Tennis fans had a field day with the news of Czech player Karolina Pliskova withdrawing from the 2023 Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships before her quarterfinal match against Polish star Iga Swiatek.
Swiatek’s dominant performances over the past year have garnered everyone’s attention. She powered through to the title at the 2023 Qatar TotalEnergies Open last week without dropping a set.
With Pliskova’s withdrawal, fans are drawing parallels to the Qatar Open, where Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic also withdrew before her quarterfinal match against Swiatek.
Sports journalist Reem Abulleil took to Twitter to share the news of Pliskova’s withdrawal.
“Karolina Pliskova has withdrawn from @DDFTennis with a viral illness. Iga Swiatek receives a walkover into the semi-finals where she will face Madison Keys or Coco Gauff,” Abulleil tweeted.
This incited varied reactions from fans as they speculated whether Pliskova’s illness was genuine and joked that she did not want to bear the brunt of the Pole’s ruthless game. They also joked that Pliskova did not want to be double bagelled, reminiscing about the 2021 Rome Masters final where Swiatek defeated Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 in the summit clash.
Below are some of the fans’ reactions to Pliskova’s withdrawal:
she didn’t wanna get double bagelled again honestly relatable queen i cant even be mad https://t.co/8NLdpsnNA1
— 🧑🌾🛸 (@butterflierer) February 22, 2023
They running from Iga 😂
Bencic last week Pliskova this week
— David Kaposi (@kaposi_david) February 22, 2023
Another walkover 😂 Go Iga!
I hope Pliskova gets better 🙏🏻 https://t.co/sFGzAD8dxX
— Willy (@willyggh) February 22, 2023
She remembered the Rome final and caught a cold.😂 https://t.co/XMHXVoA1ad
— thatguy (@Zenneitt) February 22, 2023
Ayo. 😂 Not another walkover. https://t.co/W5tBM5KLMA
— Donnelle 🤙🏾 (@iAmNELLEZ_) February 22, 2023
These foolish babe is running from another double bagel https://t.co/J3nyuIO8Kv
— Efere nkuwa (@NgbaruMmiri) February 22, 2023
we all know she doesn’t want to lose 0-6 0-6 again💀💀 https://t.co/oVfHUxorMM
— luiz (@lf__zampieri) February 22, 2023
egg being the viral illness ? everyone terrified of her lmaoo https://t.co/HGCVZCqIsq
— matteo♏️ (@IgaSwiatekOUT) February 22, 2023
the girls walking into matches with zero confidence and therefore put in no effort bc they know they cant beat her from the second the match starts https://t.co/QrP7sMLoLL
— ♋️ ♐️ ♐️ (@oompheasant) February 22, 2023
girl i would to if i had to play iga https://t.co/SIMny34tkN
— viv!! (@taylrfritz) February 22, 2023
As if she’s not already unbeatable, Iga gets another walkover … crazy https://t.co/YnfVr87Wc9
— Matt Kalman (@MattKalman) February 22, 2023
They’re scared of playing Iga now 💀 https://t.co/kFtqpmDrB0
— ★ 🇵🇱 (@Shiroi2_0) February 22, 2023
You won’t lose the match with Iga if you don’t show up, wise thinking Karolina 😉 https://t.co/qDy6g4RoRH
— ɐʞıuoɹǝʍ (@deucegirlie) February 22, 2023
the girls are scared omfg https://t.co/Rx3dUVbJUp
— MOLCAN STAN ACCOUNT (@JankovicWonIW15) February 22, 2023
i would do the same honestly https://t.co/TeZNnAEQzy
— k (@roraboreal) February 22, 2023
“She is different” – Andy Murray on Iga Swiatek’s dominance
Tennis star Andy Murray has taken note of Iga Swiatek’s dominant performances in the Middle East, with the World No. 1 winning the Qatar TotalEnergies Open on Saturday, February 18, and now reaching the semifinals of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
Journalist Jose Morgado compiled a list of scores from Swiatek’s last five matches, in which she has dropped just eight games, all against previous Grand Slam finalists and top-20 players.
“”Iga Swiatek beats Liudmila Samsonova 6-1, 6-0 to reach the QFs in Dubai. That’s 5 consecutive wins in Middle East losing a total of 8 games. 6-0, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1, 6-0. All the player she beat were top 20 or former GS finalists. Unbelievable,” Morgado tweeted.
Iga Swiatek beats Liudmila Samsonova 6-1, 6-0 to reach the QFs in Dubai.
That’s 5 consecutive wins in Middle East losing a total of 8 games.
6-0, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1, 6-3, 6-0, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1, 6-0.
All the player she beat were top 20 or former GS finalists.
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) February 22, 2023
It wasn’t long before Andy Murray reacted to Morgado’s tweet.
“She is different,” Murray tweeted.
She is different 🔥 https://t.co/sZFbjHJDYh
— Andy Murray (@andy_murray) February 22, 2023
Swiatek reacted to Murray’s tweet, calling him a role model and thanking him for everything he has done for tennis.
“And you are a resilience role model and an inspiration on do many levels.Thank you for everything that you do for this sport,” she tweeted.
And you are a resilience role model and an inspiration on do many levels. ☺️💪🏼
Thank you for everything that you do for this sport.
— Iga Świątek (@iga_swiatek) February 22, 2023
The 21-year-old is gunning for her 13th WTA title in Dubai and will play either Coco Gauff or Madison Keys in the semifinals on Friday, February 24.