KARACHI: Iga Swiatek, the current world number one, has criticised the upcoming tennis tournament schedule, claiming it will prevent her from participating in the Billie Jean King Cup Finals later this month.
The finals, which start on November 8 in Glasgow, were supposed to feature the 21-year-old world number one from Poland.
The WTA Finals in Texas are scheduled to finish the day before, though.
The three-time Grand Slam winner claimed that the schedule “is not safe” and added that it made her feel “sad” to miss an event.
“I was thinking it through a lot and discussing it with my team, but I will not be able to play at the Billie Jean King Cup in Glasgow,” Swiatek announced in a post on Instagram.
“It makes me sad. I’m very sorry, because I play for Poland whenever it’s possible and I always give it my best.
“Playing in Poland this year [in the qualifiers] was an honour and I hoped to do this again at the end of the season.”
Last month, Swiatek won the US Open for the first time. This is her second major victory of 2022 after winning the French Open twice.
She will compete in the season-ending WTA Finals, which begin on October 31 in Fort Worth, Texas, and feature a round-robin formatted competition between the top eight women in the Race to the WTA Finals.
To advance to the Billie Jean King Cup Finals and represent their country, athletes from Fort Worth, which is six hours behind Glasgow, would have one day to travel.
“I’m disappointed that tennis governing bodies didn’t come to an agreement on something as basic as the calendar of tournaments, giving us only one day to travel through the globe and changing the time zone,” she added.
“The situation is not safe for our health and could cause injury.
“I’m going to talk to the WTA and ITF in order to change something. This situation is difficult not only for the players like me but mainly for the tennis fans that support our sport.”
The International Tennis Federation has stated that it will work to improve the 2023 schedule for players.