Iga Swiatek welcomes the performance byes on the WTA Tour, calls Elena Rybakina’s ‘scandal’ in Tokyo

Iga Swiatek says that the performance byes are sensible.


Iga Swiatek welcomes the performance byes on the WTA Tour, calls Elena Rybakina’s ‘scandal’ in Tokyo

Iga Swiatek (Image via Eurosport)

World No. 2 Iga Swiatek has revealed her opinions on the new performance byes introduced by the WTA. For the uninitiated, the association introduced a new system to give first-round byes to only the players who made it to the final rounds of other tournaments in the previous week. This stopped the seeded players from getting byes. The WTA had introduced this rule in hopes of encouraging more players to sign up for consecutive tournaments on the Tour.

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“I haven’t said much about this rule because these are the first events I’ve played in where this type of thing is happening, even though we’ve been in the calendar for a very long time,” Swiatek said in a press conference at the China Open in Beijing. 

She admitted that it was quite hard to rush from going till the last few rounds of the previous tournament to another event in another part of the world. “It seems smart to me; when I had tournaments where I went very deep, then I know what it means to rush ahead of the next one without time to rest and prepare,” she said.

The Pole seemed to be supportive of the WTA’s new policy. “I think the rule is fine; it makes sense. It’s just striking to see that some favorites don’t have a bye,” she said. She also acknowledged that this new performance by a system created a few scandals in the tennis world. She called out Elena Rybakina’s scandal in Tokyo, where the Russian was unhappy that she did not receive a bye despite being top-seeded.

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All in all the four-time Grand Slam title champion seemed to be satisfied with just working on her game, regardless of whether or not she received a bye. “I don’t care if I have to play one more game. For me, it’s another opportunity to play and win. Truly, I don’t care if I play another game or not,” she agreed.

related: Elena Rybakina discloses the reason for last minute withdrawal from the Japan Open amid allegations of skipping due to performance-bye controversy

Iga Swiatek admits the loss of the World No.1 rank was a weight lifted off her shoulder

Surprisingly, as per the former World No. 1, it was a great weight off her back when she lost her top rank. She further admitted that chasing someone is much easier than leading the pack and that she was accustomed to doing so her whole life.

Iga Swiatek(Image via The Independant)

“I think it’s a bit easier to come back to the mindset of chasing somebody because that’s what we have been doing our whole lives,” she said in the conference. The four-time Grand Slam champ had lost her top ranking to Aryna Sabaelnka after her fourth-round upset at the US Open.

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“I stopped thinking about rankings because I felt like there’s some baggage off my shoulders,” she said. She further revealed that this shifting of the guard gave her more time and peace to work on her game.

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