Iga Swiatek shrugs off teary moment as Poland go down 2-0 against US – ‘Nothing special’
Poland have a mountain to climb in the semi-final of the United Cup after they lost their two opening singles rubbers against the United States with Iga Swiatek left in tears after her defeat.
The European team booked their place in the last four on the back of a 3-2 win over Italy in the quarter-final and they were looking to Swiatek for another dominant start as the world No 1 had won all five her matches so far in the tournament – including two doubles encounters.
However, the three-time Grand Slam winner was brushed aside by world No 3 Jessica Pegula in the first match of the day at the mixed event as the American won 6-2, 6-2 in just over an hour, breaking three times in the first set and twice in the second.
Swiatek, who had won her four previous meetings against Pegula, was overcome by emotion after the defeat, but she was comfortable discussing the issue later on.
🇵🇱 Wideo dla każdego, kto myśli, że Idze nie zależy na grze dla reprezentacji Polski 💔🎥
🇬🇧 Video for anyone who thinks that Iga doesn't care about playing for the Polish national team 💔🎥#UnitedCuppic.twitter.com/ZwxuJAmQCb
— Z kortu – informacje tenisowe | Tennis news (@z_kortu) January 6, 2023
“Because I just knew that I felt kind of helpless today, because physically and mentally I wasn’t able to kind of show up even, and problem-solve. So it’s always hard when you lose, especially when you’re kind of playing for the team and your country,” the 21-year-old said.
She added: “So I was just sad. But, you know, it’s not the first time I cried after a lost match. Nothing special.”
Pegula’s win gave her compatriot Frances Tiafoe some much needed inspiration as he went on to beat Kacper Żuk 6-3, 6-3 to give the United States a commanding lead in the joint ATP-WTA tournament.
“When I saw her play today I was like, I can’t come out here bulls***ing,” he said during his on-court interview in Sydney.
“That was unbelievable, to beat Iga, who is obviously the best player in the world, that heavily. I think Jess is an unbelievable player, unbelievable person.”
Did @JLPegula's victory over Iga Swiatek inspire @FTiafoe tonight?
Um, yes 😆#UnitedCup @UnitedCupTennis pic.twitter.com/uwWHnBaTll
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) January 6, 2023
On Saturday, Hubert Hurkacz will look to keep Poland’s hopes of a final alive when he takes on Taylor Fritz before Magda Linette goes up against Madison Keys in another must-win match.
Should the scores be tied 2-2, then the doubles will see Swiatek and Hurkacz face off against Pegula and Fritz in the mixed doubles.
The winner of the Poland-United States tie will face either Greece or Italy in the final in Sydney on Sunday.
READ MORE: Stats from Iga Swiatek’s incredible 2022 season – featuring bagels and breadsticks from the Iga Bakery
WATCH: ‘Greek god’ Marton Fucsovics takes shirt off to reveal ripped body
Marton Fucsovics shows off his muscles again.
Aryna Sabalenka eyes Iga Swiatek’s No 1 spot – Why Sabalenka could usurp the Pole in the coming months
Aryna Sabalenka’s world No 1 goal could be within touching distance.
What Novak Djokovic needs to do to be top seed at French Open
Novak Djokovic has a big chance to be back at No 1 in time for the French Open.
Wimbledon reach verdict on Russian players with announcement imminent
The decision on whether Russian and Belarusian players can compete at Wimbledon this summer has been made.
Tennis legend predicts how many Grand Slams Novak Djokovic will win
Novak Djokovic is “going to be winning majors as long as he’s healthy”.
Aryna Sabalenka, WTA and Steve Simon slammed as tension in tennis continues to escalate
All is not well in women’s tennis.
Carlos Alcaraz off the mark in Miami as Jimmy Connors explains why he is head and shoulders above his peers
Carlos Alcaraz up and running in Miami as Jimmy Connors waxes lyrical about Spaniard.
Ons Jabeur’s ‘season is just starting now’ after injury woes
Ons Jabeur ready to go again.
WTA accused of ignoring request for meeting with Ukrainian players – ‘Just silence’
Ukrainian players want to meet with the WTA board.