Aryna Sabalenka said she does not support Alexaner Luksahenko "right now" ©Getty Images

Belarus tennis star Aryna Sabalenka said she does not support the country's President Alexander Lukashenko "right now" after again being grilled on the war in Ukraine at the French Open.

The 25-year-old world number two skipped two press conferences at Roland Garros after claiming she felt "unsafe" in one due to questions about the invasion.

Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion, has met Lukashenko several times and was photographed with him on New Year's Eve in 2020.

Lukashenko is a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who used Belarus as a launchpad for his assault on Ukraine.

After previously only saying that no athlete "supports war", Sabalenka returned to face the media after defeating Ukraine's Elina Svitolina in a politically charged French Open quarter-final.

"I don't want my country to be in any conflict," Sabalenka said.

"I don't support the war.

"I don't support war, meaning I don't support Alexander Lukashenko right now."

Lukashenko congratulated Sabalenka after her Australian Open win in January and said people knew what country she was from even though she is forced to play as a neutral.

"I felt like my press conference became a political TV show, and I'm not an expert in politics," Sabalenka said.

Elina Svitolina refuses a handshake as Aryna Sabalenka waits at the net ©Getty Images
Elina Svitolina refuses a handshake as Aryna Sabalenka waits at the net ©Getty Images

"I'm just a tennis player.

"I had a few days to switch off from the press conference, a few days to bring myself together, a few days to realise a couple of things."

Some have claimed that it would be unsafe for Sabalenka to speak out against dictator Lukashenko, even if she wanted to.

In November and December she trained in Russia, nine months after the war had begun.

Svitolina has pledged not to shake hands with any Russian and Belarusian player but Sabalenka still approached the net following her victory.

When Svitolina did not shake her hand, it led to booing from the Roland Garros crowd.

This was the second time French Open supporters have jeered a Ukrainian during this year's tournament after they booed Marta Kostyuk earlier in the event.

Svitolina, who is married to French player Gaël Monfils, accused Sabalenka of encouraging the booing by waiting at the net.

"I don't know what she was waiting for, because my statements were clear enough about the handshake," she said.

Sabalenka claimed "it was just was an instinct like I always do after all my matches".