In the wake of the Women’s Tennis Association’s (WTA) disappointing finals in Cancun, Mexico, the Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) released a statement regarding the event.

WTA vs. Players

In addition to the nail-biting competitions between the ladies, the world also saw the players protesting against the WTA for the unexpected, below-par conditions of what was supposed to be a prestigious event.

As the first one to play in the season-ending tournament, Aryna Sabalenka immediately voiced her sentiments regarding the court conditions on Instagram, stating that they only practised on it the day before the event and that the ball bounced inconsistently.

“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,” wrote Sabalenka.

One by one, the ladies came out and said their piece about the finals and about how disappointed they were, considering that it was an event that they worked hard for and looked forward to in the last couple of months. This could have motivated the PTPA to issue a statement.

Marketa Vondrousova: “(The) 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 and is interested in our opinions. Very sad.”

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Elena Rybakina: “Overall, it’s not easy here. Everyone is struggling. Everyone is trying to do their best. As I said, I’m not really happy with the conditions & the set up of the tournament.. About the court, I don’t really want to talk. But of course, it’s not good.”

Iga Swiatek: “Obviously, it’s not a positive thing for any of us. I think the main thing is not focusing on that & just doing your job. Sometimes it bounces weirdly on clay & grass as well. I try to think in that perspective & just do my job. For sure, it’s not comfortable.”
Furthermore, the problem was compounded by the bad weather that disrupted and delayed the women’s matches. As a result, the WTA finals found themselves being criticized for not checking the weather ahead of scheduling the matches.

Martina Navratilova also echoed the players’ sentiments and stated that perhaps it’s time for WTA chief Steve Simon to come down and take responsibility.

“Maybe it’s time for new leadership,” the tennis icon said. “It’s gonna be hard for Steve to stay in the job. Everything is pointing the other way.”

PTPA stands with the players

On Wednesday, November 8, the PTPA released a statement regarding the players’ terrible experience in the tournament:

Via PTPA’s X account: “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. 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.”

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“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. This is how we build lasting solutions: we must step beyond the confines of our insular tennis hierarchy and actively seek outside expertise to ensure these mistakes do not continue. We will await the WTA’s response within 10 days to join us in this crucial effort for the betterment of women’s tennis.”

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