WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Before Aryna Sabalenka heard any questions from reporters at her pre-Wimbledon media session Saturday, she announced that she was willing to talk only about her sport — and not the war in Ukraine that became a contentious topic for the Belarusian during the last Grand Slam event.

“I would like to say I’m not going to talk about politics. I’m here to talk about tennis only. Please respect that,” Sabalenka told reporters. “If you have any kind of political questions, you can ask the WTA or the tournament. They can send you the transcript of my answers from the previous tournaments.”

Sabalenka is seeded No. 2 at the All England Club and considered among the main contenders for the title. She won the Australian Open in January, then reached the semifinals at the French Open in June — when she skipped two news conferences after saying queries about the war and Belarus’ role in helping Russia attack Ukraine made her uncomfortable.

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When she was asked Saturday whether she was pressured in some way to make that opening statement, Sabalenka said: “It’s my personal decision.”

Sabalenka made it to the semifinals at Wimbledon in 2021. She was not allowed to compete at the grass-court major a year ago, when all players from Russia and Belarus were banned because of the invasion of Ukraine that began in February 2022.

She said she didn’t keep tabs on the action from the All England Club on TV last year.

“I felt so bad,” Sabalenka said, “and I just couldn’t watch it.”


Andy Murray says he’s thought about when he’d like to retire from tennis.

No, it’s not set in stone. No, he’s not going to reveal anything now. And no, he probably won’t broadcast it ahead of time to allow for a farewell tour, either.

“I mean, I have an idea in my head of when I would like to stop. That’s not definitive. A lot of that is just I think it is good to do that so you can start planning a little bit,” said the two-time Wimbledon champion, who is 36 and has an artificial hip after two operations on that joint. “But I don’t think I would announce anything way ahead of time, because I want to play as long as I can whilst I’m still feeling good physically and competitive.”

His title at the All England Club in 2013 was the first in singles for a British man at Wimbledon in 77 years. He won the tournament again in 2016 and won the U.S. Open in 2012.

Murray knows, given his age and past injury issues, that everything can change quickly.

What he’s also certain of is that he hopes he won’t be forced out of the sport because his hip simply won’t let him continue.

“I want to finish on my terms,” Murray said, “when I’m fit and healthy and still competing at a good level.”


Top-seeded Iga Swiatek said Saturday she is feeling better after pulling out of a Wimbledon tune-up tournament a day earlier with a fever and possible food poisoning.

“I had a really bad night. … I barely slept. I had a stomachache, but I don’t know if there was something wrong or not,” Swiatek said. “Later in the day, I felt OK, so I’m pretty sure it’s going to be fine.”

She won her fourth Grand Slam title last month at the French Open and has led the WTA rankings since April 2022.

Swiatek has reached at least the semifinals at each major tournament except Wimbledon, where her best showing was making it to the fourth round. The 22-year-old from Poland lost in the third round last year.

“For sure, getting used to the grass was always a tricky part,” she said, “because when you play well on (clay at) Roland Garros, then you have less time to prepare for Wimbledon.”

Swiatek has won three of the past four French Open trophies, plus the 2022 U.S. Open.


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