Mats Wilander and Barbara Schett praise young players including Swiatek and Gauff for speaking up on social issues

Ex-tennis stars Barbara Schett and Mats Wilander commended young female players for using their status and social media presence to raise awareness of disturbing issues facing society.

Rising stars such as Roland Garros champion Iga Swiatek and American teenage sensation Coco Gauff have spoken passionately about emotionally-charged subjects at the forefront of world affairs, such as the ongoing war in Ukraine, gun violence in the United States and abortions.

Schett hailed the likes of Swiatek, Gauff and Naomi Osaka as "a real inspiration" while describing them as "pioneers", expressing the need for more of such statements from the men's side of the game. She said:

"They're really into political statements, social statements as well, and we don't see that on the men's side really. It's great to see that they care about the world as well and trying to make people aware of what's going on as well. I would love to see it on the men's side a little bit more as well. There hasn't been many statements like that, it's usually all around the tennis, but now the girls, they're pioneers, that I have to say."

Wilander added:

"With social media, everybody has a voice and can use it whichever way they want. Also, there's a lot more social issues that have come to the forefront in the last 10 years, more probably than before. Maybe there are not more, but they are definitely more talked about now. They're using their platform as famous celebrities or professional athletes in the proper way, which I am all for, rather than taking a picture of a pair of shoes that you just bought in some store."

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WTA Coco Gauff Wimbledon Iga Swiatek

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