Sabalenka reveals hate is still there because of nationality: "I don't think it's going to change"

Tuesday, 09 May 2023 at 17:50
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Aryna Sabalenka has opened up in recent months amid her rise up the WTA Rankings about feeling hatred regarding her nationality.
This being due to the Russia-Ukraine war, with Belarus being one of the nations involved and also meaning that Sabalenka plays under a neutral flag.
Speaking ahead of the Rome Open, she discussed what has changed and the challenges affecting her.
"Well, it's a tough question because everything, I want to say, you can play around it. It's tough to say. What exactly you mean 'changed'? The ones who was hating us before, I don't know, our country, for where we're from, they still hate us," said Sabalenka.
But like others, she admits that while it won't change, she has accepted it and that for her, she has to shun the notion of it being her fault.
"This didn't change and I don't think it's going to change because of the situation. I'm happy that we are allowed playing, that WTA doing everything they can to kind of handle this situation as good as they can. Yeah, that's it."
"The only thing change for myself, not like I stop thinking about that, I just start focusing on myself and understand that I've done nothing bad to Ukraines, that is not my fault, not the fault of Russian and Belarusian athletes. We are just an athlete who could do what they can and who play sport. This is the only thing what help me to stay focus and just to play tennis."

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