Iga Swiatek: "Aryna Sabalenka is not bad"

The Polish tennis player clarified her situation with her Belarusian rival

by Lorenzo Ciotti
Iga Swiatek: "Aryna Sabalenka is not bad"
© Matthew Stockman / Staff Getty Images Sport

Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka have sparked a great rivalry in 2023. With the victory of the 2023 WTA Finals undefeated, the Polish tennis player managed to regain the throne of the WTA ranking and end the season at number 1, overtaking the tennis player originally from Minsk.

The Polish tennis player focused on the differences between Sabalenka and herself during an interview with the Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita. "I see that the Poles don't like it very much. We simply have two completely different personalities clashing.

From here you can see the contrast. I wouldn't say I'm a good character and she's a bad character, because that puts her in a negative light," she explained. Swiatek talked about her relationship with the Belarusian tennis player, stressing: "We're just different.

I don't want to be one of those people who judges. I know what life is like on the Internet and I don't want to contribute to hatred towards anyone. First and foremost, we have great respect for each other and are kind to each other."

The season of Swiatek and Sabalenka

The Pole's 2023 ended with the victory of 6 titles including a Slam, Roland Garros, the WTA 1000 in Beijing, a tournament that preceded the WTA Finals subsequently won, the WTA 500 in Stuttgart, held on indoor red clay, and Doha, on the hard court and the WTA 250 in Warsaw, a home tournament given that Swiatek is a native of Warsaw.

Sabalenka, however, in the season just ended was a great protagonist in the initial part of 2023, winning the WTA 500 in Adelaide, the Australian Open (first career Slam won by the Belarusian) and the Masters 1000 in Madrid (tournament held on clay).

In the second part of the season the tennis player from Minsk reached the final of the US Open, losing against Coco Gauff but conquering the title of number 1 in the WTA rankings during the Major. We also have to say that Sabalenka and Swiatek will be the two superstar who will be considered the favourite for the final win at the upcoming Australian Open 2024, the first Major of the next season.

Iga Swiatek