The Girls’s Tennis Affiliation admitted that this yr’s version of the Tour Finals “was not an excellent occasion” and signaled modifications to the operation of the circuit after a collection of complaints from prime gamers about how they have been handled.
In a letter to gamers leaked to Sports activities Illustrated, WTA CEO Steve Simon mentioned the late choice of Cancun, Mexico, to host the match was “depending on various complicated components.”
“It’s clear that you’re not pleased with the choice to be right here in Cancun. I perceive that and you’ve got been heard,” he wrote after thanking the gamers for attending the assembly within the Mexican resort. “It isn’t an ideal occasion, we acknowledge that the circumstances are difficult and the WTA accepts duty for that”.
Cancun was chosen because the venue for the $9 million match lower than two months earlier than its begin, on October 29. The finals convey collectively the highest eight singles gamers and doubles partnerships to conclude the season.
World primary Aryna Sabalenka criticized the WTA over courtroom circumstances after the opening day of group play, saying she felt “disrespected” by the group’s requirements on the prestigious occasion.
The complaints have led to widespread dissatisfaction with the best way the WTA is working the tour. The Athletic reported that 21 of the world’s finest gamers just lately wrote a letter to Simon outlining their grievances. The web site mentioned feminine gamers need increased wages, a extra versatile schedule to ease the bodily and psychological burden, expanded little one care and impartial ATP illustration on the WTA Council.
The WTA letter mentioned it will contemplate a number of proposals to cut back the obligatory obligation for prime gamers to take part in sure tournaments on the subsequent assembly of its board of administrators. She additionally instructed gamers that a variety of different points “that you simply recognized in your letter” can be reviewed.
“A lot has been completed, and there’s quite a lot of settlement within the areas I’ve raised and what’s being labored on,” Simon wrote. There was no instant response to a request for remark from the WTA.
In the meantime, Jessica Pegula prolonged her profitable streak to eight matches and earned a spot within the semi-finals by defeating Maria Sakkari 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday evening.
Pegula, seeded fifth, didn’t drop a set in Cancun. Towards Sakkari, the American dominated the second serve – profitable 11 of 19 second serves and 19 of 30 second serves (Sakari received solely 8 of 19).
Pegula additionally dedicated almost half as many unforced errors – 18 to Sakkari’s 35 – on a windy night that noticed some rain early and far late. The 29-year-old Pegula will play within the semifinals on Saturday.
“To win 3-0 is a very nice achievement, particularly after final yr, the place it was the other,” she mentioned.
Sakkari, the No. 9-ranked Greek participant, had already been eradicated earlier than dealing with Pegula; She misplaced all three matches and didn’t win a set. “This isn’t the best way I needed my season to finish,” Sakkari mentioned. “I feel I used to be paying a value bodily and mentally with how a lot I traveled, how a lot I performed, and the way emotional this season was.”
Thursday’s late match between Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina was scheduled to finish on Friday morning after rain delayed it a number of instances. In a rematch of the Australian Open remaining received by Sabalenka, the top-ranked participant edged Rybakina 6-2, 3-5 when play was stopped.
Sabalenka (25 years previous) will retain the primary seed if she is undefeated within the group stage or reaches the ultimate.