Iga Swiatek has been criticized and labeled a “fraud” by tennis fans due to her neutral position regarding the court conditions at the 2023 WTA Finals, after several other players including Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina launched complaints.
As a former World No. 1 and a four-time Grand Slam champion, Swiatek’s opinion is considered by many to hold a lot of weight in the sport. Therefore, many fans were expecting her to have to voice her opinion on the court conditions at the WTA Finals in Cancun sooner or later.
The Mexican city was announced as the location for the WTA Finals in September, after which the WTA announced it would spend $6 million on building a new stadium to host the prestigious season-ending championships.
However, as players arrived in Cancun, the stadium remained unfinished, with construction work finishing just a day before the tournament began. Since then, many players have criticized the condition of the courts at the Estadio Paradisus. Current World No. 1 Sabalenka said she felt unsafe on the court, while Rybakina blamed it for the drop in players’ quality.
Swiatek criticized for not supporting fellow players
However, Swiatek had a much more tempered reaction to the situation.
“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. Sometimes, it bounces weirdly on clay or on grass as well. I tried to think in that perspective and just do my job. At the end, it doesn’t really matter because all of us have the same court and the same conditions,” she said.
This has led to a lot of backlash from fans on social media, with some even going as far as to call the 22-year-old a “fraud”.
“Do better Iga the other players are complaining and that’s all you have to say? what a shame, I expected more from an ex number 1 who complained so much about the conditions…,” wrote one.
“This sort of “well you gotta keep your head down and do your job” attitude from a top player is why WTA doesn’t feel enough pressure to actually change things,” added another.