Sabalenka waited at the net for Svitolina which garnered criticism for a handshake which she was never going to receive. She then gave a wry smile to her box afterwards potentially hinting that it was planned.
But in her opinion, it was more instinct and something she says she does every match regardless of opponent.
"It was just instinct, just like I do at all my matches," responded Sabalenka after being asked about her decision to wait at the net for a handshake from Svitolina.
"I don't support the war, meaning that I don't support Lukashenko" - Sabalenka
This despite Svitolina and other Ukrainian players stance on this and led to Svitolina being booed similar to Daria Kasatkina who respected the wishes of Svitolina and instead gave a thumbs up but was booed for it by the crowd in Paris.
She also was asked as expected about her support previously of President Lukashenko. As a result of previous questioning surrounding this, Sabalenka decided to skip her press conferences over the past two rounds.
She said she did not feel safe and it affected her mental health and well being and of course this was asked.
"I don’t support the war, meaning that I don’t support Lukashenko right now. Svitolina? She didn’t deserve to be booed, I give big respect to her. I’m not supporting war, I don’t want my country to be involved in any conflict. Thank you so much for coming here," continued Sabalenka.
Next up is Karolina Muchova on Thursday who saw off Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova earlier on Tuesday afternoon and will be the final path for Sabalenka and the final which could be against Iga Swiatek.