Swiatek on board with WTA’s performance byes

Iga Swiatek has voiced support for the reinstatement of performance byes during the WTA’s Asian swing of events, noting that they allow athletes to recuperate and prepare for the following competition after reaching the semifinals of one.

As a result of reaching the Tokyo semifinals the previous week, Jessica Pegula, Maria Sakkari, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, and Veronika Kudermetova all got byes into the second round of the China Open.

Top seeds often receive byes, but the performance criterion meant that world number two Swiatek, who fell in the quarterfinals in Tokyo, advanced to the first round in China.

Aryna Sabalenka, the world’s top player, and Coco Gauff ranked third, did not receive byes since they had not competed since the U.S. Open.

“Since these are the first tournaments I’m competing in where it’s possible to acquire this type of stuff, I didn’t look into this regulation too much. It has, however, been on tour for a while, according to Swiatek.

“I believe it’s shrewd because I know how it is to hurry to another event and not have time to recover and prepare because I often competed in tournaments until the end. I believe that regulation to be appropriate. That guideline, in my opinion, makes sense.

The regulation, which has been in place at various intervals since 2009, did not sit well with Sabalenka, who claimed it was unacceptable for players to get them instead of others who have collected ranking points in prestigious competitions.

While the China Open is a WTA 1000 competition, the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo was a WTA 500 competition.

On Sunday, she stated, “I think you have to earn those byes.” Reuters has contacted the WTA for comment.

Days after criticizing the WTA for implementing performance byes at the tournament, Elena Rybakina withdrew from the Pan Pacific Open last week, claiming fitness concerns.

“Good show bye. I appreciate you modifying the regulations at the last minute. Excellent choices as always @wta,” she said on Instagram.

The former Wimbledon champion is rated lower than Sakkari and Garcia.

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