World No.1 Iga Swiatek has blasted the WTA Tour for its 'unsafe' schedule for athletes after the US Open champ withdrew from the Billie Jean King Cup.
Swiatek is coming off a stunning 2022 season having won both Roland Garros and the US Open to further cement herself as the best player in the game.
However, Swiatek admitted she was upset with scheduling of the Billie Jean King Cup tournament in Scotland.
The event is so close to the WTA Finals that she has been forced to withdraw, putting it down to travelling across different time zones only a day out from the end-of-year tournament.
Writing on Instagram, Swiatek said: "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. 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 (in the qualifiers in April) was an honour and I hoped to do this again at the end of the season.
World number one Iga Swiatek will miss the 2022 BJK Cup Finals and has things to say about the scheduling, with the event being held again very close to the WTA Finals in a different part of the world. pic.twitter.com/JeY9q7jDB2
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) October 3, 2022
"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.
"The situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury. I'm going 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."
Tennis world reacts to Iga Swiatek announcement
Swiatek's move, while disappointing, had the backing of the tennis world.
Many agreed with Swiatek's comments on the tennis calendar and said other top players could also be forced to withdraw.
American doubles great Pam Shriver backed Swiatek's move and also called out the scheduling.
— Pam Shriver (@PHShriver) October 3, 2022
The risk is to lose players like Swiatek, Badosa, Krejcikova, Siniakova, Gauff, Pegula and many more because if they go deep in the Finals how are they supposed to be in Glasgow the very next day
— Relevant Tennis | Stats & Info (@RelevantTennis) October 3, 2022
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
Iga Swiatek's statement not only raises a valid point but shows what kind of Number One she wants to be. She has a platform now, expect her to use it
— Nick Carter (@nick_bcarter) October 3, 2022
World No.1 🇵🇱Iga Swiatek has pulled out of the Billie Jean King Cup.
She's the first major seed to announce her withdrawal MONTHS in advance.
In her statement she mentions the brutal scheduling and that giving "one day to travel the globe" just isn't worth it.
So true. #BJKCup pic.twitter.com/ZuqQQs1YJw
— Jacob Pacheco (@JacobPacheco6) October 3, 2022
The absence of the French Open and US Open champion is a blow to the Billie Jean King Cup Finals, which runs from November 8-13 at the Emirates Arena.
The event features 12 teams, including Australia who will take on Slovakia and Belgium in the group stage.
Meanwhile, Swiatek was captured during a practice match with World No.4. Paula Badosa in the Czech Republic.
Switaek is taking part at the Ostrava Open and faces Aussie Ajla Tomljanovic in the Last 16.
The pair have met twice before, with Swiatek winning on both occasions.
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