Ukrainian tennis star Elina Svitolina said Belarusia's Aryna Sabalenka skipping a press conference at the French Open was "not my business." After beating Kamilla Rakhimova in the French Open third round, Sabalenka skipped her press conference due to well-being and safety concerns.
Earlier in the week, Sabalenka was twice confronted by a Ukrainian journalist - the Belarusian was asked some tricky and uncomfortable questions - which led to the world No 2 claiming that she felt "unsafe." Svitolina was also in action on Friday, edging out Anna Blinkova 2-6 6-2 7-5.
"Well, it's tough to say from my side, because obviously, I have been for couple of hours on the court. Haven't really seen anything from that, from her situation.It's her choice to do that. Yeah, it's tough for me to judge, and I'm just literally had no time to see what happened outside of the court.
I guess like it's not my business," Svitolina said, via Tennis-Infinity.
Svitolina on Sabalenka's move: Not my business
Following her French Open third-round win, Sabalenka only spoke to a few selected journalists. In a statement provided to the selected group, Sabalenka explained her decision not to have a regular press conference.
"Yeah, after my match I spoke with the media like I normally do. I know they still expect some questions that are more about the politics and not so much about my tennis. For many months now I have answered these questions at tournaments and been very clear in my feelings and my thoughts.
These questions do not bother me after my matches. I know that I have to provide answers to the media on things not related to my tennis or my matches, but on Wednesday I did not feel safe in press conference. I should be able to feel safe when I do interviews with the journalists after my matches.
For my own mental health and well-being, I have decided to take myself out of this situation today, and the tournament has supported me in this decision. It hasn't been an easy few days, and now my focus is continue to play well here in Paris," Sabalenka said.
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