Iga Swiatek defends Aryna Sabalenka amid criticism by Polish fans labeling the Belarusian as a ‘bad character’

Iga Swiatek, in a classy act, supports Aryna Sabalenka and appeals to her fans to stop criticizing the Belarusian.


Iga Swiatek defends Aryna Sabalenka amid criticism by Polish fans labeling the Belarusian as a ‘bad character’

Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek (Image via: Open Source/X)

Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka have an intense rivalry on the tennis court, with the Polish reclaiming her World No. 1 position from the Belarusian at the end of the WTA Finals this year. However, to not extend this rivalry beyond tennis, the reigning French Open champion came to the defense of World No. 2 amidst criticism from her Polish fans.

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The 2022 US Open champion asked her fans not to judge and put Aryna Sabalenka in a bad light. Iga Swiatek appealed to her fans to not label anyone. The Polish tennis player also mentioned how she does not want to become a judgmental person in an era where hatred is easily spread through the internet.

I see that Poles don’t really like her. We simply have two completely different personalities colliding. You can see the contrast. I wouldn’t say I’m a good character & she’s a bad one, because that puts her in a negative light. We are just different.
Iga Swiatek said via Rzeczpospolita

Iga Swiatek further mentioned that she was aware that her Polish fans did not have a liking for her on-court rival, Aryna Sabalenka. Regarding this, the Polish mentioned:

I see that Poles don’t really like her. We simply have two completely different personalities colliding. You can see the contrast.

The World No. 1, who had lost her top ranking after her shocking defeat to Jelena Ostapenko in the round of 16 of the US Open this year, had been in a pursuit to reclaim the lost spot ever since.

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She got an opportunity at the WTA Finals in Mexico, where she not only defeated Aryna Sabalenka but also won the WTA Finals for the first time in her career and, in addition, regained her No. 1 status as she ended the year on a high. 

Iga Swiatek backs Aryna Sabalenka, and claims they have great respect for each other

The 2023 WTA Finals champion came to the support of her on-court rival, Aryna Sabalenka, after constant criticism against the Belarusian for her character. Talking about how World No. 1 did not want to be one of those people on the internet who spread blind hatred against personalities, Iga Swiatek further stated:

I don’t want to be one of those people who judges. I know what life is like on the Internet & I don’t want to contribute to hatred towards anyone.
Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek
Aryna Sabalenka and Iga Swiatek ( Credits: News18)

Talking about her personal and professional relationship with the Belarusian, the World No.1 further added:

we have great respect for each other & are kind to each other.

She appealed to her fans not to judge her rivals and to respect each player equally. Iga ended the year on a high, and it will be interesting to see her approach in the upcoming 2024 season and if she can maintain her No. 1 spot.

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