Iga Swiatek amid controversy over ‘illegal’ act

Iga Swiatek waved her arms in an apparent attempt to distract Lauren Davis. Photo: Getty/Eurosport

Tennis legend John McEnroe has called Iga Swiatek to call into question a controversial moment that included the World No. 1 at the US Open.

Swiatek took her first test She was removed from the tournament by Lauren Davis on Saturday, but won her last five matches to win 6-3 6-4 in the third round match.

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The number 1 in the world went on Consecutive victories 37 games earlier this year for titles at Roland Garros, Doha, Indian Wells, Miami and Rome.

But she lost four games during the hard court season, with question marks over her level at Flushing Meadows.

She also raised eyebrows in the second set against Davis when she tried to distract her opponent during a rally.

After Swiatek hit a half-mid ball that left Davis staring at an easy winner, Swiatek threw her arms in the air in an apparent attempt to fend off her opponent.

Although it didn’t work out and Davis still managed to get the win, commentators were less impressed.

One Eurosport commentator said: “It’s something you do in junior tennis. It’s not something you do if you are number 1 in the world.”

Iga Swiatek, pictured here at the US Open.

Iga Swiatek’s controversial tactic has been heavily criticized. Photo: Eurosport

McEnroe later said, “I don’t know anything about it. I don’t think it’s legal…that’s just a little below the belt.”

“The last time I saw it was when I was playing in 1986 I think and [Mansour] Bahrami came and served, and he opened his hands wide and said: Strike me. And my partner, Peter Fleming, hit him in the forehead. And I said: It’s a joke, that guy! I don’t understand what he’s doing. This is serious.’

Bahrami was like, ‘Good shot Peter, good shot! “He loved her. I don’t think Swiatek should do that. She’s pretty good it seems… but she’ll learn. She’s 21”

Former world number seven Barbara Sheet added: “It’s a bit exciting, isn’t it? I remember Jo-Wilfried Tsonga doing it but it’s actually distracting to the opponent.”

Fans were also quick to condemn the controversial tactic.

After three straight sets of victories in New York, Swiatek faces young German incoming Jule Niemeier.

“I couldn’t find my rhythm today,” Swiatek said in her court interview.

“I try to enjoy every match even when it’s not perfect. I just try to find it. I try to find solutions in every situation.”

Niemeyer boosted her journey to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon by reaching the last 16 in her first major draw match in New York, defeating China’s Zeng Chenwen 6-4, 7-6 (7-5).

Azarenka and Kvitova advance at the US Open

Meanwhile, Petra Kvitova said she was inspired by Serena Williams to beat Spain’s Garbine Muguruza to reach the fourth round.

A tense standoff between the two grand slam champions saw Kvitova salvaging match points to force a tiebreak before ultimately winning on Saturday 5-7 6-3 7-6 (12-10).

“I didn’t want to get out of this tournament, so I was just hanging there somehow,” said the Czech, whose tears were at the end.

“(Muguruza) was playing really hard too. Me too…so I’ve been trying to try to do that with that first serve or aces.”

Three-time finalist Victoria Azarenka lost her 6-3, 6-0 victory over Petra Martic.

Last year’s US Open was all about the rise of teens Emma Radocano and Lila Fernandez, and Kvitova is delighted to see the 30s hold her title this time around.

“I am very happy for myself, for Vika (Azarenka), and for this kind of age,” Kvitova said.

“It feels good because we’ve been on the Tour for so many years, and I’m just glad we’re still able to manage it and take on the younger generation.

with AAP

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