Sabalenka

It’s that time of the year again.

The WTA finals have finally come despite all the hesitations, confusion, and last-minute preparations. It is one of the biggest, if not the most prestigious, tournaments on the women’s tennis calendar each year. The best players in the world compete here to determine definitively who performed the most admirably and superbly this season.

The selection of the final destination for this year’s competition has been the subject of much discussion and controversy, with the decision on the final location being finalized and announced only two months ago: Cancun, Mexico.

Primarily, no one had qualms about the location. However, upon entering the court and beginning the match, it promptly received criticism from the first-ranked player, Aryna Sabalenka.

Sabalenka in Cancun

The Cancut court wasn’t exactly what they had in mind going into the finals. According to the Belarusian player, the Cancun court didn’t meet the qualities befitting a prestigious event.

After Sabalenkaa won her first match against Guadalajara Open Akron champion Maria Sakkari dominantly, winning 6-0,6-1, the 25-year-old took to Instagram to express her feelings about the ‘unsafe’ court:

“I’m happy that I was able to stay focused tonight, overcome the conditions, and play well. I have to say though that I am very disappointed with the WTA and the experience so far at the WTA Finals. 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. To be honest, I don’t feel safe moving on this court a lot of the time, the bounce is not consistent at all, and we weren’t able to practice on this court until yesterday for the first time. It’s just not acceptable to me with so much on the line and so much at stake.”

An article from the BBC said that the court in Cancun Resort was only finished a few days before the tournament began on Sunday, which is likely why the players only had the opportunity to practice on it once.

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Furthermore, Sabalenka also made sure that her reservations were directed not at the locals and workers who have expended a great deal of effort in constructing the court in a short period, but rather at the organization:

“All that said, I definitely want to show my appreciation for the local tournament organizers, everyone that built the court at the last minute, and everyone that’s working here at the event. I know it’s not their fault and I want them to know, as well as all the Mexican fans, that I love them and appreciate them. I’m very happy to be in Mexico, I’m just upset with the WTA and this situation.”

 

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