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Iga Swiatek gives her take on men's vs women's tennis after Aryna Sabalenka comments

Iga Swiatek has shared her thoughts on the ongoing debate comparing men’s and women’s tennis. The discussion was reignited when Aryna Sabalenka expressed her preference for watching the ATP Tour over her WTA rivals ahead of the Madrid Open.

Swiatek triumphed over Sabalenka in a thrilling final, scoring 7-5 4-6 7-6 (9-7), mirroring last year’s finale. In the post-match press conference, she was asked about the quality of female tennis compared to the male game.

Swiatek said: “Well, I think, you know, obviously if we would have to play against a man, we would lose. It’s not about that. It’s about how two players, you know, match against each other. So I think we can play great matches.

“You know, I’m No. 1, but I’m seeing these girls in the top 10; we can play such intense battles. I think it’s all about, you know, what emotions it brings in people, and I think it’s not that you should compare, you know, the level of tennis, but you should compare, like, what it gives you when you watch it. I think people can take a lot from watching women’s tennis, and it can be interesting and emotional.”

Sabalenka later clarified her comments at the start of the tournament.

“I didn’t want to damage women’s tennis, no,” she said after her first-round match. “Listen, I mean, we are doing our best and, great, there are lots of great matches.

“I don’t like to watch it just because I play against all of them, and I just want to kind of like change the picture, and because I watch lots of women’s tennis before I go to the match, I watch my opponents, I watch lots of woman’s tennis.

“It’s not like I don’t like it, you know, like I try to offend what I do, you know. I was just trying to say that because I’m playing there and it’s too much for me, I’m just trying to watch men’s tennis. For me, it’s more fun, you know, than watching my probably, like, future opponents in the tournament.”

Coco Gauff also spoke about her viewing preferences during the tournament. “I watch women’s tennis, like, all the time,” she said. I will say, when I was younger it was the only tennis I watched. I honestly only knew Roger [Federer], Rafa [Nadal], and Novak [Djokovic] at that time, and I didn’t even watch them play.

“So then when I got more into the sport and I started playing junior tournaments and being at the Slams with the guys, then I was like, ‘maybe I’ll watch them.’ And still, I would only watch Roger, Rafa, and Novak – actually, I did watch [Juan Martin] Del Potro a little bit.

“Just being in the sport, I watched my quote-unquote competition and my idols. Now as a player on tour, I just watch tennis a lot more, in general, than I did probably when I first got on the tour. I just enjoy the game whether it’s men or women playing.”


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