JUST IN: Aryna Sabalenka issues very concerning comments during Wimbledon presser

Sabalenka may not even be able to play at Wimbledon.

by Dzevad Mesic
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JUST IN: Aryna Sabalenka issues very concerning comments during Wimbledon presser
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Aryna Sabalenka shared some concerning news during her pre-tournament press conference at Wimbledon as the Belarusian tennis star contracted a rare shoulder injury that has left her in a spot where she doesn't know what to expect and even not knowing if she will be able to play. 

On June 20th, Sabalenka kicked off her grass season with a routine 6-1 6-4 win over Daria Kasatkina and everything looked fine during the match. But in her next match, the two-time Grand Slam champion found herself 1-5 down to Anna Kalinskaya before retiring due to shoulder pain and discomfort. 

Initially, the hope was that it wasn't anything serious but that Sabalenka retired simply because she didn't want to risk anything before Wimbledon. But on Saturday, Sabalenka revealed that the diagnosis was not the one she wanted to hear. Explaining her injury, the current world No. 3 pretty much explained it as a weird injury that allows her to do anything on the court but serve without feeling some pain or discomfort. 

“It’s teres major. Like, shoulder. For someone who doesn’t speak very well English, I call it just shoulder injury. It’s really a specific injury, and it’s really a rare one. Probably I’m just the second or the third tennis player who injured that muscle," Sabalenka said.

“It’s a very frustrating one. The most annoying thing is that I can do anything. I can practice, I can hit my groundstrokes. I’m struggling with serving. That’s really annoying. You don’t feel like you’re injured. If you give me some weights, I’m going to go lift some weights. But if you tell me to serve, I’m going to go through pain. We did an MRI, we did everything. We did a lot of rehab, a lot of treatments and everything.

”I still have my hopes. As someone who been fighting through a lot of different pains in the past months, I still have my hopes. I still have my hopes. As someone who been fighting through a lot of different pains in the past months, I still have my hopes.”

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka © Getty Images Sport - Mike Hewitt
 

Sabalenka admits the worst-case scenario is a possibility

On Friday, Sabalenka learned that she would be facing world No. 106 Emina Bektas in her Wimbledon opener. On paper, Sabalenka would enter that match as the huge favorite. But because of Sabalenka's injury, there is a chance that Bektas will face a lucky loser instead of the two-time Grand Slam champion in the first round.

"There is always a chance, yeah;" Sabalenka admitted when directly asked if she could miss Wimbledon. 

For Sabalenka - who turned 26 in April - retiring injured in Berlin was just the first time in her career that she retired in the middle of a match. Unfortunately for the Belarusian, that wasn't the only negative thing that hampered her lately as she also experienced some stomach problems during her surprise French Open quarterfinal defeat to Mirra Andreeva.

"That's really frustrating. I never deal with serious injuries in my career. The struggles I'm going through right now, that's a lot. I would say that the past month [has been] really challenging for me. I've been fighting through a lot of different pains. That's really tough to manage, this trying to stay positive and at the same time seeing the reality," Sabalenka said.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka © Getty Images Sport - Maja Hitij
 

Sabalenka fears her injury may not be manageable for the entire Wimbledon

While Sabalenka has come to Wimbledon with the intention to play, she has already confessed that may not happen. Also during her presser, Sabalenka admitted that she is not sure if her injury is even manageable over a two-week period.

After making that clear, the two-time Grand Slam champion noted that if she realized that playing could only make it worse and potentially put the remainder of her season in question, she would simply withdraw from The Championships.

“I would say that’s something I have to figure out right not. If I’ll not figure out that, then I can only make things worse. I don’t want that. I don’t want to risk the rest of the season," Sabalenka noted. 

“We’re doing our best. As competitors, we’re not going to give up that easily. The last week, we’ve been really lots of different Wthings we’ve been trying. Yeah, I have another day, another day and a half, to try some more stuff and see where I am. I still have my hopes.”

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka © Getty Images Sport - Patrick Smith
 

Missing Wimbledon would certainly be heartbreaking for Sabalenka, considering that she was a semifinalist in her last two appearances at The All England Club.

Aryna Sabalenka Wimbledon
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