Womens Tennis

Unfiltered and unapologetic, Magda Linette committed to authenticity

Unfiltered and unapologetic, Magda Linette committed to authenticity

ROME — As a recent addition to the Top 20, Magda Linette displays remarkable humility.

When complimented for her crucial net skills that contributed to her opening victory against highly regarded 18-year-old Linda Noskova at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, she demurs. 

“Well, she pulled me in with good drop shots — I was lucky that I was reading her shots well,” Linette said.

But there’s still a quiet, hard-won confidence about Linette these days. She’s blossoming on court at the age of 31 after making her first Grand Slam semifinal at the Australian Open. Off court, she’s standing up for issues she cares about, writing thoughtful posts on self-worth and body image on social media.

The seeds of both were planted in the WTA Players’ Council, on which Linette has served since 2021 alongside peers such as Jessica Pegula and Victoria Azarenka.

“I learned so much from all the girls, and I don’t think they realize how much they helped me on court,” Linette said. “I really had to do things I was not very comfortable with in the Players’ Council. I had to speak up sometimes, which was really difficult for me. But I felt that transition into confidence on court.”

Why did Linette stand for the role in the first place?

“When the pandemic started, I had a couple points and ideas,” she said. “I didn’t like how some things were happening, and I wanted some changes. I did not have full knowledge, either. I approached people from the WTA, and they asked me whether I would run for the council. So that was the first bit of it.

“The second was that I know I’m not going to play tennis forever. I wanted to do some kind of social work, a bit different to tennis. I wanted to gain experience being able to speak up and argue points. I thought there’d be no better practice than the Players’ Council, in the subjects I’m familiar with.”

Consequently, Linette, who takes on Beatriz Haddad Maia on Saturday in Rome, is now coming into her own both as a player and a person standing up for what she believes in. The phrase “being true to myself” crops up a lot in conversation with her, and she’s passionate about the need to live authentically.

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