World No. 4 Iga Swiatek admits she is not a war expert but wants to use her position to call for the positive changes. Swiatek wore a yellow and blue ribbon during her Indian Wells opener as that was her way of showing solidarity with her Ukrainian opponent Anhelina Kalinina and the all people of Ukraine.
“For me the most important thing is using my voice,” Swiatek told Eurosport. “I’m only 20, so I’m not an expert and I don’t know how to fight war but for sure I want sport to connect people, and bring a little bit of joy maybe and also for all the players to have kind of a similar voice so we can fight this together.
“We’re kind of popular and we have some influence on the people in our countries, so why not use that?”
Swiatek refused to remain silent
Some players have opted not to make any public comments on the war.
Swiatek says she understands the reasons of those who don't want to publicly comment on the war but added it's important for her to use her voice and try to make a positive impact. “That's true and you have to respect that.
The thing is I don’t want to judge people, and if they're not doing that and they're not saying what they honestly think, that's okay because we all have the right to have privacy and not say stuff,” said Swiatek.
“But for me, if you’re asking about the war, I was pretty emotional reading all that stuff and you could see in Doha that me and (Estonian) Anett (Kontaveit in the final)… we're pretty close to Ukraine and we've been raised in a world without a big war in Europe.
So at first it was really insane for us to read all the news. “And I think if we can use our voice to help people and to make them more safe or, I don’t know, we can cause less suffering, then why not?. We are only tennis players obviously, but we also have a way to help people”.