Iga Swiatek earns support of Serena Williams’ ex-coach after Madrid Open scheduling comment

Serena Williams’ former coach Rennae Stubbs has defended World No. 1 Iga Swiatek following her comments on the scheduling of matches at the Madrid Open.

Swiatek finished runner-up in Madrid, losing to World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka in the final, which marked her first loss on clay this season. In the runner-up speech, Swiatek commented about the late scheduling of matches at the event, stating it wasn’t “fun to play at 1 am in the night.”

The comments drew some criticism online, with one user saying that the scheduling is necessary for the tournament to maximize revenue. In reply, Stubbs asked if Carlos Alcaraz played a single match second in the night session.

“Did Alcaraz play one match second at night?” she asked.
Rennae Stubbs ????????????
Rennae Stubbs ????????????
@OpenCourt @AnjaLovesTennis @Tennis_Majors Did Alcaraz play one match second at night?

When the user responded by saying that the broadcasters decided the schedule, Stubbs quickly pointed out that they merely put in a request and that the ATP, WTA, and the tournament decides the schedule.

“TV does NOT decide, they request. The tournament director then works with the TV networks, the WTA & the ATP. They then decide based on many different factors,” wrote Stubbs correcting the fan.

The user then said that Iga Swiatek’s comments were a violation of the rules against criticizing a tournament. In reply, Stubbs said that several players have done it and Swiatek has done nothing wrong. The 52-year-old coach also added that while Novak Djokovic may have said that TV decides the schedule, it is not true.

“come on! Do u know how many players have said things that are not positive publicly about a tournament. This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. I can assure u the WTA will NOT be fining Iga. Also, Novak may have said it but u repeated it and u know its not true,” she wrote.

Iga Swiatek went down to Aryna Sabalenka in the 2023 Madrid Open final. The Pole did not mince words during the presentation ceremony, stating it was not “fun” to play at 1 am during the night session.

“It’s not fun to play at 1 am though, so I’m happy anyway that I was able to get past this experience and survive and be in the final,” Swiatek said.

The defeat marked the Pole’s first on clay in 2023. Her win-loss record for the season stands at 25-5 so far. She also leads 5-3 in her head-to-head record against Sabalenka, and 3-1 on clay.


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