Judy Murray says changing-room footage of Aryna Sabalenka ‘should never have been made public’

Aryna Sabalenka smashes a racket after losing the US Open final (Eurosport)

Aryna Sabalenka smashes a racket after losing the US Open final (Eurosport)

Judy Murray has criticised the publication of footage from a training room which showed WTA world No 1 Aryna Sabalenka take out her frustration after losing the US Open final.

Sabalenka lost to Coco Gauff 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 on Saturday as the USA’s young star claimed her first grand slam at the age of 19.

On the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, Murray reacted to the video by posting: “This footage should never have been made public. A private moment in an empty training room after the disappointment of losing a grand slam final.”

The footage, originally shared on X by Eurosport France, shows the 25-year-old smashing a racket on the floor in a training room before putting it in a bin.

Wider angles of the video show a camera crew in the background filming Sabalenka, belonging to Netflix’s docu-series Break Point, which she featured in during the first season. The documentary, which features fly-on-the-wall footage, has been renewed for a second season following its success.

Many social media users were in agreement with Murray that the footage in areas such as training rooms should not be shared. However, upon seeing the wider-angled footage which included the camera crew, others argued that the video wasn’t private as Sabalenka was aware she was being filmed.

Aryna Sabalenka beat Madison Keys (John Minchillo/AP) (AP)

Aryna Sabalenka beat Madison Keys (John Minchillo/AP) (AP)

Some commenters were even pleased to see the “human response” from a player, with replies praising the world No 1 for dealing with her emotion away from the court and allowing Gauff to enjoy her win. Others said the footage made them “like her even more”.

One X user wrote: “This is how a real winner with good grace should act. Gave the winner of the match the respect they deserved and dealt with emotions in private. I am more impressed with her having seen it. That takes huge emotional intelligence. However agrree [sic] this should not have been released.”

Sabalenka shared a lighthearted response on Instagram in response to a humorous reaction to the footage from the founder of Barstool Sports Dave Portnoy as she said on an Instagram story “I’m dying” followed by seven laughing emojis in reply to the video that had Portnoy’s face superimposed over hers with the caption “me after @sabalenka_aryna lost.”

Sablenka officially took the world number one spot on the 11th of September after the completion of the US Open following Iga Swiatek’s loss to Jelena Ostapenko on the 4th of September which ended the Pole’s 75 consecutive weeks at number one.

In doing so she became only the eighth player to have been number one in both singles and doubles, and the 29th woman to reach the top spot in the WTA rankings.

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