World No. 3 Aryna Sabalenka reveals she is trying not to use her phone that much because there is a lot of negativity going on in the world right now. On February 24, Russia launched their invasion of Ukraine. Sabalenka, one of the most popular athletes from Belarus, reveals she hasn't felt any type of animosity or anything like that from the Ukrainian players.
Russia and Belarus have been banned from team events but Russian and Belarusian players have been allowed to continue competing in international events. However, Russian and Belarusian players do not compete under the name or flag of their respective countries.
"Honestly, I'm not trying to look a lot at my phone right now because everything I see there makes me really sad," Sabalenka said. "Every time I just pray for peace."
Sabalenka: I'm all good with the Ukrainian players
"I don't feel anything [bad] from the Ukrainian players.
I still speak with all the girls and we're still friends, but right now everyone is just worried. It's not like everyone is really happy inside the player's area. No one is really happy like it used to be. Everyone is really worried but we still talk to each other.
It's not a conflict between us," Sabalenka added. "I can wear [the ribbon in support of Ukraine]. I don't feel bad wearing it. I feel people need our support. I just hope people understand that we are all really worried.
I think even the word 'sad' is not even the right word. We all care about them and we all hope for the best and for peace." Meanwhile, Sabalenka is set to kick off her third Indian Wells appearance. Sabalenka didn't enjoy success in her first two Indian Wells campaigns as she suffered a third round loss in 2018, before making the round-of-16 the following year.