"Journalist is lucky that wasn't Serena Williams" "So uncomfortable": Fans react as journalist abruptly retracts question in Aryna Sabalenka's presser

Serena Williams (L) and Aryna Sabalenka (R)
Serena Williams (L) and Aryna Sabalenka (R)

Aryna Sabalenka's bizarre interaction with journalist and former American tennis player Mary Carillo during a press conference at the 2024 French Open has left tennis fans appalled. Sabalenka was midway through a well-thought-out answer when Carillo unexpectedly retracted her question, leaving the Belarusian incredulous.

During her pre-tournament press conference at the French Open, Sabalenka fielded a question from Carillo about whether aces offset the sting of double faults in matches.

In response, the World No. 2 highlighted the common tendency to dwell more on negatives than positives, emphasizing the greater sting of double faults while acknowledging the vicious cycle of aiming for aces and risking the error.

"I think like generally, you kind of focus on negative things more than positive and when you're double faulting a lot, you don't care about those aces, you just want to fix this issue. I think not many will understand that better than me," Aryna Sabalenka said.
"That's a tough one but going for aces, they actually create more mistakes, and then you have to go for the second serve, and then you double fault it and then you ace it. But then, you also keep trying to go for those aces, which creates more mistakes," she continued.

Just as the 26-year-old was about to elaborate on her response, Mary Carillo retracted her question, suggesting that the inquiry was too "stressful" for Aryna Sabalenka.

"I retract my question, it's too stressful. You don't have to answer it anymore, it sounds terrible," Carillo said.

When the two-time Grand Slam champion appeared visibly taken aback, Carillo clarified that her remark was intended as a joke and prompted Sabalenka to continue.

"It's a lot of pressure I'm saying. I'm just joking. Please go on," she added.

However, the World No. 2 chose to move on, requesting the next question.

Tennis fans were dismayed at the "uncomfortable" interaction between Aryna Sabalenka and Mary Carillo, questioning the journalist's decision to retract her question midway through the Belarusian's answer.

"Aaahgghhg this is so uncomfortable to watch," one fan commented.
"Why would she retract after she gave an answer like?" another fan wrote.
"Thought that was a really interesting answer, too. (Generally a Carillo fan.)," another fan shared.

Fans also acknowledged the World No. 2's composed reaction throughout the exchange, with one suggesting that Carillo would've gotten an earful if it was Serena Williams in Sabalenka's place.

"This journalist is lucky that there wasn't Serena instead of Aryna," one fan posted.
"Please that was too weird😭😭😭 "i mean… okay next question i guess… hahaha" she’s so professional because i would have thrown that bottle straight to his face," said another.
"I can’t stand sports media! She lucky she didn’t get cussed out," another fan chimed in.

Aryna Sabalenka to take on Erika Andreeva in French Open 1R

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka

Fresh off her back-to-back runner-up finishes to Iga Swiatek at the WTA 1000 events in Madrid and Rome, Aryna Sabalenka will commence her bid for her third Grand Slam title at the 2024 French Open.

The Belarusian will square off against Erika Andreeva in the first round of the claycourt Major. If the World No. 2 triumphs over Andreeva, she will take on Moyuka Uchijima or Irene Burillo Escorihuela in the second round.

After a narrow semifinal loss to eventual runner-up Karolina Muchova last year, Sabalenka will aim to go one step further and reach her maiden French Open final.

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