Iga Swiatek has announced she will not represent Poland in the prestigious Billie Jean King Cup as she criticized the authorities
Women’s world number one Iga Swiatek has announced that she will not represent Poland at the Billie Jean King Cup finals in Glasgow next month, taking a swipe at tennis’ governing bodies for their management of the sport’s calendar.
Three-time Grand Slam winner Swiatek helped Poland reach the tournament finals but will not feature in their conclusion due to the event’s proximity with the WTA Finals in the schedule.
The finals of the Bille Jean King Cup, run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and formerly titled the Fed Cup, are due to be held in Scotland from November 8 to 13.
They will arrive a day after the season-ending WTA Finals, which are organized by the women’s tour and will this year be played in Fort Worth, Texas.
Swiatek announced her withdrawal from the international team tournament on Instagram.
“I was thinking it through a lot and discussing it with my team all over again, but I will not be able to play at the Billie Jean King Cup in Glasgow. And it makes me sad,” she wrote.
Iga Swiatek wants to speak to the WTA & ITF about the demands on players after she pulled out of the BJK King Cup. She says travelling & switching time zones from WTA Finals in Texas to BJK Cup in Glasgow is “not safe for our health and could cause injury.” pic.twitter.com/4glwYvNW5c
— Jonathan Jurejko (@J_Jurejko) October 3, 2022
“I’m very sorry, because I play for Poland whenever it’s possible and I always give it my best. Playing in Poland this year was an honor and I hoped to do this again at the end of the season.
“I’m disappointed that tennis governing bodies didn’t come to an agreement on something as basic as the calendar of tournaments, giving us only one day to travel through the globe and changing the time zone,” Swiatek added.
The 21-year-old claimed that the situation is “not safe for our health and could cause injury,” which has prompted her to talk to the WTA and ITF “in order to change something.”
“This situation is difficult not only for the players like me, but mainly for the tennis fans that support our sport,” Swiatek said.
The Billie Jean King Cup finals will see 12 countries compete in four round-robin groups containing three teams each.
Group winners move to the semifinals, with Poland drawn in Group D to take on the Czech Republic and the United States.
Russia are the defending champions but were banned from taking part in this year’s tournament because of the conflict in Ukraine.
Swiatek will not feature at the competition but will next be seen on court at the Ostrava Open on Wednesday, where she faces Ajla Tomljanovic in the round of 16.
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