Swiatek reveals why she stopped showing her support for Ukraine

The best tennis player of the year according to the WTA spoke about the problems she faces because she supports Ukraine

by Sededin Dedovic
Swiatek reveals why she stopped showing her support for Ukraine
© Elsa / Getty Images

Iga Swiatek, the current No. 1 tennis player in the world, has spoken about her recent decision to stop wearing stripes of Ukrainian colors on her equipment. In an interview with a Polish newspaper, she explained that the initial positive impact of this gesture was overshadowed by negativity and criticism.

"I wanted to show support to Ukrainians for everything that is happening," she said. "However, the picture changed later. Messages of hate and criticism began to appear. People said that I was no longer Polish and the like. The negative was more than the positive and that's why I decided this way." Despite finishing in first place for the second year in a row, Swiatek sees her 2023 season as more challenging than the last: "Everything went very smoothly last year," she recalled.

"This one was much more difficult, because I was seriously injured twice. There were many oscillations, the rivalry with Arina Sabaljenko was very intense. I returned to number 1 only in the last week of the season."

The goal is two medals

Looking ahead to the Olympic season, Swiatek is targeting two medals.

"I have already started preparations with Hubert Hurkač for the mix," she revealed. "We will play together at the World Tennis League exhibition in Abu Dhabi, then the United Cup." However, he will skip the doubles competition next season.

"I would really like a third competition," she admitted. "I stopped playing doubles last year to focus on singles." Recently, she received criticism from Agnieszka Radwanska, the best Polish tennis player before her. The topic was her vacation in the Maldives while the national team played in the Billie Jean King Cup.

"I'm not offended, because it doesn't affect me. Kudos to Agnieszka for playing every match in the national team, but my career says that this is better for me. Being the first in the world also carries its responsibilities. I would like it if the VTA calendar was like in her time."