Billie Jean King is disappointed with Iga Swiatek’s decision to skip the prestigious team event named after her.
The Billie Jean King Cup finals will commence on November 8, just a day after the ongoing WTA Finals is set to conclude.
Swiatek was due to represent her native Poland in the finals, but claimed she would be unable to recover in time after the season-ending championships, which is being held in Fort Worth, Texas this year. The world number one said it was a tough decision for her to make and while King understands the choice she made, the American stated she would have opted for a different approach.
“I can totally understand her reasoning,” King said. “I personally wouldn’t agree with it. But you know what? It’s about her. She’s the one that’s having to deal with reality now; I don’t. We’ll miss her.”
“I would have liked her to wait a little longer, because you never know how you’re going to do,” the tennis legend added. “I mean, you just don’t know. And this is where you have to figure out for yourself what’s important to you. For me, this would be a no-brainer.”
Swiatek, who has dominated the WTA Tour for most of the year, breezed through her opening group encounter against Daria Kasatkina 6-2, 6-3. She has captured eight titles this season, including two grand slams, and it would take almost a miracle for the 21-year-old to lose before the knockout stages.
Post-match the Swiatek expressed her disappointment with the lack of fans that have attended the matches at the 14,000-seater Dickies Arena so far. “Hopefully we are going to see a full house soon, but yeah,” she said in her post-match interview.
Tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg stressed that the clash with Halloween was a big reason for the low attendance figures and stressed that things would pick up throughout the week. “WTA Finals in Fort Worth look good, and the ~1,000 fans in attendance are very engaged,” he wrote on Twitter.
“It’s just a question of if more crowd will show up as word gets out about an event that was only announced last month. Not going to judge solely by a Halloween night crowd on a Monday.” Switaek will play her second group match against Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia tonight.