Iga Swiatek: World number one criticises schedule and will not play Billie Jean King Cup Finals

64
0

Iga Swiatek put together a 37-match winning streak earlier this year
World number one Iga Swiatek has criticised the upcoming scheduling of tennis events, saying she will not be able to compete at next month’s Billie Jean King Cup Finals.

The world number one, 21, had planned to represent Poland in the finals, which begin in Glasgow on 8 November.

However, the WTA Finals in Texas are due to end the day before.

The three-time Grand Slam champion said the schedule “is not safe”, adding she felt “sad” to miss an event.

“I was thinking it through a lot and discussing it with my team, but I will not be able to play at the Billie Jean King Cup in Glasgow,” Swiatek announced in a post on Instagram.

“It makes me sad. 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.”

Swiatek won her first US Open title last month – her second major win in 2022 after triumphing at the French Open for a second time.

She will contest the season-ending WTA Finals from 31 October in Fort Worth, Texas, in which the top eight players on the Race to the WTA Finals compete in a round-robin format.

Players would have one day to travel from Fort Worth, which is six hours behind Glasgow, to make the Billie Jean King Cup Finals and represent their country.

“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,” Swiatek said.

“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.”

The International Tennis Federation says it will aim to make changes to the 2023 schedule so that it will be better for players.

ITF president David Haggerty said: “The ITF is sorry that Iga Swiatek is unable to take part in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals and recognises that the schedule for the two major year-end events presents a challenge for players competing in both.

“We have been working with the WTA to try to coordinate suitable dates. While we were able to confirm the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Glasgow back in June, the WTA Finals venue in Fort Worth was confirmed during the US Open and restricted in terms of available dates.

“The ITF revised the match schedule of the 2022 Finals so that teams such as Poland and USA would start as late as possible.

“We are committed to working with the WTA on the 2023 schedule so that we have a better transition between the two competitions.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here