"Love how Iga is stepping into her leadership role as world number one" - Tennis fans extend support to Iga Swiatek for highlighting scheduling demands on WTA tour

Three-time Grand Slam champion Iga Swiatek
Three-time Grand Slam champion Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek announced her decision to withdraw from this year's Billie Jean King Cup Finals, more than a month before the tournament starts. Swiatek took the opportunity to shine a light on the tight scheduling on the WTA tour that has forced her to withdraw from the tournament, earning praise from fans.

The Billie Jean King Cup Finals will begin on November 8 in Glasgow, Scotland, just a day after the conclusion of the WTA Finals in Texas, USA. Swiatek stressed that traveling to a different continent and competing with just one day of rest after the WTA Finals is a risk she is not willing to take.

The World No. 1 lamented the situation caused by the demanding scheduling of tournaments and stated that she will speak to the WTA and ITF to remedy the situation in the future.

"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 time zones. This situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury," Iga Swiatek wrote in an Instagram post.
World number one Iga Swiatek will miss the 2022 BJK Cup Finals and has things to say about the scheduling, with the event being held again very close to the WTA Finals in a different part of the world.

Fans reacted to Swiatek's plea to the governing body, agreeing with her, and hailing the Polish superstar for using her platform to bring to light an important issue on the tour.

"I love how Iga is stepping into her leadership role as world number one. Just so proud of her," one fan tweeted.
I love how Iga is stepping into her leadership role as world number one. Just so proud of her.…
@josemorgado She is correct, they wonder why top players often skip DC and BJK scheduling is often the main problem
"She’s not wrong. The post-US Open schedule is a continental crisscrossing mess," another fan expressed.
She’s not wrong. The post-US Open schedule is a continental crisscrossing mess.…

Here are a few more reactions from tennis fans to Iga Swiatek's reason for withdrawing from the Billie Jean King Cup:

Love the fact that she's using her platform (world number1) to talk about issues in tennis. That scheduling is absolute lunacy…
Of course the moment I buy a bunch of tickets for the BJK Cup is the moment all the top players start pulling out 🙃(Completely understand Iga's reasoning though, she's being asked to play in Texas on the Sunday and Scotland on the Tuesday.)…
@josemorgado It seems they were trying to make sure she can't play, so that team USA or UK have a chance. But instead they just made the event a bit more irrelevant.
@josemorgado Iga is so right. I hope WTA & ITF actually listens to what world no 1 has to say
I been saying let’s scrap the BJK/Davis Cup finals tbh. Respectfully…
She makes a lot of sense. If she reaches the final of the WTA Finals, where she is seeded No1, she’ll have to make it to Glasgow from LA in less than 24 hours. And be ready to play pronto. That makes for bad tennis.…

"Got lots of respect for the poise with which she has gone about everything" - Angelique Kerber on Iga Swiatek

2022 US Open Champions Portraits
2022 US Open Champions Portraits

Iga Swiatek has earned high praise from Angelique Kerber for her conduct on and off the court. Three-time Grand Slam winner Kerber is particularly impressed with Swiatek's ability to handle the spotlight and the attention that comes with being the World No. 1 and a superstar in the sport.

The German further stated that she is eager to see Swiatek's journey moving forward as well.

"I’ve got lots of respect for the poise with which she (Iga Swiatek) has gone about everything," Kerber said during an interview with Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. " I have to take my hat off to her for the way she has dealt with all the hubbub surrounding her. She’s after all still only 21. I know her well and am eager to find out how much longer she will continue at the same high level."

After winning her third Grand Slam singles title at the US Open, Swiatek will compete for the first time at the Ostrava Open this week. The top seed opens her campaign in the round of 16 against Ajla Tomljanovic on Wednesday.

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Edited by Keshav Gopalan
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