‘Oh my god, no’ – Iga Swiatek upset at ‘horrible’ US Open ball disparity
Iga Swiatek is not happy with the tennis balls used for WTA tour events in the lead up to the US Open, as well as in New York, she revealed from Cincinnati.
Unusually, women and men do not play with the same balls at the US Open, with WTA pros using regular duty balls while ATP players use extra-duty balls with more surface felt according to a 2019 Wall Street Journal article.
As such, a number of WTA pros have complained to each other about the ‘lighter’, or at least lighter feeling, balls they are made to use according to Swiatek.
“Oh my god. Well honestly I don’t like them,” the world number one told reporters after her second round Cincinnati Open win. “Well, I have heard many players actually complaining as well. Women players, because we have different balls than men. I know it sounds weird.
“They fly like crazy. You know, we have really powerful games right now. It’s not like 10 years ago [when] except Serena (Williams), girls, I think they played slower, right?
“Right now we play powerful, and we kind of can’t loosen up our hands with these balls. I know that there are many players who complain, and many of them are top 10.”
Earlier this year, Craig Tyzzer, coach to Ash Barty, even claimed the then world number one had little chance of triumphing at Flushing Meadows with the current tennis balls.
“The US Open really needs to change the ball for the girls. The fact they still use a different ball for guys and girls, it’s a terrible ball for someone like Ash,” he said in January, before Barty retired from the sport. “If they keep that ball the same, no one like Ash will win that tournament.”
Swiatek added that the difference was previously even starker as there was no consistency in balls used across Washington, the Canadian Open, Cincinnati and the US Open, switching between Penn and Wilson.
“But still, I think those balls are horrible, especially after like three games of really hard playing, they get more and more light.” she continued. “I think they are pretty bad, sorry.”
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