1 world title holder and two-time main champion Iga Swiatek The balls used at the US Open were described as “horrible” during a press conference at the Western and South African tournaments this week, and he questioned why women and men use different balls at the major tennis tournament. It is the only Grand Slam tournament that does not use the same balls for all players.
“I don’t know why they are different from men,” Swiatek said on Wednesday. “I don’t know, 15 years ago, maybe some women had elbow injuries because the balls were heavier and they changed them to women’s balls, but at the moment we are physically fit so well that I don’t think that will happen. Plus we can’t get those balls. In Europe, or in fact, when we buy them in the store, they are very different from the championship balls, so when I train with the US Open balls at home [in Poland]I train with men…
“I feel like it’s really hard to control [the women’s balls], but everyone has the same circumstances, so we try to deal with that. Honestly, I don’t understand why they are different.”
Balls are also used during the front swing, including last week’s Western & Southern Open and Canadian Open. Swiatek, who made 37 consecutive games earlier this season, lost in the round of 16 Madison Keys On Thursday in Cincinnati, I landed on the same tour in Toronto.
Swiatek said the players complained about the difference between themselves Paula Badusawho is currently number four, spoke to WTA chief executive and president Steve Simon last year and asked if they could switch to using the same ball as the men.
“I don’t think it’s going to be a problem because it’s still the same company, it’s Wilson, but, yeah, we should probably pay a little more,” Swiatek said. “I stopped pushing and trying to convince the WTA, because the war in Ukraine happened and I refocused on something else. Yeah, but honestly, any tournament I’m playing with with those balls, I didn’t feel good.”
In a statement to ESPN, Amy Bender, vice president of global communications for the WTA, said the organization is listening to players’ concerns and will explore the matter further.
“The WTA has long used regular felt balls for hard court play, and we are now beginning to hear from a select number of athletes who would like to consider changing the use of the extra ball,” Bender said. “The basis behind the use of felt ball was that it reduced the potential for arm, shoulder, elbow and wrist injuries. This is something we will continue to monitor and discuss further with both our athletes and our sports science teams.”
Swiatek isn’t the first to publicly express her dissatisfaction with the ball’s unevenness. Former World No. 1 Ashleigh PartyLongtime coach Craig Tezer told reporters after winning the Australian Open earlier this year that Barty would never win the US Open with the current balls. Barty has since retired from tennis.
“The US Open really needs to change the ball for the girls, and the fact that they still use a different ball for the guys and the girls, it’s a shocking ball for someone like Ash,” Taizer said in January. “It was the only tournament last year and for really two years where she used the gut racket, but I had to change it to Polly just to have any kind of ball control. If they keep that ball as it is, no one like Ash is going to win that tournament.
“So I guess you see the score at the US Open, there were two players, you say, ‘Wow, two different players won that?'” “There is no surprise when the ball is the same.”
Five of the previous seven US Open champions, including the victorious Emma Radukano, were the main winners for the first time. The 2022 US Open kicks off August 29 in New York with Swiatek as the top seed.
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