Iga Swiatek could be in danger of not qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games after she chose not to compete as part of Team Poland at the Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup.
The four-time Grand Slam champion decided to prioritize the prestigious WTA Finals, which are set to be held in Cancun, Mexico, from October 29 – November 5. The top eight players will battle it out against each other at the season-ending championship.
However, the scheduling has created a problem for players who were also planning on competing at the BJK Cup as the international team tournament is set to begin in Seville, Spain, just two days after the end of the WTA Finals, meaning that players would have to travel between different continents and time zones in a very short space of time.
Swiatek’s withdrawal could have serious consequences
As a result, Swiatek announced that she would not be joining the line-up for the Polish team at the BJK Cup due to scheduling concerns. Instead, Magda Linette, Magdalena Frech, Kataryna Kawa, and Weronika Falkowska have been announced as the Polish squad for the tournament.
However, Juan Ignacio pointed out on X, formerly known as Twitter, that if the team make the BJK Cup Finals, Swiatek could find herself unable to compete at next year’s Olympic Games.
“Just covering all scenarios, but if this team reaches the final in Seville, then Iga is OUT of the Olympics, as Poland would directly qualify for 2024 Finals, not having to play Qualifiers in April,” they wrote.
This is because qualification to the Olympics requires a WTA player to have been part of the nominated team in two BJK Cup events since Tokyo 2020. Swiatek previously had to pull out of the BJK Cup qualifiers earlier this year due to injury.
Ignacio added that this could be a way for the 22-year-old to argue her case if necessary.
“Entry rules are not really specific, and don’t say if Grand Slam champions and Universality places can be taken by players not fulfilling the BJKC requirements.
“She could argue, though, that she was injured for the 2023 Qualifiers, as an argument in her favor to enter anyway,” they added.