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"You're learning a lot from your idol Nadal" - Tennis fans criticize Iga Swiatek for citing rib injury after loss to Elena Rybakina in Indian Wells

Tennis fans likened Iga Swiatek to Rafael Nadal
Tennis fans likened Iga Swiatek to Rafael Nadal

Iga Swiatek suffered a disappointing straight-sets loss to Elena Rybakina in the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.

The World No. 1 was in top form coming into the tournament with a title win at the Qatar Open and a run to the finals at the Dubai Tennis Championships the following week. Swiatek continued her dominance in Indian Wells by winning each of her matches in straight sets before running into Rybakina in the semifinals.

The Kazakh previously ousted Swiatek from the 2023 Australian Open and has now ended the Pole's title defense at the BNP Paribas Open, defeating her 6-2, 6-2.

Following the match, Swiatek stated that while she gave her best, Rybakina was the better player. However, she also mentioned feeling discomfort and pain in her ribs, which made it challenging for her to compete at her highest level.

"Tough one tonight. I gave it all but Elena was a better player. Unfortunately I'm feeling discomfort and pain in my ribs and it was challenging for me to compete at my highest level. I will consult with my team and I will definitely use these next days to recover. See you soon!" Iga Swiatek wrote on Twitter.
🫀Tough one tonight. I gave it all but Elena was a better player. Unfortunately I'm feeling discomfort and pain in my ribs and it was challenging for me to compete at my highest level. I will consult with my team and I will definitely use these next days to recover. See you soon! https://t.co/e5ZPwJp1d7

Tennis fans were quick to share their disapproval of the World No. 1 as they saw her using the injury as a way to excuse her loss. One fan wrote that it was necessary for athletes to take responsibility for their performances so as not to undermine their opponents.

"As athletes, it's important to take responsibility for our performances and respect our opponents. Injuries happen, but blaming them for a loss lacks class and undermines the hard work of our opponents," the fan wrote.
@iga_swiatek @BNPPARIBASOPEN @WTA @GrupaPZU @ASICSTennis @tecnifibre @OSHEE_OFFICIAL As athletes, it's important to take responsibility for our performances and respect our opponents. Injuries happen, but blaming them for a loss lacks class and undermines the hard work of our opponents. #accountability #sportsmanship
"Always got to be an excuse, you're learning a lot from your idol Nadal. Unfortunately Elena owns you, she would own you any day, any time, with or without discomfort in your ribs," another user wrote.
@iga_swiatek @BNPPARIBASOPEN @WTA @GrupaPZU @ASICSTennis @tecnifibre @OSHEE_OFFICIAL Always got to be an excuse, you're learning a lot from your idol Nadal πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚. Unfortunately Elena owns you, she would own you any day, any time, with or without discomfort in your ribsπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Here are some more fan reactions to Iga Swiatek saying she experienced discomfort in her ribs during her match against Elena Rybakina:

@iga_swiatek @BNPPARIBASOPEN @WTA @GrupaPZU @ASICSTennis @tecnifibre @OSHEE_OFFICIAL You won't be winning against best players in their best form untill you improve your serve and stay composed when you're being dominated. Be a fighterYou will face krejickova sabalenka Rybakina again and again, try to some plan against them or keep folding like a loser
@iga_swiatek @BNPPARIBASOPEN @WTA @GrupaPZU @ASICSTennis @tecnifibre @OSHEE_OFFICIAL Got spanked by the superior player and already the injury excuse?Dopal IS your idol after all, always injured in losses lmao
@iga_swiatek @BNPPARIBASOPEN @WTA @GrupaPZU @ASICSTennis @tecnifibre @OSHEE_OFFICIAL Pathetic injury excuses. Just like Rafa. No wonder he's your idol.
@iga_swiatek @BNPPARIBASOPEN @WTA @GrupaPZU @ASICSTennis @tecnifibre @OSHEE_OFFICIAL Started giving injury excuses just like her master after a disastrous loss πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
@iga_swiatek @BNPPARIBASOPEN @WTA @GrupaPZU @ASICSTennis @tecnifibre @OSHEE_OFFICIAL yeah right ! you got beat by a better quality of player simple
@iga_swiatek @BNPPARIBASOPEN @WTA @GrupaPZU @ASICSTennis @tecnifibre @OSHEE_OFFICIAL Everytime you lose to a better opponent you always give excuses of how you were nursing an injury, but when you bagel ans breadstick opponents we don't hear these excuses. Elena was better on both times you faced this year. Stop with the injury excuse.

Iga Swiatek dissects disappointing Indian Wells loss to Elena Rybakina

Swiatek at the BNP Paribas Open
Swiatek at the BNP Paribas Open

Iga Swiatek was very self-critical while analyzing her semifinal loss to Elena Rybakina at the BNP Paribas Open.

"Honestly - I feel like it's still more me and kind of my mistakes," she said in a post-match press conference.

Swiatek added that she wasn't able to implement the lessons she had learned from her previous loss to Rybakina at the Australian Open.

"We were thinking about the Australian Open more like we wanted to kind of learn a lesson from that match," Swiatek explained. "We were, you know, just analyzing, but mainly my coach did that, so I wanted just to kind of use his tips and improve my game. But I wasn't able to do that today."

Elena Rybakina will take on Aryna Sabalenka in the Indian Wells final. Sabalenka has won each of their four previous encounters, with her latest win coming in the 2023 Australian Open final.

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