'That's atrocious': Tennis world rages over 'ridiculous' farce

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Women's tennis World No.1 Iga Swiatek (pictured right) during a press conference and (pictured left) Paula Badosa going to training.
Fans have let rip after World No.1 Iga Swiatek (pictured right) won't play her quarter-final in Rome on Centre Court, while lower ranked players such as Paula Badosa (pictured left) will. (Getty Images)

The tennis world has reacted with disbelief as unstoppable World No.1 Iga Swiatek was scheduled to play on the second court at the Italian Open against former grand slam champion Bianca Andreescu.

Swiatek has been in mercurial form since the Australian Open having won four consecutive WTA titles and clinching the World No.1 ranking.

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The Polish 21-year-old is bidding for a fifth consecutive title and began her match with a slew of errors on Thursday and trailed 3-0, but battled back to claim a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Victoria Azarenka.

Swiatek's victory marked her 25th straight win in a row, becoming just the fifth woman since 2000 to go on such a strong run.

Next up for the Pole is former US Open winner Bianca Andreescu.

Andreescu only returned to the WTA Tour a few months ago, but has been making great strides on clay.

She hasn't dropped a set in Rome and said she is looking forward to the match against Swiatek.

However, tennis fans were quick to notice that the Italian Open had scheduled the dynamo clash on Grand Stand Arena.

Instead of the World No.1 playing on Centre Court, World No.3 Aryna Sabalenka and American Amanda Animisova will play at 11am.

This will be followed by Rafa Nadal conquerer Denis Shapovalov and local hero Janick Sinner.

Spanish star Paula Badosa and Jil Tiechmann will play later at night on Centre Court.

Men's World No.1 Novak Djokovic will also feature later that night.

The scheduling certainly had many questioning why Swiatek didn't deserve to be on Centre Court, while lower ranked WTA stars such as Badosa get priority.

Iga Swiatek advances

Swiatek was happy how she reacted to her unusual unforced errors in the Round of 32, before bouncing back to storm home.

"For sure I didn't start well, and everybody could see that," admitted Swiatek.

"But I'm really happy with the way I reacted and how I improved in the first set.

"Also how different the second set looked to the first one because I could really reset and really change the way I played. That's the most positive thing for me."

Iga Swiatek (pictured) reacting to a point against Victoria Azarenka at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia.
Iga Swiatek (pictured) defeated Victoria Azarenka at the Internazionali BNL D'Italia. (Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

The last player to win more consecutive matches than Swiatek was Serena Williams, who had a streak of 27 in a row over 2014 and 2015.

"It doesn't really matter for me because every match is different," Swiatek shrugged.

"In many matches, I struggled this season, even though I won them. Anything can happen. Every match is a different story."

Her run makes her outstanding favourite to win a second French Open, which gets under way in 10 days.

When Swiatek won at Roland Garros in 2020 she was ranked No.54, making her the lowest-ranked woman to win the Paris major in the Open era.

with AAP

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