Since the full-scale invasion by Russia into Ukraine over a year ago, Swiatek has been one the loudest supporters of the Ukrainian cause and has pledged her support by wearing a ribbon on her hat with Ukraine's flag colors. She has also been very vocal during her press conferences and on-court interviews.
Swiatek has previously organized a one-day charitable exhibition tennis tournament in her native Poland, which raised more than $500,000 to benefit Ukrainian youth impacted by the conflict. Since the war began, many athletes began wearing ribbons of blue and yellow, but Swiatek has remained one of the very few non-Ukrainians still donning those colors.
But at the China Open, many fans were quick to notice that wasn't the case, which raised a few questions. One of them is whether it had anything to do with the current relations between Poland and Ukraine which have turned sour in recent weeks.
Poland has been Ukraine's staunchest ally and its biggest cheerleader in combating the Russian attacks. But last month, Poland cut its supply of firearms to its embattled neighbor, with its President, Andrzej Duda making the sensational comparison of Ukraine to that of 'a drowning person'.
Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki explained further that Poland was prioritizing its own defense in the future. Very recently, Poland banned Ukrainian grain imports, a move that has created diplomatic tension, with Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky being one of the chief critics.
Obviously, at this stage, it is only mere speculation if Swiatek might actually have been following the news much more closely and decided to take down the ribbons on the side of the hat as a patriotic move.
It will be interesting to see if she is able to clear this up during her post-match press conference after winning the China Open on Sunday.