After her Australian Open first-round match in which Iga Swiatek defeated Sofia Kenin 7-6(2) 6-2, Swiatek was asked an inappropriate question by a reporter in the post-match press conference. The question had to do with Alexander Zverev, an ATP player facing domestic violence charges in his native Germany. The last time I looked, Swiatek does not live in Germany nor does she play on the ATP side of tennis.
The issue, however, is that Zverev, the No. 6 ranked player on the ATP tour who is facing trial for allegedly abusing his former girlfriend, is on the ATP Players Advisory Council. This is the kind of council one would assume those of good character would participate in. Zverev has not been found legally guilty of the alleged abuse yet, but he was given a penalty order and fined by a German court this past November.
The Players Advisory Council is voted on by one's peers on the ATP tour. The ATP, however, could choose to disqualify or remove a player from the Council. This has not happened, of course, and the ATP has not comented on the Zverev issue.
Iga Swiatek gives perfect answer to Alexander Zverev question
This brings us back to Swiatek, the top-ranked player on the WTA tour. The question asked by the reporter was, "It was confirmed overnight that Alexander Zverev will face a trial in Germany of domestic violence charges. Is it appropriate that he continues to serve on the players council while that happens or continues to play until that is resolved?"
While there is nothing wrong with the question, the setting in which it was asked and the player being asked were inappropriate. Swiatek has no vote in who is on the ATP Players Advisory Council. Any answer she might have given might end up in criticism of her even though she has nothing to do with the Zverev charges and impending trial.
Still, Iga Swiatek did give an answer in which she said, "Any answer that I give, I mean, there's no good answer to that. I think it's up to ATP what they decide. For sure it's not good when a player who's facing charges like that is kind of being promoted...you'd have to ask ATP what they want to do with (the Zverev situation) because I am not in the right position to judge."
Perfect answer. Swiatek was aware that her answer could have been interpreted many different ways, but she also said what many would agree with: A player facing the kinds of charges Zverev is facing likely should not be in a position of advising others until he is cleared of the charges in which he has already been fined. But the ATP is all about image and money and not truly what is best for the future of men's tennis.