- Iga Swiatek spoke out against online abuse and criticism.
- Swiatek asked tennis fans to be more kind.
- World number five Ons Jabeur agreed with Swiatek.
Iga Swiatek, the world’s number one women’s tennis player, has spoken out after receiving online abuse and criticism.
She asked tennis fans to be more kind after getting furious remarks following her 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over China’s Zheng Qinwen on Thursday at the Cincinnati Open.
Swiatek will face Wimbledon winner Marketa Vondrousova in the quarter-finals, but the 22-year-old was visibly agitated during her news conference after being chastised online for losing the first set.
“Today’s match wasn’t perfect. We all saw that. But the amount of hate and criticism me and my team get after losing a set is ridiculous,” Swiatek said. “I want to encourage people to be more thoughtful when they comment on the Internet.
“We all sacrifice a lot. We’re all working really hard to be in that place. We’re always giving 100% of what we can do every day. It’s sad for me to see that people I work with and myself, we’re really judged.”
Swiatek stated that she suffered a similar difficulty after losing in the Dubai final shortly after winning the Doha title.
“I was pretty proud of my results but people really just saw the last match and that I lost in the final and they shouldn’t,” Swiatek said.
“I’m putting a lot of energy for it not to hit too deeply, but I realized that sometimes people – I don’t know if they’re my fans or not but they want me to play better – cause me to waste a lot of energy to ignore them.”
Meanwhile, world number five Ons Jabeur stated that the harassment was usually caused by persons who gambled on the sport.
“Honestly, you win, you lose, you get hate messages no matter what you do,” Jabeur said. “We need more humanity, more nice people on this earth but I don’t think you can change the mentality of some bettors.
“They have nothing to do in their life and they’re spending money on you and probably, what, they lost a couple of bucks on Iga losing a set.”
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