Billie Jean King Cup’s Iga Swiatek says scheduling is ‘not safe’

Senior Iga Swiatek will not be playing in the Billie Jean King Cup and complained on Monday that this event is scheduled to start immediately after the WTA Finals.

“That disappoints me [the] The tennis federations haven’t agreed on something as fundamental as the tournament calendar, which gives us just one day to travel the world and change the time zone,” Swiatek wrote on social media. “This situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury.”

The WTA Finals, which closes the Women’s Tennis Tour season and is for the top eight singles players and top eight doubles teams, will be held in Fort Worth, Texas from October 31 to November 7. The Billie Jean King Cup – – a team competition organized by the International Tennis Federation – will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from 8th to 13th November.

Swiatek, a 21-year-old Pole, is establishing herself as the dominant force in women’s tennis. She is a three-time Grand Slam champion, including the French Open in June and the US Open in September. These triumphs made her the first woman since 2016 win two major titles in a single season.

Heading into a tournament she took part in this week in Ostrava, Czech Republic, Swiatek is 57-7 in 2022 with seven titles. From February to July, she embarked on a 37-game winning streak that was the longest in the WTA for a quarter-century and helped her win six straight trophies.

Swiatek said she came to the decision to suspend the Billie Jean King Cup after “thinking about it a lot and speaking to my team again about it”.

The other 11 participating countries are Australia, Belgium, UK, Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Kazakhstan, Spain, Slovakia, Switzerland and the United States.

The other singles players eligible to compete in the WTA Finals now and whose countries will compete in the Billie Jean King Cup include No. 4 Paula Badosa of Spain, No. 6 Jessica Pegula of the USA and No. 8 Coco Gauff of the USA

Swiatek wrote that their departure “makes me sad”, adding: “I am very sorry because I play for Poland whenever possible and I always do my best.”

She said she plans to “talk to the WTA and the ITF to make a difference. This situation is difficult not only for the players like me, but more importantly for the tennis fans who support our sport.”

ITF President David Haggerty said his group regrets that Swiatek will not be taking part in the team competition, “and recognizes that the schedule for the two major events at the end of the year presents a challenge for the players competing in both events. We have been working with the WTA to try and coordinate suitable dates.”

Haggerty added that the ITF changed the schedule for the BJK Cup finals so that teams like Poland and the USA would start as late as possible.

“We are committed to working with the WTA on the 2023 schedule,” Haggerty said in a statement from the ITF, “so that we can have a smoother transition between the two competitions.”

The WTA Finals has been moved from Shenzhen, China, as part of the suspension of all tournaments in that country amid concerns over the safety of Peng Shuai, a doubles Grand Slam champion who has accused a former Chinese government official of sexual assault.

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