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Iga Swiatek slams US Open balls as 'horrible' and questions why women cannot use the same as the men

tennis world no. 1 Iga Swiatek has labeled the balls used at the US Open as “terrible” and questions why men and women use different balls at the major.

The US Open is the only Grand Slam where two different types of balls are used for the men’s and women’s tournaments, with the latter using lighter balls.

Swiatek believes it is a disadvantage for players who hit harder, as she claimed the balls were difficult to control.

Iga Swiatek slams US Open balls as 039horrible039 and questions

tennis world no. 1 Iga Swiatek has labeled the balls used at the US Open as ‘terrible’

“I don’t know why they’re different from the men’s ones,” Swiatek said during the Western & Southern Open on Wednesday.

“I don’t know, 15 years ago women probably had some elbow injuries because the balls were heavier and they turned them into women’s balls, but right now we are so well prepared physically that I don’t think it would happen.

“Besides, we can’t get those balls in Europe, or actually if we buy them in the store they are completely different from the tournament balls, so when I practice with US Open balls at home [in Poland]I’m practicing with men…

‘I feel, it’s really hard to control’ [the women’s balls], but everyone has the same conditions, so we try to deal with that. I honestly don’t understand why they’re different.’

Polish player wondered why women and men played with different balls at the major

Polish player wondered why women and men played with different balls at the major

Polish player wondered why women and men played with different balls at the major

The lighter balls are also used in the build-up to the major, including the Western & Southern Open and the Canadian Open, where Swiatek crashed in the round of the last 16.

Swiatek is not the only player to complain about the balls, as she and Paula Badosa, currently number 4, reportedly spoke to WTA CEO and chairman Steve Simon last year and asked if they could switch to use the same ball as the men.

“I don’t think it would be a problem because it’s still the same company, it’s Wilson, but yeah, maybe we need to push a little more,” Swiatek said.

“I stopped pushing and trying to convince the WTA because the war was happening in Ukraine and I was focusing on something else. Yes, but honestly, every tournament I play with these balls, I didn’t feel well.’

The lighter balls are also used in the run-up, including the Western & Southern Open

The lighter balls are also used in the run-up, including the Western & Southern Open

The lighter balls are also used in the run-up, including the Western & Southern Open

Amy Binder, the WTA’s senior vice president of global communications, explained that the rationale behind using the regular felt balls was to reduce the risk of injury, but insisted the organization listened to players’ concerns.

“The WTA has always used regular felt balls for hard court play, and we’ve now started hearing from a select few of our athletes that they would like to consider using a change in the use of the extra service ball,” Binder said. ESPN.

‘The basis behind the use of the regular felt ball was that it reduced the risk of arm, shoulder, elbow and wrist injuries. We will continue to monitor and discuss this with both our athletes and our sports science teams.”

The trainer of Australian Open champion Ash Barty had previously complained about the use of the regular felt balls.

Ash Barty's trainer had previously complained about using the regular felt balls

Ash Barty's trainer had previously complained about using the regular felt balls

Ash Barty’s trainer had previously complained about using the regular felt balls

After Barty’s Grand Slam win in January, her longtime coach Craig Tyzzer claimed the Australian, now retired, would never win the US Open because of the balls.

“The US Open should really change the ball for the girls, the fact that they still use a different ball for boys and girls, it’s a terrible ball for someone like Ash,” Tyzzer said.

“It was the only tournament last year and actually two years where she uses a gut racket, but I had to turn her into a poly to get some sort of control over the ball. If they keep that ball the same, no one like Ash will win that tournament.

“So I think you see the result at the US Open, it was two players who, you say, ‘Wow, that was, did two different players win that?’ It’s no surprise if the ball is what it is.’

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