Reigning world No. 1 and two-time main champion Iga Swiatek known as the balls used on the US Open “horrible” throughout a information convention on the Western & Southern Open this week, and questioned why women and men use different balls on the tennis main. It is the one Grand Slam match to not use the identical balls for all gamers.
“I don’t know why they are different than men’s ones,” Swiatek mentioned on Wednesday. “I don’t know, like, 15 years ago probably women had some elbow injuries because the balls were heavier and they changed them to women’s balls, but right now we are so physically well prepared that I don’t think it would happen. Plus we can’t get those balls in Europe, or actually, when we buy them at store, they are totally different than the tournament balls, so when I’m practicing with US Open balls at home [in Poland], I’m practicing with men’s ones …
“I really feel, it is actually laborious to regulate [the women’s balls], however all people has identical circumstances, so we are attempting to take care of that. I do not get why they’re different, truthfully.”
The balls are also used during the lead-in swing, including the Western & Southern Open and last week’s Canadian Open. Swiatek, who had a 37-match win streak earlier this season, lost in the round of 16 to Madison Keys on Thursday in Cincinnati, and fell in the same round in Toronto.
Players have complained about the difference among one another, Swiatek said, and she and Paula Badosa, currently ranked No. 4, spoke to WTA CEO and chairman Steve Simon last year and asked whether they could switch to use the same ball as the men.
“I do not suppose it could be an issue as a result of it is still the identical firm, it is Wilson, however, yeah, perhaps we should always push a bit extra,” Swiatek said. “I finished truly pushing and making an attempt to persuade WTA, as a result of the battle in Ukraine occurred and I refocused on one thing else. Yeah, however truthfully, any match I play with these balls, I did not really feel nicely.”
In a statement to ESPN, Amy Binder, the WTA’s senior vice president of global communications, said the organization was listening to player concerns and would explore the matter further.
“The WTA has all the time utilized common felt balls for hardcourt play, and we have now now begun to listen to from a choose variety of our athletes that they wish to take into account a change to utilizing the additional obligation ball,” Binder said. “The foundation behind utilizing the common felt ball was that it restricted the potential of arm, shoulder, elbow and wrist accidents. This is one thing that we’ll proceed to observe and focus on additional with each our athletes and our sports activities science groups.”
Swiatek is not the first to publicly voice her displeasure about the ball disparity. Former world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty‘s longtime coach Craig Tyzzer told reporters after her Australian Open victory earlier this year that Barty would never win the US Open with the current balls. Barty has since retired from tennis.
“The US Open actually wants to vary the ball for the ladies, the very fact they still use a different ball for guys and ladies, it is a horrible ball for somebody like Ash,” Tyzzer said in January. “It was the one match final 12 months and actually for two years the place she uses a intestine racket, however I needed to change her to a poly simply to get any type of management of the ball. If they preserve that ball the identical, nobody like Ash will win that match.
“So I think you see the result at the US Open, it was two players who, you go, ‘Wow, that was, two different players won that?’ There’s no surprise when the ball is like it is.”
Five of the earlier seven US Open women’s champions, together with reigning victor Emma Raducanu, have been first-time main winners. The 2022 US Open will get underway on Aug. 29 in New York with Swiatek as the highest seed.