Iga Swiatek expresses concern over late-night tennis matches

Monday, 03 June 2024 at 05:00
Iga Swiatek shared her thoughts on late-night finishes following the marathon match between Novak Djokovic and Lorenzo Musetti that concluded at 3 am in the French Open. The 4-time Grand Slam champion supported the idea that night matches should start earlier, as the post-match recovery process for players takes several additional hours.
The World No. 1 comes off an extraordinary fourth-round victory against Russia's Anastasia Potapova (No. 41) with a 6-0, 6-0 win in just 40 minutes. The defending champion will face the 2023 Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova in the quarterfinals, following 18 consecutive wins at Roland Garros.

Swiatek gives her verdict on late-night matches

The 3-time French Open champion remains in great form with 16 consecutive wins on clay, securing WTA 1000 titles at the Madrid Open and Rome Open, defeating World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in both finals. In the Madrid final, Swiatek clinched the victory in a third-set tie-break after a three-hour match. On that occasion, she commented: “It’s not fun to play at 1 am though, but I’m happy anyway that I was able to get past this experience and survive and be in the final.”
Regarding Djokovic's fourth-round battle, where he overturned a tough match against Musetti after 4 and a half hours, Swiatek was asked about matches ending in the early hours of the morning. The journalist asked: “This morning we are watching Novak Djokovic play until 3 o'clock in the morning. It is an issue in tennis when matches are starting late and then finishing after midnight. You're World No. 1. Do you think as a sport there should be a cut-off? Do you think tennis should do more? I'm thinking of ball kids and security staff. It's not just the players that are tired. It's everyone in the arena who is working late.”
“Well, that's true. Obviously, everybody kind of thinks about themselves, and that's why I was always looking from the player's perspective,” Swiatek said. “It's not easy to play and then it's not like we're going to fall asleep one hour after the match. Usually, it takes us, like, four hours to even chill, and you need to do recovery, media. It's not like the work ends when the match point.”
“Yeah, I was always one of the players that said that we should start a little bit earlier. Also, I don't know if the fans are watching these matches if they have to go to work the next day or something when the matches are finishing at 2 am or 3 am,” she added. “It's not up to us. We need to accept anything that is going to come to us.”

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