World number 2 tennis star Aryna Sabalenka cruised past K. Rakhimova in the Round of 32 of the ongoing French Open 2023. The Belarusian beat her Russian opponent in two staright sets 6-2, 6-2 to move to the Round of 16. However, after her win the second-seeded opted out of the post-match press conference on Friday, June 2.
Sabalenka, who is a native of Belarus said that she did not feel safe after her last press conference which came earlier in the week. It is to be noted that the tennis star was questioned of her stance at the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia.
During a press conference earlier this week, the World No. 2 ranked player was asked if she supported Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko or would condemn war in Ukraine. However, she repeatedly declined such questions until the moderators silenced the journalists on the same.
However, after her win on Friday, Sabalenka opened up on the same via an interview released by Roland Garros. “For my own mental health and well-being, I decided to take myself out of this situation today, & the tournament has supported me in this. On Wednesday I didn’t feel safe in press conference,” Sabalenka said.
In the Round of 16, the 25-year-old will face S Stephens of America on June 4.