Angry world No. 1 Iga Swiatek scolds an overzealous fan who crossed the line at the Australian Open

Furious world No. 1 Iga Swiatek scolds an overzealous fan who crossed the line and hit her with a ball after her Australian Open win – before blaming Ash Barty for her success

  • Swiatek escaped a scare on Monday night when he defeated Germany’s Jule Niemeier
  • The Poliosh star then took the time to sign autographs for fans of the world number 1
  • A fan threw a ball that hit her and wagged her finger for her troubles
  • Swiatek also thanked retired Australian Champion Ash Barty for being her inspiration

Polish world No. 1 Iga Swiatek was bullied after her magnificent escape in round one of the Australian Open, but she had to remind Australian fans to treat players with patience and respect.

Open officials breathed a sigh of relief after the Polish ace clinched a 6-4, 7-5 win over Germany’s Jule Niemeier in the first round on Monday night.

On a day they lost the men’s drawcard player Nick Kyrgios to a knee injury, Swiatek seemed in danger of joining the superstar exodus before delivering four straight games in the second set to clinch the win seal.

After the game, the Polish star took time out to sign autographs for a crowd of fans, but one got a little too excited.

When Swiatek signed novel giant tennis balls, one fan decided the quickest way to get his ball to the star was to throw it.

She dodged quickly but the ball hit her in the middle, causing Swiatek to wiggle his finger towards the fan and utter some angry words.

Swiatek takes time out to sign autographs for fans after her narrow first-round win at the Australian Open on Monday

Swiatek takes time out to sign autographs for fans after her narrow first-round win at the Australian Open on Monday

She then got angry at an overzealous fan who threw a ball at her to get an autograph, causing her to dodge

She then got angry at an overzealous fan who threw a ball at her to get an autograph, causing her to dodge

To their credit, Swiatek retrieved the ball and signed for the fan.

In another stylish moment, Swiatek also praised retired champion Ash Barty as a constant inspiration.

On a day they lost the men’s drawcard player Nick Kyrgios to a knee injury, Swiatek seemed in danger of joining the superstar exodus before delivering four straight games in the second set to clinch the win seal.

Swiatek then paid tribute to Barty, whom the 21-year-old had replaced at the top of the rankings following the Australian great’s surprise retirement last March.

She said the 2022 Open title winner, who will be at Melbourne Park to support local youngster Olivia Gadecki and potentially present the trophy to the new champion, has helped take her game to new heights.

“Last year when I lost to them in Adelaide, I thought, ‘I have to do everything I can to learn how to get that slice back and deal with the rhythm change,'” Swiatek said.

“I was very, very motivated over the next few months. I’m really thankful for that.

“She’s just such a huge inspiration and the way she acts she’s so classy.

Swiatek of Poland reacts to the conversion of match point against Jule Niemeier of Germany in their first round match on day one of the Australian Open 2023 at Melbourne Park

Swiatek of Poland reacts to the conversion of match point against Jule Niemeier of Germany in their first round match on day one of the Australian Open 2023 at Melbourne Park

Swiatek has replaced retired Australian champion Ash Barty as world No. 1 and credits the Queenslander with an inspiration

Swiatek has replaced retired Australian champion Ash Barty as world No. 1 and credits the Queenslander with an inspiration

“It just seemed like she really enjoyed competing and taking on a challenge, which I really admire because sometimes a challenge for me is something I get rather nervous about.

“So I really wanted to have that mindset and it really inspired me to work on myself.”

It was Swiatek’s first game since leaving the Adelaide International with a shoulder injury after being left in tears by America’s Jessica Pegula 6-2, 6-2 at the United Cup.

Next, Swiatek meets Colombian Camila Osorio on Wednesday.

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Maureen Mackey

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