Belarus’ world number two Aryna Sabalenka says she has faced “hate” in the women’s tour locker room but hopes tensions with Ukrainian players will eventually ease. Australian Open champion Aryna lost to Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in Sunday’s Indian Wells final and at the media day for this week’s ATP-WTA Miami Open was asked about her recent comments on “tensions” in the locker room between Ukrainian and Russian and Belarus players.
“It was really, really tough for me because I’ve never faced that much hate in the locker room,” said Sabalenka.
“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,” she added.
“It was really tough for me to understand that there are so many people who really hate me for no reason, like no reason. I mean, like I did nothing,” she said.
Sabalenka said sometimes the tension had gone beyond awkward silences and abrupt conversations.
“I had some, not like fights, but I had some weird conversations with, not the girls, but with members of their team. It was really, it was tough. It was a tough period. But, now it’s getting better,” she said.
In comments at Indian, Wells Sabalenka had said she had been in a dispute with Ukrainian Lesia Tsurenko’s coach Nikita Vlasov.
Tsurenko was due to play Sabalenka at Indian Wells but withdrew before their match.
Read more: https://sports.ndtv.com/tennis/i-have-never-felt-that-much-hate-says-belaruss-aryna-sabalenka-3882437