Victoria Azarenka agrees 100 percent with Iga Swiatek and Elena Rybakina that late starts and finishes in tennis need to change. Last week, 2022 Wimbledon champion Rybakina called the WTA leadership "weak" after finishing her Montreal quarterfinal match at 3 am and going to sleep at 5 am.
When world No 1 Swiatek was asked about Rybakina's comments, the Pole acknowledged it's never great for players to start and finish matches late. Also, Swiatek suggested the WTA "should focus more on what's healthy for players." Azarenka, a former world No 1 and a member of the WTA Players Council, said in Cincinnati that "these late finishes aren’t benefitting anyone." Also, Azarenka added that "the night matches have to start earlier: 6 pm, 8:30 pm slots."
Azarenka says tennis needs to get rid of late finishes
“I absolutely lost it yesterday because we work so hard in the Players Council and I just felt so frustrated, like I’m not making a difference and I put a lot of time, a lot of effort and I’m very direct.
I try to be reasonable, I try to compromise, I try to create ideas and we are moving at the slowest pace to get things done. There are some things behind the scenes that we’re working on, but it’s time to get something concrete done.
This is the only sport in the world where you don’t know when you’re going to play. It was 11 pm yesterday and I didn’t know when I’m going to play. This is unacceptable in any shape or form… I look at it as a player, and it’s ridiculous.
I look at it as a fan, and I don’t know which matches I’m going to go watch because I have no clue, unless you’re very fanatical, but we need to appeal to a bigger crowd to watch our sport," Azarenka said, via tennis.com.