The WTA is under attack and it's not the first time in recent months, but considering the disasters that have been combined, the criticism is quite deserved. Let's think about what happened at the WTA Finals in Cancun, to get an idea of the current organizational level of the women's Tour.
The latest accusation regarding the crazy schedule that often characterizes WTA events lately, came from Michal Hrdlicka, who is Karolina Pliskova's husband.
Michal would have criticized the schedule of the WTA tour, as his wife Karolina managed to get to her first Qatar Open match after the non-stop intercontinental trip, having slept only 4 hours, after the final played on Sunday at the Winners Open in Cluj -Napoca, Romania.
The Czech defeated Ana Bogdan in the final, winning her 17th career title, the first after four years, but the WTA schedule forced the former No.1 to face a race against time to get to the Qatar Open, where her match was scheduled for yesterday, Monday 12 February 2024.
"Karolina took the flight from Cluj via Istanbul to Doha at the last minute. If the final in Romania had lasted a little longer, she would not have arrived in Qatar. That's how she arrived at the hotel at 8 in the morning, she slept 4 hours, had a quick lunch before the match. Extremely critical condition," wrote Michal Hrdlicka.
Let z Kluže přes Istanbul do Dauhá stihla na poslední chvíli. Kdyby se finále v Rumunsku hrálo jen o trochu déle, do Kataru by se vůbec nedostala. Takhle na hotel dorazila v 8 ráno, spala 4 hodiny, rychlý oběd, 14:30 rozehrávka a zápas. Extrémně náročný podmínky. https://t.co/tNmLCkLfZu— Michal Hrdlička (@michalhrdlicka) February 12, 2024
Pliskova, through an Instagram story, also ironically criticized the schedule:
Daria Kasatkina's harsh attack on the WTA: "Are you trying to get us injured?"
Daria Kasatkina also expressed very harsh words against WTA. The Russian tennis player wanted to express her disagreement with the Tour schedule. At the end of the semi-final against Brazilian tennis player Haddad Maia, Kasatkina explained how her positive event in Abu Dhabi will prevent her from participating at the WTA 1000 in Doha.
Kasatkina played in the final of the Abu Dhabi tournament at 5pm local time, while her first round in the Doha tournament was scheduled for the following Monday.
"It's a horrible program, really. I don't know how you can schedule a tournament final on Sunday if you want the following week's tournament to end on Saturday. So, the event starts on Sunday itself and if you are a player like me, who doesn't have BYE in the first round, you have to play on Monday.
As far as I know, we don't have technology that allows me to be in Doha at the snap of a finger! I might have to travel on Monday and take the field, in a totally different tournament, on the same day, after playing five matches at the highest level here.
I'm sorry, this is something we need to talk about. I have a question, I don't know if it's aimed at the WTA or the tournaments: are you trying to make us players constantly fail or get injured? We are human beings, players trying to do our best work.
Under these circumstances, this is not possible. I hope this issue gets to the right people and gets resolved. I'm not crying: I'm telling things as they are, and what is clear is that it is impossible that we can continue like this," she explained.
At the beginning of 2024, Kasatkina herself said about the WTA: "I wouldn't separate the WTA from TennisTV. It used to be different, but now WTA TV is one of the worst platforms: you can't even find it by searching on the web. Tennis TV is the more beautiful, they promote tennis very well. The potential is enormous.
It seems like they don't intentionally promote women's tennis, and that's very disappointing. If you look at the WTA's TikTok profile, it was created in 2020 during COVID-19 and the latest video was posted at that time. After all, the WTA has the channel and the fans; he just needs to make this machine work. What's wrong with them? To be honest, I can't answer that question."
As I was saying above, the WTA Finals in Cancun highlighted all the organizational problems that the WTA is having. What happened in the last edition of the WTA Finals now seems to have left its mark. Many tennis players have criticized the Women's Tennis Association for the way it organized the event which brings together the best eight players of the season.
The WTA made the location of the Finals official at the last moment without allowing the tennis players to test the playing fields adequately and with the right timing. The adverse climatic conditions then made the situation even worse.