Top-ranked women’s tennis pro Iga Swiatek is calling out internet trolls.
During a press conference after her fourth-round victory over Zheng Qinwen at the Western and Southern Open in Cincinnati Thursday, Swiatek revealed she and her team have received an overwhelming amount of online hate despite winning her match.
“Today’s match wasn’t perfect, and we all saw that. But the amount of hate and criticism that me and my team get after even losing a set is just ridiculous,” she said. “I want to encourage people to be more thoughtful when they comment on the internet.”
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The 22-year-old world No. 1 even pleaded with members of the media to “help us make it happen.”
“We all sacrifice a lot, and we are all working really hard to be in that place. We are always giving 100% of what we can do every day,” she added.
“It's kind of sad for me to see that people I work with and myself, we are really judged. I would like to encourage people to be more thoughtful and to also focus on the positive side of what we are doing, because today, even though I didn't start the match well, I would love for people to see how I problem-solved and how I really got out of trouble.”
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Swiatek, who has never reached the quarterfinals of the Cincinnati tournament, dropped her first set against Zheng but came back to win 3-6, 6-1, 6-1.
“I’m doing a lot of work – physically and mentally. Also off court, I’m trying to be the best kind of player and person as possible. I just wanted to encourage people on the internet to be more positive and also to see the positive side of what we’re doing.”
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Swiatek advanced to the semifinal round after defeating 10th-seeded Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets on Friday and will face No. 7 seed Coco Gauff.