Iga Swiatek says she is seeing “people suffering” due to the Russia-Ukraine war and that’s why she has been so outspoken about her support for Ukraine. Poland – which shares long eastern borders with Ukraine – has been closely following the situation in Ukraine as the Polish officials fear they will also be in danger if Russia wins in Ukraine.
Swiatek, who is one of the best Polish athletes, sees that the people of Poland are concerned. “As a Pole, from the beginning of the war in Ukraine, I had an emotional approach to this matter. For me, it is important that we – athletes, public figures – have an impact on society.
Our views shape others, and this can create change. War for me is not about politics, but about people’s suffering, and that’s why I decided to speak out,” Swiatek told Wprost.
Swiatek thinks the WTA could have done more
There has been tension between Ukrainian and Russian/Belarusian players ever since the war started.
In recent weeks, several players confirmed that there is indeed tension in the locker room. Swiatek, a three-time Grand Slam champion, thinks the situation could have been better had the WTA shown better leadership when Russia first invaded Ukraine.
“First of all, the tensions in the locker room. The players did not quite know how to maneuver this whole conflict. This was also due to the fact that there was no leadership that would make both sides feel heard, and some players would understand that they cannot, for example, represent their country or show that they support Russian teams, as happened recently.
More than a year has passed since the start of the war, and in tennis we are not fully operating in such a way as to ease tensions. They are rather fueled by the fact that there are no people who would efficiently manage the situation.
If they were, it would be a little easier to function in an environment where people from different countries meet, with different views, and, above all, Russian and Ukrainian women meet,” Swiatek said.