After six first men’s posters, Sabalenka and Stephens had the honors of the evening session on the Central. And the show was there and the public was very present. To the great satisfaction of Aryna Sabalenka.
Much ado about nothing? The first female night cession was not the announced fiasco. Despite a fluctuating level of play, the spectacle and the suspense were present this Sunday evening. The organizers, however, had cold sweats after the gun start of the world number two. Quickly trailing 5 games to 0, the American Sloane Stephens, Porte d’Auteuil finalist in 2018, fortunately woke up and the duel took place. It was in 1 hour 41 minutes that Belarus had the last word with a 7-6 (7/5), 6-4 victory. All in a Philippe-Chatrier not far from full. Which (pleasantly surprised) Sablenka: It was amazing. Originally I didn’t think there would be so many people in the audience. A huge atmosphere. Lots of support. It felt like it was a final. There was a huge crowd. I think everyone took advantage of it. It was amazing. It was a crazy game. I am very happy with this victory. She came back from 0-5. It really shows her warrior spirit. She wasn’t going to let me win that easily. These words of satisfaction from the winner of the Australian Open were addressed to a representative of the WTA and not to journalists. As in the previous round, the organization of the tournament indicated that Sabalenka “will not give a press conference“, a normally compulsory exercise, but that “an interview will be conducted».
The 25-year-old Belarusian had argued on Friday that she did not feel “not safein a press conference after being pressed two days earlier with questions about her position on the invasion of Ukraine and her relationship with the authoritarian President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko. The political context will be explosive in the quarter-finals against the Ukrainian Elina Svitolina and the essential subject.
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