Iga Swiatek has continued her impressive run at the WTA Finals in Cancun by overcoming the challenge of Coco Gauff, 6-0, 7-5 in her second match of the group stage. Her victory over the American was her second in as many matches in the tournament after she defeated Marketa Vondrousova in the first match. It also meant that she stood a good chance of advancing to the semifinals.
After the win, Iga waved to the crowd and expressed her gratitude for cheering and supporting her. Several fans enthused the 22-year-old by displaying the Polish flag, so as to signal their backing for her. While this was happening, a commentator remarked, “If only Iga Swiatek could find some way to garner some support outside of Poland,” much to the displeasure of fans.
— 2_arms (@2_arms_) November 2, 2023
One of the fans reacted by saying, “Made me wince too. Stupid thing for the commentator to say.” Another fan claimed that players like Simona Halep had also received such a type of treatment and suggested that it is as if it is rooted in Xenophobia. This holds due to the fact that British, Spanish, or American players aren’t treated in the same manner.
Also disrespectful to international fans 😳
— Jaime Lannistarth (@j_lannistarth) November 1, 2023
We used to hear similar things with Halep/Romanians
It’s very xenophobic coded. You wouldn’t see such comments about British/American/Spanish fans… https://t.co/A44AuXdysU
— ✌🏻 🇺🇦 (@p3hagz) November 2, 2023
Few fans termed the comment as “disrespectful” to international fans. Others were of the opinion that it was like what happened to Novak with the Serbians, which is continuing even today. Adding, “Is it their fault their people are passionate and follow them around the world? …”, one of the fans stated that there are fans who love Swiatek and Djokovic, being neither from Poland nor Serbia.
Fans weren’t impressed with Iga Swiatek’s take on court conditions at WTA Finals
On the other hand, Iga Swiatek received criticism from fans for taking a diplomatic stance on the court conditions at the WTA Finals in Cancun. After her victory in the opening match of the season finale, Swiatek was asked about the surface used, to which she replied, “Obviously, it’s not a positive thing for any of us, but I think, the main thing is not focusing on that, and just doing your job…”
Participants of the WTA Finals including the likes of Vondrousova, Sabalenka, and Rybakina were of the opinion that the court conditions were not top-notch. Though Swiatek echoed similar sentiments, she added, “Sometimes, it bounces weirdly on clay or on grass as well. I tried to think in that perspective and just do my job.”
Swiatek concluded by saying, “At the end, it doesn’t really matter because all of us have the same court and the same conditions.” These statements from the world no. 2 didn’t go down well with tennis fans as many of them denounced her opinion of refusing to stand by the views of her fellow participants.
Iga Swiatek says the court at WTA Finals is ‘not a positive thing for any of us’ but she’s not focused on it:
“Obviously, it’s not a positive thing for any of us. I think the main thing is not focusing on that & just doing your job. Sometimes it bounces weirdly on clay & grass… pic.twitter.com/CdRt35yWJX
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) October 31, 2023
Some fans opined, “Do better Iga… the other players are complaining and that’s all you have to say? What a shame…” as they had expected more from the former world no.1, who had grumbles with the conditions previously. Other fans felt that it is due to this sort of attitude from top players that WTA does not feel the pressure to come up with changes.