Iga Swiatek apologises for ‘involuntary’ arm-waving incident: ‘I hope it will never happen again’
Iga Swiatek says she apologised to Donna Vekic following the “arm-waving” controversy during the San Diego Open final, saying it was “instinctive behaviour”.
The world No 1 won her eighth trophy of the season as she defeated Vekic in three sets in the WTA 500 final in California a fortnight ago.
However, many fans accused the 21-year-old of sportsmanship midway through the second set as she waved both her arms above her head at the net as she waited for Vekic to hit a shot while she was 3-2 behind.
It wasn’t the first time that it happened as she also threw her arms up during a point in this year’s US Open final against Ons Jabeur in September.
The ULTIMATE Iga Swiatek HINDRANCE compilation. This isn't even all of them, not even close. This is ALL on purpose.
Double bounces, waving arms, racket changes on match points/in between serves, etc.
She may be a great tennis player, but this behavior is NOT respectable. pic.twitter.com/esmgMzcYlT
— ATP/WTA Hindrance Watch 🔍 (@tennisooc) October 17, 2022
In an interview with Sport.pl the three-time Grand Slam winner explained: “It is something that I can’t control it, but I hope it will never happen again.
“We are working on it. It is a reaction to stress, to what is happening. It is an involuntary reaction, it’s a subconscious reaction. I did it during the US Open, and as I recall it was a stressful moment. In San Diego, I did it subconsciously.
“After the match I immediately approached Donna and apologised. Donna didn’t hold a grudge, it turned out that she didn’t remember it at all. I hope the fans understand this too. I know there were a lot of negative comments about it on the Internet.
“I’m not proud of things on the court that I sometimes don’t control. This is instinctive behaviour. Maybe I’ve watched too much soccer and what goalkeepers do at penalty kicks.”
The Pole will return to action next week as she will take part in the WTA Finals in Fort Worth Texas where she will be the favourite to win the season-ending tournament for the first time in her career.
She will finish her season at the exhibition World Tennis League in Dubai along with the likes of Novak Djokovic, Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and Elena Rybakina.
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