World No.1 Iga Swiatek blows up at rival who wore Russian football jersey at Indian Wells – as she slams women’s tour for allowing ‘chaos’ to grow in the locker room over Ukraine invasion

Defending champion and world No. 1 Iga Swiatek has hit out at Russian tennis star Anastasia Potapova after she wore a controversial Russian football jersey onto the court at Indian Wells.

Potapova arrived on the court wearing a Spartak Moscow jersey for her third-round clash with Jessica Pegula, which she lost 6-3 4-6 5-7.

The 21-year-old, who competes under a neutral flag because of her nation’s invasion of Ukraine, drew the ire of fans and commentators alike who believed her choice of attire was in poor taste given Russia is at war with Ukraine.

Swiatek ripped into the Russian athlete when asked to comment on the matter at a press conference.

‘To be honest, I was surprised because I thought the player realized that she should not, even if she is a fan of the team, show her views in this way at such times,’ said the Polish star.

Swiatek then revealed that she’d already discussed the situation with the WTA, which assured her that they will communicate with players about not promoting Russian teams.

‘I’ve talked to the WTA and in a way I found out that there should be less such situations because they will explain to other players that you can’t promote any Russian teams these days, which reassured me a bit,’ she said.

‘On the other hand, I think these situations unfortunately happen because this announcement should have taken place much earlier. There was a lot of chaos in the locker room at the beginning of the war.

‘It was not clear how to approach everything, which causes such unpleasant situations. I think if there had been better leadership from the beginning, maybe we would have avoided such situations.’

Many in the tennis world were quick to congratulate Swiatek for calling her Russian rival out.


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