Judy Murray slams the US Open over showing Aryna Sabalenka’s ‘private training room moment’, smashing her racket in a rage after losing the final… but wider angle reveals the full story
- Aryna Sabalenka took out her anger on a racket after losing the US Open final
- Judy Murray was critical of the moment of raw emotion being filmed for TV
- But a new angle of the incident shows a Netflix camera crew capturing it all
Judy Murray has questioned why footage of beaten US Open finalist Aryna Sabalenka smashing her racket in the locker room was made public – but a new angle has revealed the full story.
The video showed Sabalenka, who was beaten by Coco Gauff in New York City on Saturday, taking out her frustrations after allowing victory to slip through her fingers having won the opening set.
The Belarusian walks calmly off court and places her bag, with the runners-up trophy resting on top, on the floor.
But then she takes out a racket and smashes it hard into the floor four times, venting her anger after losing the match. Sabalenka then walks over to a bin and drops the racket inside.
The footage was shown on television coverage and circulated widely on social media, sparking a debate over whether it should have been released.
Beaten US Open finalist Aryna Sabalenka was filmed thrashing her racket in the practice room after losing to Coco Gauff – leading to criticism of such a raw moment being televised
After smashing her racket four times on the hard floor, Sabalenka places it into a bin
A wider angle of the incident has emerged, however, showing a camera crew (right) – believed to be from Netflix series Break Point – capturing the whole thing
Judy Murray, mother of multiple Slam winners Andy and Jamie, posted on X: ‘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 former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen agreed, replying: ‘100% CORRECT, Judy.’
But it was then pointed out the original narrow angle of the racket smash moment failed to include the camera crew in a corner of the room capturing the incident.
It is thought the crew were filming for season two of Break Point, the fly-on-the-wall, access-all-areas, Netflix series about top-level tennis.
Sabalenka featured in the first series of Break Point and it’s highly likely this moment of raw emotion will make the cut for season two.
It led some on social media to claim the show of anger was ‘planned’ to make good content for the show.
‘Watch the reflection on the TV. Netflix crew following. Obv planned,’ read one post on X.
Another said: ‘Looked a bit contrived/staged to me. To calmly set your bag and plate down… unzip it… select one of the rackets… take a pause…. And then smash it to pieces, before walking over to the bin… not exactly heat of the moment, is it?’
‘Would agree Judy, other than she is being paid (a lot) by Netflix – to follow her for a documentary – in one clip you can see the camera crew following her,’ said another.
Judy Murray was among those critical of Sabalenka’s moment of anger being made public
The former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen agreed with Murray’s comment on social media
It was widely suggested on X that the racket smashing moment was staged for the cameras
The Belarusian took the first set 6-2 at Flushing Meadows before 19-year-old Gauff won the next two sets to earn her first Grand Slam title.
Sabalenka was in tears on the court after the defeat after allowing victory to slip through her fingers, and let her emotions get the better of her once she returned to the dressing room.
A series of unforced errors allowed the crowd at the Arthur Ashe Stadium to cheer Gauff home to success.
Post-game, Sabalenka said: ‘Most of my time I handled my emotions pretty well, congrats to Coco, you played unbelievable in the final.’
Sabalenka was involved in another racket misdemeanour earlier in the US Open, throwing it at her coach following a slow start to her semi-final win against Madison Keys.
Aryna Sabalenka was in tears on the court after she lost the US Open final to Coco Gauff
American teenager Gauff recovered from losing the first set to secure her first Grand Slam title