Iga Swiatek makes big claim about the WTA and reveals players are united for change

Ewan West
Iga Swiatek media duties
Iga Swiatek during a press conference

Iga Swiatek has declared that the WTA are focused on “wanting to have more and more” but are “not really taking care of” the well-being and health of players. 

The world No 1 highlighted the plan to make WTA 1000 tournaments two-week events and revealed players are “really united to have an impact and do something.”

The WTA has drawn heavy criticism from players, commentators and fans recently, particularly for the organisation of the WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico, which concluded on Monday. Cancun was announced as the host city for the season-ending championships on 7 September – less than two months before the event started.

The temporary hard courts built at the Estadio Paradisus venue for the WTA Finals were not ready when the players arrived in Cancun, meaning they could not practice on the match court. Players then criticised the poor quality of the court surface and pointed to the inconsistent bounce it produced during the event.

Heavy rain also disrupted the playing schedule, with the decision to hold the tournament in a place where storms are known to be common at this time of year questioned.

Despite the issue in Cancun, Swiatek dominated the WTA Finals as she claimed her maiden title at the year-end championships for the loss of no sets and just 20 games.

The 22-year-old crushed world No 5 Jessica Pegula 6-1, 6-0 in the final on Monday, with her triumph also securing a second successive year-end No 1 finish.

READ MORE: Iga Swiatek reveals key lesson she learned after achieving ‘dream come true’

Speaking at a press conference at the WTA Finals in Cancun, Swiatek addressed concerns about the WTA pushing to increase and extend mandatory tournaments.

“Obviously, I’ve been on tour for four years. But this is the first time the top players and lower ranked players are really kind of united to have an impact and to do something. Because yes, we’re not happy with some things and we want to change the schedule for next year,” said the Pole.

“We’re gonna have much more mandatory tournaments and it’s gonna have a huge negative impact on our health and well-being. I’m 22 and I’ve played two of the most intense seasons in my life and I already feel like it’s gonna be tough for me to continue for so many years ahead if WTA is gonna go that way to increase the amount of mandatory tournaments.

“Most of the 1000 tournaments are going to be two weeks in future years, which is also gonna kind of affect our time at home and time in between the tournaments. So I feel like everything is just based on wanting to have more and more but not really taking care of our well-being and health.

“There are some things that WTA could change for us, without an impact on the things they already agreed with the tournaments. Hopefully these changes are gonna come and we’re gonna find a compromise where everybody is kind of happy.

“But for sure, only talking about the relationship, I feel like me and the other players, like Ons [Jabeur], Coco [Gauff], the players that are here, actually like everybody. The players that didn’t qualify for the Finals. We are really united and think the same way.

“The young ones, the older ones, we all know that this isn’t good that we’re gonna have more mandatory tournaments. So we want to really have an impact. Because when it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna stay forever and it’s gonna get worse. Hopefully we’re gonna be able to push.”

READ MORE: Iga Swiatek makes stunning prize money breakthrough as she closes in on two legends