The WTA has come to the Cancun court's defense following harsh criticism received by world No 1 Aryna Sabalenka and 2022 Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina. After ousting Maria Sakkari 6-0 6-1 in her WTA Finals opener, Sabalenka called the court conditions in Cancun "another level of disrespect by the WTA." On the other side, Rybakina also slammed the court after her opening loss to Jessica Pegula, saying the court was not up to the standard of a major tournament like the WTA Finals.
The temporary stadium built in Cancun was finished just two days before the start of the tournament. "We're pleased to host the WTA Finals in Cancun 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 team has worked diligently on an expedited timeline amid weather challenges to ensure the stadium and court meet our strict performance standards," the WTA said in a statement.
What did Sabalenka, Rybakina exacly tell the WTA?
“Honestly, it’s another level of disrespect from the 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. Thank you for this challenge I’m facing right now of having to learn to adapt quickly to the conditions.
Thank you for that. But this is not something I expect from such a high level tournament," Sabalenka said after her opening match in Cancun. After losing to Pegula, Rybakina unloaded on the court conditions and claimed it was negatively impacting the quality of tennis. "As I said, I’m not really happy with the conditions and the set up of the tournament.
About the court, I don’t really want to talk. But of course, it’s not good. For sure not for the final 8. Because everything was late and there was no time to fix anything. You can see by the rallies and the shanks we both hit.
I think the quality of the match wasn’t the greatest. But as I said, I tried to do my best," Rybakina said after her first match in Cancun.