US Open: Lighter tennis balls for WTA players

Iga Swiatek criticised US Open decision to use lighter tennis balls for WTA players

Iga Swiatek is unhappy with the scheduling clash between WTA Finals and Billie Jean King Cup

The US Open’s decision to use lighter tennis balls for WTA players has not gone down well with the top stars.

World No 1 Iga Swiatek has criticised the WTA and US Open organisers for the discrimination.

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The US Open is the only Grand Slam where two different types of balls are used for the men’s and women’s tournaments, with the latter using lighter balls.

WTA tournaments during the US Open swing have also experimented with the lighter tennis balls.

“We make more mistakes [with these balls], for sure,” Swiatek said after her 6-4 7-5 win over Sloane Stephens at the Cincinnati Masters.

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“So I don’t think that’s really nice to watch visually I don’t know why they are different than men’s ones.

“Fifteen years ago probably women had some elbow injuries because the balls were heavier and they changed them to women’s balls.

“But right now we are so physically well prepared that I don’t think it would happen.

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“I feel, it’s really hard to control them, but everybody has the same conditions, so we are trying to deal with that.

“They fly like crazy; we have really powerful games right now. I don’t get why they are different, honestly.”

This could be a disadvantage to the harder-hitting players and Swiatek has called on equality in terms of the balls that should be used.

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Paula Badosa, ranked No 4 in the world, agreed with Swiatek.

“They are really unfavorable conditions for the players and for the show,” the Spaniard wrote on social media.

“Then we complain that there are a lot of mistakes and the tactics and intelligence in the points have been lost. (While dealing with) faster courts and uncontrollable balls.”

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