DAfter her third triumph at the French Open, the Pole Iga Swiatek called on other players to unite against the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine. “My support goes to all Ukrainians because I know their situation is not easy. If I were in their shoes, I honestly wouldn’t know if I could compete,” said the 22-year-old after winning the final of the classic clay court in Paris on Saturday. The tennis community should together “do everything to stop Russian aggression”.
As a sign of support, Swiatek always plays with a small Ukraine flag on her cap. She and other sports stars raised money for young Ukrainian victims of Russia’s war of aggression at a charity event in Kraków last year. “I really respect them,” Swiatek said of the Ukrainians, “and I want to focus on doing what’s right for them.” The world number one defeated them 6-2, 5-7, 6-4 in the final Karolina Muchova from the Czech Republic won.
The background to the question to Swiatek in the subsequent press conference on the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine was the debate about Aryna Sabalenka at the French Open. The Belarusian’s attitude towards the war and the Belarusian ruler Alexander Lukashenko had repeatedly caused controversy during the tournament. At times she did not give a press conference, then distanced herself from Lukashenko and repeatedly stated that she did not support the war. You heard about the debate, reported Swiatek. During the tournament, however, she mostly stays in her bubble, doesn’t use many social networks and doesn’t read much.
After Swiatek’s success in Paris, there was also broad media coverage in Poland and the Czech Republic. The reactions at a glance:
“Przyglad Sportowy”: “Yeah! Iga Swiatek is the Roland Garros tennis champion! This game had it all. Nice exchange of blows, dramatic twists and a happy ending.”
“Superexpress”: “Nobody expected that. Iga Swiatek cried after her win at Roland Garros.”
“Rzeczpospolita”: “Iga Swiatek is still in charge in Paris.”
“Gazeta Wyborcza”: “Iga Swiatek is the Queen of Paris! Crime in the Roland Garros final.”
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda on Twitter: “Big day for Polish tennis in Paris! The great Iga Swiatek has won the Roland Garros tournament for the third time!!! After three sets of an extremely exciting final, the RG Cup is back in the hands of the Pole! Bravo! Bravo! Congratulations and thank you! Iga Swiatek remains the leader of the WTA rankings with a lead of now 928 points! WOW!”
Prime Minister of Poland Mateusz Morawiecki on Twitter: “There can only be one queen! Paris has been conquered for the third time! Congratulations, Iga Swiatek”
“Blesk.cz”: “The fighter Muchova could not defeat Swiatek, but silver suits her well.”
“iDnes.cz”: “Muchova reached for a sensational victory, but at the Stade Roland Garros she could not bring her revolt to an end.”
“Sport.cz”: “The world number one Swiatek remains Queen of Paris.”
Aktualne.cz: Muchova – Swiatek 1:2. The Czech fought to the last breath, but the trophy goes to the Pole.”