Misc Tennis

PTPA seeks third-party review of ‘breakdowns’ at WTA Finals

Sabalenka earns rain-interrupted quarterfinal win at WTA Finals

The Professional Tennis Players Association has asked the WTA to co-commission an independent, third-party investigation into the “numerous glaring breakdowns” that occurred at the recently concluded WTA Finals in Cancun, Mexico.

The PTPA extended its invitation in a statement Wednesday, two days after the completion of the WTA Finals, saying the goal is to “ensure these mistakes do not continue.”

The year-end tournament, which featured the top eight singles players and doubles teams, was marred by mishaps, including the stadium not being completed until the day before competition got underway, subpar court conditions, and frequent weather delays and near-constant wind.

“The recently concluded WTA Finals not only disappointed players and fans, but also cast a shadow over the sport of tennis and women’s sports in general,” the PTPA said. “Last week, the PTPA chose to remain silent out of respect for the dedicated players who put in a year of hard work to get there, and the local organizers unfairly trapped in an impossible situation. Now that the event is behind us, we hereby invite the WTA to co-commission an independent, third-party report that delves into the numerous glaring breakdowns that occurred over the past several months.”

The PTPA asked for a response from the WTA within 10 days.

Cancun was officially announced as the host city for the event in September, about six weeks before play was scheduled to get underway and amid player complaints about the delay in the reveal.

As the temporary stadium needed to be built, it left little time for preparations and was not yet complete by the time players arrived on site. Several complained about the lack of practice time they were given before play began. After her opening match, Aryna Sabalenka, the tournament’s top seed and the reigning Australian Open champion, said players “don’t even feel safe to move on this court,” later adding on Instagram that “the bounce is not consistent at all.”

“I have to say though that I am very disappointed with the WTA and the experience so far at the WTA Finals,” Sabalenka wrote in a now expired Instagram story. “As I said in my press conference tonight, as a player I really feel disrespected by the WTA. I think most of us do. This is not the level of organization we expect for the Finals.”

In an interview Wednesday with ESPN, Ahmad Nassar, the PTPA’s executive director, added that the organization heard from “nearly all” of the participating players…

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