Aryna Sabalenka: I've never faced that much hate, some girls are aggressive

Sabalenka acknowledges Belarusian players don't have the perfect relationship with Ukrainian players.

by Dzevad Mesic
Aryna Sabalenka: I've never faced that much hate, some girls are aggressive

Belarusian tennis star Aryna Sabalenka says the past 12 months have been extremely tough in the locker room as she has "never before faced that much hate." On February 24th, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, the relationship between Russian/Belarusian and Ukrainian players has been pretty tense.

“It was really, really tough for me because I’ve never faced that much hate in the locker room. Of course, there are a lot of haters on Instagram when you’re losing the matches, but like in the locker room, I’ve never faced that.

It was really tough for me to understand that there’s so many people who really hate me for no reason, like no reason. I mean, like I did nothing," Sabalenka said, per Tennis365.

Sabalenka: I have never done anything bad to the Ukrainians

Some Ukrainian tennis players have been openly accusing Russian and Belarusian players of supporting the regimes of their governments.

That's one of the biggest reasons why there is tension between Russian/Belarusian and Ukrainian players. Sabalenka, who is the biggest name in Belarusian tennis, admitted it bothered her at the beginning. But then Sabalenka told herself that she personally never did anything bad to the Ukrainian people.

“I was really struggling with that because I really felt bad, like I did something and it’s still not so good in the locker room with some of the Ukrainian girls. But then I realised that it’s not my fault and I did nothing bad to them.

And I’m pretty sure that the rest of the Russian and Belarusian athletes did nothing to Ukrainians. I just realised that this is all emotions and I just need to like ignore it and focus on myself with understanding that I did nothing bad.

And I cannot control emotions of others. It seems like, everyone’s just ignoring each other. Not everyone actually, I’m still talking to some of the Ukrainians, but there are some of the girls who are like really aggressive against us. So I’m just staying away from that," Sabalenka said.

Aryna Sabalenka