov.
Tsurenko was attributable to play Sabalenka at Indian Wells however withdrew earlier than their match.
The Ukrainian mentioned she had a “panic assault” and had additionally been upset with a dialog concerning the battle and the place of Russian and Belarusian gamers with WTA CEO Steve Simon.
Sabalenka mentioned she had discovered it onerous to cope with the locker room environment initially.
“I used to be actually scuffling with that as a result of I actually felt dangerous, like I did one thing and it’s nonetheless not so good within the locker room with among the Ukrainian women. However then I realised that it’s not my fault and I did nothing dangerous to them. And I’m fairly positive that the remainder of the Russian and Belarusian athletes did nothing to Ukrainians,” she mentioned.
“I simply realised that that is all feelings and I simply want to love ignore it and give attention to myself with understanding that I did nothing dangerous. And I can’t management feelings of others,” she mentioned.
“It looks as if, everybody’s simply ignoring one another,” she mentioned. “Not everybody really, I’m nonetheless speaking to among the Ukrainians, however there are among the women who’re like actually aggressive in opposition to us. So I’m simply staying away from that,” added Sabalenka.
Poland’s world primary Iga Swiatek has criticised the WTA for not doing sufficient to help Ukrainian gamers saying that “every part we talk about in tennis is about Belarusian and Russian gamers.”
One other Belarusian participant, two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka, mentioned she disagreed with that view.
“Clearly there may be sure gamers which have completely different emotions and behaviours. General I don’t essentially share the identical opinion as Iga does. I might encourage her to have a look at the issues which have been executed earlier than she makes feedback,” mentioned Azarenka, who’s a member of the WTA Gamers Council.
“Clearly as a participant council (member) I’m comfortable to supply all these details which have been executed. And I feel that might be a extra applicable option to have that dialog,” she added.
The Russian and Belarusian gamers have been barred from final yr’s Wimbledon match by the British organisers however Sabalenka mentioned she is hoping for a change of coronary heart for this yr’s match.
“I used to be actually unhappy concerning the choice (final yr), however I can’t management their choice. And I simply actually hope that they are going to allow us to play this yr,” she mentioned.