Aryna Sabalenka was playing her first match in the WTA Finals and she felt disrespected by the condition of the courts.
The WTA Finals which is taking place in Cancun, Mexico commenced on 29 October. It is the tournament that Sabalenka would be eying to win and end the year as the World No. 1.
Aryna Sabalenka is a 25-year-old tennis player from Belarus. Aryna Sabalenka had a fantastic season so far. She started the 2023 season by winning the Australian Open. She also reached the final of the US Open and semifinal at the French and Wimbledon Open. The Australian Open was the first Major Title for Sabalenka. She qualified for the WTA Finals as the top seed.
She played her opening match at the WTA Finals against Maria Sakkari. It was a dominating effort to defeat her in straight sets 6-0 and 6-1. Despite her win, she was very very unhappy with the condition of the court.
She mentioned the inconsistent bounce of the ball which made it difficult to judge and move. She was disappointed at the poor organization of such a big event. The same issue was also mentioned by Elena Rybakina who was playing on another court and ended up losing.
“Honestly its another level of disrespect by WTA for the players. Sometimes, I don’t even feel safe to move on this court. That’s not the level I expect from the WTA Finals“-Sabalenka during Cancun Press
Sabalenka who has previously played in the WTA Finals understands the stature of this event. This event was supposed to be held in Saudi Arabia until September but since it received a lot of criticism, the venue was changed to Cancun. The organizers at Cancun have also not done a good job as the courts were readied a few days before the tournament.
The players have practiced very hard throughout the year and made their cut to the Final. And such conditions where players feel unsafe to move on the court is something WTA needs to take seriously.
Aryna Sabalenka starts her Finals campaign on a high
Aryna Sabalenka had a dominant show at Cancun hours ago. The Belarusian girl marked a comfortable victory over Maria Sakkari at the start of the campaign. Sabalenka won the match 6-0 and 6-1 against Sakkari in 74 minutes. The 8th seed Sakkari has a better head-to-head record against Sabalenka in the WTA Finals.
Sabalenka is the top seed coming to this tournament and Sakkari is seeded 8. They have faced each other twice in this season at the Madrid Open and the Indian Wells semifinal and Sabalenka got the better of both the matches. She managed to maintain her record at the Finals too.
Sabalenka would like to carry this momentum to the other two round-robin matches against Jessica Pegula and Elena Rybakina. It is not just a fight for her to win the tournament, but to end the year as the No. 1 player. Iga Swiatek, who is also on the radar to end as No. 1 cannot stop Sabalenka from achieving if she reaches the finals. Iga Swiatek who is yet to start her campaign has a tough draw before the semifinals.