World No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka is not happy with the leadership of the WTA. Sabalenka and seven others in the Top 10 are in Cancun this week for the WTA Finals. The city was a late move due to complications with deals in Saudi Arabia, China and the Czech Republic, and ultimately with less than two months to prepare, Cancun was chosen.
The site was slated to be ready last week before the arrival of the star players, but the stadium court only became playable the day before the Sunday start. Sabalenka was not pleased.
“I’m not happy that we couldn’t practice on the match court, meaning like on the stadium.,” she said Saturday. “I think this is not the level for the WTA Finals. We literally have one hour today, like 45 minutes, to try the stadium. This is something what I’m not happy with. I’m pretty sure the rest of the players also not happy.
“At the same time, yes, I know we’re all in the same conditions. But this is not conditions for the WTA Finals. So, yeah, it’s not great. I mean, usually we need like three to four days to kind of like adjust to conditions.
“I guess it is how it is. But I hope that next year WTA will do better job.”
Sabalenka then doubled down on Instagram, saying “I don’t feel safe on this court.”
“my first WTA finals is not at all what i imagined,” she posted on Instagram. “we work hard all year to get to the finals and in the end it’s just a disappointment. stadium is not at all ready for the matches and to me it feels like the people from WTA are absolutely not interested in how we – who are supposed to play on that court feel. we do not feel that anyone listens to us or are interested in our opinion. it’s very sad.
“on the another note, i am really grateful to all the people here in Mexico for being so nice and very helpful with everything.”
Stands have been far from full. With the event’s close proximity to the beach, wind has been a serious issue. There have been several bad ball bounces and today rains interrupted play.
And all four singles matches have been drama-free. The second sets have gone 6-2, 6-1, 6-0, 6-1.
This afternoon, The Athletic detailed further turmoil at the WTA with many top players disenchanted with the direction the tour was heading and for past issues.