Iga Swiatek praised for opening up on PMS after crushing WTA Finals loss

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Iga Swiatek has been praised for opening up on PMS following a devastating WTA Finals loss that left the world No 9 in tears. The 2020 French Open champion suffered a one-sided loss in her debut match at the season-ending championships and was seen crying at the back of the court. Following her second match at the tournament in Guadalajara, the 20-year-old lifted the lid on why she felt so emotional during the loss.

Swiatek is making her debut at the WTA Finals this week.

The season-ending championship sees the top eight players of the year face off in round-robin group stage matches, looking to make it to the semi-finals and final.

The world No 9 shocked the tennis world by winning the French Open last year, in its postponed October slot, while ranked down at world No 54.

She followed the victory up with a stellar 2021, qualifying for the year-end finals after reaching the second week of all four Majors, and winning her first WTA Tour title in Adelaide, as well as her first WTA 1000 at the Italian Open.

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Making her WTA Finals debut this year, Swiatek was drawn in group Chichén Itzá alongside top seed Aryna Sabalenka, Maria Sakkari, and recent Indian Wells champion Paula Badosa.

The 20-year-old faced fellow debutant Sakkari in her opening match on Thursday (November 11) and suffered a one-sided defeat as the Greek beat her 6-2 6-4.

Towards the end of the match, Swiatek could be seen in tears at the back of the court, and incurred a time violation warning for postponing play while crying.

The world No 9 has now opened up on the reason she was so emotional during her defeat to Sakkari, following another loss to Sabalenka in the group stage.

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“I worked pretty hard the past two days to understand a little bit more of, like, why I felt so bad during the match against Maria,” Swiatek said, speaking after her 6-2 2-6 5-7 loss to the top seed on Saturday (November 13).

“I don’t want to make excuses or something. It’s pretty hard to talk about that because I know in sports it’s not that often. But like PMS really hit me that day.

“I’m telling this for any young girl who doesn’t know what’s going on. Don’t worry, it’s normal. Everybody has it.”

The three-time title winner has since been praised for speaking openly about the struggles of PMS, or pre-menstrual syndrome, in sport.

PMS is the name for symptoms women and those who have periods experience in the weeks leading up to their period.

The NHS says common symptoms include mood swings and feeling upset, anxious or irritable, while physical symptoms can include headaches and bloating.

Swiatek said that, although she lost to Sabalenka in her second group match, she was in a better head space during the three-set defeat.

She continued: “Well, for sure during that match it was a little bit easier for me to get focused and to keep my mind in good mindset. Yeah, I mean, I think I played really good. But for sure. I didn’t have a lot of rhythm because also Aryna is that kind of player that doesn’t let you get that rhythm. I hit a lot of frames, I’m aware of that.

“But looking at how I felt when I came here, two days ago, also yesterday, I feel like I kind of won today, 2-1 maybe, because I won against my stress and a little bit of fear, but I lost against Aryna.

“In the end I’m going to think this is a positive day, and also I can get experience from all that stuff.”
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