Iga Swiatek on unfair 'ball' game in US Open

The Reigning world No. 1 described the balls the women use during the North American hard court swing as "horrible" and "pretty bad." 

Published: 29th August 2022 03:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th August 2022 03:38 PM   |  A+A-

Poland's Iga Swiatek celebrates as she defeats China's Qinwen Zheng during their fourth-round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium. (Photo | AP)

Poland's Iga Swiatek. (File Photo | AP)

By Online Desk

"Why the US Open is still the only Grand Slam where the men and women use a different type of balls?" The question is posed by Polish Tennis star Iga Swiatek during a press conference at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati, say reports.

The Reigning world No. 1 described the balls the women use during the North American hard court swing as "horrible" and "pretty bad." 

“I think those balls are horrible, especially after like three games of really hard playing, they are getting more and more light,” Swiatek said. “At the end, you can’t even serve at 170km/h because it’s going to fly like crazy.

I think they are pretty bad." After suffering a surprise defeat to Madison Keys in the Cincinnati last-16, Swiatek blamed the balls for the loss. Swiatek hasn't been playing well this summer on hard courts as she picked up back-to-back round-of-16 exits in Toronto and Cincinnati. It remains to be seen if Swiatek can find her game in New York and make her first deep run this summer, Tennis World USA reports.

According to The Guardian, as she departed the press conference room, Swiatek turned to her audience and smiled sheepishly: “You’ve just started a war.”  

ALSO READIf No. 1 Iga Swiatek keeps improving, look out

Her parting words were prescient as this has become one of the dominant subjects in the build up to this year’s US Open, underlining a perceived double standard between men’s and women’s tennis. A public debate had been coming. In January, Ash Barty’s coach, Craig Tyzzer, said she would never win the US Open with these balls. In the same breath, he referenced the tournament’s recent surprise results four months after Emma Raducanu’s shock title run. “There’s no surprise when the ball is like it is,” he said.

Jessica Pegula, the US No 1, believes they yield more errors: “I feel like the first couple weeks there are a lot of double faults, because the balls are just kind of flying a bit more,” she said.

Pegula, however, according to The Guardian, has no issues with the men’s balls: “I played with them when I’m at home or when I can’t find any balls,” she said, shrugging. “They just don’t fly as much.”


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