The WTA has come under fire from tennis players due to their poor tour schedules. Iga Swiatek, the current world number one, is the latest player to lambast them. Swiatek has always tried to bring about positive changes to women’s tennis. She recently showed support to Elena Rybakina, who was the victim of terrible match scheduling.
Swiatek had a lot to say about matches that finished very late at the press conference before the Cincinnati Open. The Pole added that the governing body should focus more on the players and what is healthy for them. This should be prioritized since there will be more mandatory and longer tours from next year.
After experiencing late finishes during the clay season earlier this year, Iga advocated for an earlier start. She referred to Roland-Garros and their decision to move the timings of the night matches an hour sooner. Previously, the scheduled matches of the night session would start at 9 PM, but this year they started at 8 PM.
Night session should start soon (around 9.15pm) in Montreal with two matches to go. Long night ahead.
Bencic vs. Samsonova
Rybakina vs. Kasatkina
Hoping at least the weather helps. pic.twitter.com/0ivjuxiUgp
— José Morgado (@josemorgado) August 12, 2023
Swiatek openly wondered if people even stayed up to watch matches that start late and finish way past midnight. “Do you guys watch these matches?” she then asked the media (via Tennis.com).
Iga Swiatek acknowledged that they have to consider broadcasters, but at the end of the day players’ health is more important. Tennis players are on the road ever so often and there is not sufficient time for rest and recovery.
Controversy arose last week when Elena Rybakina and Daria Kasatkina had to play till 3 am in the morning. The quarterfinal match between them in the Canadian Open had to be delayed due to inclement weather.
Iga Swiatek is the latest player to support Rybakina’s statements after her semifinal loss
Elena Rybakina had a grueling week in Montreal last week. The former Wimbledon champion saw her quarterfinal clash with Kasatkina delayed due to rain. When the match finally began, it was well past midnight. It was a closely contested game, that took over 3 hours to finish.
Following the match, Rybakina famously said that she was absolutely “destroyed” by that match. Her woes did not end there, as she played Liudmila Samsonova for a spot in the finals the very next day.
Elena Rybakina calls out WTA leadership for poor scheduling in Kasatkina marathon:
“It’s the 1st time & hopefully the last. I think it’s a bit unprofessional.. Most important is WTA here. Leadership is a bit weak for now. Hopefully something changes.. I fell asleep at 5 a.m.” pic.twitter.com/CpUdkJ86kz
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) August 13, 2023
Following her loss to Samsonova in the semifinal, Rybakina criticized the WTA for their poor management. Rybakina even said that the leadership was “weak” and “unprofessional.”
Samsonova on her & Elena Rybakina being scheduled for 2 matches in 1 day:
“The fact is, everyone saw that at 6 pm it would rain.. It’s strange that the people don’t care so much about us. If you know that, you must make a schedule where it’s possible to play.” pic.twitter.com/zw1d7KVeKu
— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) August 14, 2023
“It’s strange that the people don’t care so much about us,” said Samsonova after the final. The final match against Pegula took only 49 minutes to finish and Samsonova lost in straight sets.
The turn of events at the Canadian Open is disgraceful. Hopefully, the governing bodies of men’s and women’s tennis will prepare better tour schedules from now on.