World No. 1 Iga Swiatek has spoken out about the hand-waving incident that provoked a backlash earlier this month and caused tennis fans to call for her to be penalized for hindrance.
Swiatek won her eighth title of the season a fortnight ago when she defeated Donna Vekic in the final of the San Diego Open.
However, the Pole was accused of hindrance after she was seen, while facing a break point, waving her hands at the net in what looked like an attempt to distract Vekic while she was attempting to return the ball.
Swiatek has faced accusations of hindrance many times before in her career, including at the US Open last month.
In a recent interview with Sport.pl Swiatek addressed the behaviour, describing it as something that she does involuntarily in stressful moments but is working on controlling it so that it doesn’t happen again.
‘’I can't control it, but I hope it will never happen again,’’ Swiatek said.
‘’We are working on it. It is a stress reaction to what is happening. It is an involuntary reaction. I did it during the US Open, and as I recall it was a stressful moment.’’
‘’In San Diego, I did it unconsciously. Right after the game I approached Donna and apologized, she had no hard feelings, it turned out she didn't recall this at all.’’
Swiatek also acknowledged the viral response to the incident, adding that she hopes fans will understand her.
‘’I hope fans will understand me as well. I'm aware of the many negative comments on the internet concerning this incident. I'm not proud of the fact, that sometimes I'm not in control of what I do on the court.’’
Swiatek will be back in action next week at the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, Texas where she is favourite to win the tournament for the first time in her career.
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