India's top ranked player Ankita Raina says it is unfair that the WTA Tour is holding events and awarding ranking points for those events when some players are not able to travel due to the quarantine rules.
India's Ankita Raina says she wanted to play in Palermo but could not due to quarantine rules
The Indian No.
1 player spoke to the Indian daily, the Times of India, where she said that the WTA should not hold events in countries where players are not allowed to travel. The Indian is ranked No. 163 in the world and entered the qualifying draw in the WTA event in Palermo - which is the first WTA event since March.
However, had she travelled she would have to be in quarantine for 14 days upon entering Italy. "I think it's unfair to hold tournaments which offer ranking points in countries that have quarantine rules. There are some players who are scared to travel, whereas I want to play.
They (WTA) should have checked these facts before having the tournament. At least they should not allot ranking points to such tournaments." Raina's coach Hemant Bendrey also echoed her sentiments. "The rankings are frozen but you are also not getting a chance to improve your ranking.
There is no quarantine for European players, so they will have an head start when the tour returns (to normalcy). It will be at least three months before our players can travel freely. Till then it will be a huge advantage for those who can play and a handicap for us."
Several other players also had to withdraw from the Palermo event due to the quarantine rules, including World No. 2 Simona Halep, of Romania. The WTA Tour will also hold events in the United States in the coming weeks and the US Open is scheduled to be held later in August.
The 27 year old Ankita Raina has won one WTA Challenger in doubles, along with eleven singles and seventeen doubles titles on the ITF Women's Circuit. She has also won gold medals in the women's singles and mixed-doubles events at the 2016 South Asian Games, and won a bronze medal in singles at the 2018 Asian Games. She is currently India's highest ranked singles player on the WTA Tour.