Iga Swiatek slams WTA over ‘unsafe’ tennis schedule

Iga Swiatek press conference

Iga Świątek has pulled out of the Billie Jean King Cup Finals next month after expressing her concern over the scheduling of upcoming tennis events.

The world number one was set to represent Poland at the tournament but she has announced she will no longer be taking part.

In a statement posted to her Instagram story, Świątek has provided an honest explanation for her decision and has assured fans she will be addressing the matter with the WTA and the ITF.

Why has Świątek withdrawn from the Billie Jean King Cup Finals?

An extremely tight turnaround following the WTA Finals has left the three-time Grand Slam champion with no choice but to forfeit her place on Team Poland.

“I was thinking it through a lot and discussing it with my team all over again, but I will not be able to play at the Billie Jean King Cup in Glasgow. And it makes me sad,” Świątek wrote.

“I’m very sorry because I play for Poland whenever it’s possible and I always give it my best. Playing in Poland this year [in the qualifiers] was an honour and I hoped to do this again at the end of the season.”

The BJK Cup Finals are scheduled to take place on November 8th in Scotland, a day after the WTA Finals come to a close in Austin, Texas.

Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek
INDIAN WELLS, CALIFORNIA – OCTOBER 08: Iga Swiatek of Poland celebrates match point against Petra Martic of Croatia during their second round match on Day 5 of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 08, 2021 in Indian Wells, California. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

As highlighted by Świątek in her statement, those competing in both tournaments will have just one day to travel from the USA to the UK.

A standard commercial flight requires two stops on the route from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to Glasgow Airport and the journey takes about 15 hours overall.

“I’m disappointed that tennis governing bodies didn’t come to an agreement on something as basic as the calendar of tournaments, giving us only one day to travel through the globe and changing the time zone,” Świątek continued.

“The situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury. I’m going to talk to the WTA and ITF in order to change something.

“This situation is difficult not only for the players like me, but mainly for the tennis fans that support our sport.”

Before officially announcing she would not be participating in the BJK Cup Finals, Swiatek had already aired her uncertainty surrounding the planning of the two tournaments.

She stated that she didn’t “understand the scheduling” and pointed out if she had a good run in the WTA Finals, she would have to play at the BJK Cup with serious jet lag.

Świątek pushing for change

Świątek’s statement on the scheduling of the upcoming tennis tournaments is not the first time she has spoken out about issues within the sport.

Back in August, she criticised US Open organisers for their tennis ball policy.

Flushing Meadows is the only Grand Slam tournament on the calendar that provides lighter balls for women and the world number one has urged organisers to change this rule.

“Fifteen years ago probably women had some elbow injuries because the balls were heavier and they changed them to women’s balls. But right now we are so physically well prepared that I don’t think it would happen,” Świątek said.

1 of 15
Polish tennis star Iga Swiatek

How many Grand Slam titles did Iga Świątek win in 2022?

News Now - Sport News