Tennis divas ring siren on Cancún court


Tennis court in Cancún not suitable for high level tennis Image: Plaza de Toros Cancún, Sharon Hahn Darlin, CC BY 2.0

The women’s tennis tour defended the court built for the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Finals as meeting its “strict performance standards” after top-ranked Aryna Sabalenka called the conditions at the season-ending championship “another level of disrespect”.

‘’ stated that at least two of the eight singles players at the event took issue with the temporary outdoor hard court in Cancún (Mexico), including that it was not ready earlier to allow for more practice time before the competition.

St. Petersburg (US)-based the Women’s Tennis Association is the principal organizing body of women’s professional tennis. It governs the WTA Tour which is the worldwide professional tennis tour for women and was founded to create a better future for women’s tennis.

The 2023 WTA Finals was the professional women’s championship tennis tournament run by the Women’s Tennis Association. It was held in Cancún (Mexico) from October 29th-November 5th, 2023.

Aryna Siarhiejeŭna Sabalenka is a Belarusian professional tennis player. She has been ranked World No. 1 in singles and has also been World No. 1 in doubles by the Women’s Tennis Association.

‘’ quoted Sabalenka as stating, “Honestly, it’s another level of disrespect from the WTA for the players, because sometimes they don’t even feel safe to move on this court. Thank you for this challenge I’m facing right now, to kind of like learn how to adapt quick to the conditions. Thank you for that. But this is not something I expect from such a high-level tournament.”

Sabalenka won the Australian Open in January and took over as World Number One after finishing runner-up to Coco Gauff (American tennis player) at the US Open in September.

Another player who was in action in Cancún, 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina fumed, “About the court, I don’t really want to talk, but of course, it’s not good … Everything was late and [there was] no time to fix anything.”

The venue for this year’s WTA Finals was not announced until last month, under a one-year agreement with Cancún.

The women’s tour said in a statement, “We’re pleased to host the WTA Finals in Cancún for the first time and worked hard to construct a stadium where the world’s top eight women’s tennis players and doubles teams compete head-to-head. The team has worked diligently on an expedited timeline amid weather challenges to ensure the stadium and court meets our strict performance standards.”

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