Iga Swiatek is calling out the WTA because she believes their actions contradict their claims that they are caring and prioritizing athletes' mental health. Swiatek, the top-ranked player in the women's game, has already spoken several times about the length and physical and mental demands of a tennis season.
In 2024, the calendar and schedule will be even tighter as there will be 10 WTA 1000 tournaments - more mandatory tournaments - two WTA 1000 tournaments are extending to two weeks - there will be larger draws - and the Olympics are also taking place next year.
Swiatek, 22, believes all of this could have a very negative impact on athletes' mental and physical well-being. "The calendar is changing towards even more duties, even greater expenditure of energy that we will have to devote while participating in tournaments, because the tournaments are also extended.
It is simply not conducive to what the WTA promotes in other aspects, i.e. mental health, life balance in any way, physical health. I would make decisions that would be more conducive to what they promote and support," Swiatek told Eurosport Poland.
Swiatek fears athletes' mental and physical well-being may be negatively impacted
At the WTA Finals in Cancun, Swiatek also spoke out against the WTA's plans to increase the number of mandatory tournament appearances. At the time, Swiatek also claimed that something like that probably wouldn't be healthy for players.
"We’re gonna have much more mandatory tournaments and it’s gonna have a huge negative impact on our health and well-being. I’m 22 and I’ve played two of the most intense seasons in my life and I already feel like it’s gonna be tough for me to continue for so many years ahead if WTA is gonna go that way to increase the amount of mandatory tournaments.
Most of the 1000 tournaments are going to be and weeks in future years, which is also gonna kind of affect our time at home and time in between the tournaments," Swiatek said at the WTA Finals.