WTA defends Finals set-up in Cancún following player criticism

Featured image credit: Mario Gogh on Unsplash

Featured image credit: Mario Gogh on Unsplash

The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) has defended its decision to stage the season-ending WTA Finals in the Mexican city of Cancún after several players criticised the quality of the court at the Plaza Quintana Roo.

The WTA only announced Cancún as the host of the event last month. The tournament, which features the top eight singles players and doubles teams, commenced on Sunday and will run for one week.

World no.1 Aryna Sabalenka is among the players to have criticised the court conditions, stating that the venue represents “another level of disrespect” from the WTA. Sabalenka said that some players feel that it is not even safe to move on the court.

Players have suggested that the court should have been fitted earlier to ensure more practice time before the start of the Finals. Despite the criticism, the WTA has defended the decision to take the event to Cancún.

“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 WTA said in a statement reported by the Associated Press.

“The team has worked diligently on an expedited timeline amid weather challenges to ensure the stadium and court meet our strict performance standards.”

The WTA opted to stage the event in Cancún after talks to host the tournament in Saudi Arabia failed to result in an agreement. The 2022 tournament was held in Fort Worth, Texas, while Guadalajara in Mexico hosted in 2021.