WTA Finals 2023: World No. 1 Aryna Sabalenka calls out organisers for ‘unacceptable’ Cancun court conditions
Former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina was also critical of the court conditions.
World No. 1, Aryna Sabalenka, voiced her unease regarding the newly constructed courts at the WTA Tennis Finals in Cancun, Mexico, which began on Sunday, putting the blame on the WTA for the lack of consistent playing conditions. The venue for this year’s WTA Finals in Cancun was confirmed only last month.
Sabalenka, who defeated Greek player Maria Sakkari in their round-robin group match on the opening day of the WTA Finals, expressed her dissatisfaction with the playing conditions. She criticized the lack of consistency in the court’s bounce and the fact that players were not allowed to practice on the courts until Sunday.
In her match against Sakkari, the Belarusian dominated, winning 6-0, 6-1 in just 74 minutes. This marked their 10th meeting, with Sabalenka leading their head-to-head record 6-3 and maintaining a 2-0 win-loss record in the current season. This victory propelled Sabalenka to the top of the Bacalar Group.
The WTA Finals hold great significance for Sabalenka as the 2023 season draws to a close. As the runner-up in last year’s finals, she has the opportunity to reach her second consecutive final at the year-end championships. Additionally, she faces the challenge of holding off Iga Swiatek to finish the year as the World No. 1 in the WTA rankings.
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Iga Swiatek, appearing in her third consecutive WTA Finals, currently trails Sabalenka by 630 points. Swiatek secured a victory against Marketa Vondrousova, setting up a match against the reigning US Open champion, Coco Gauff.
Swiatek, who briefly relinquished the World No. 1 ranking at this year’s US Open, rebounded from a slow start to defeat Vondrousova 7-6 (3), 6-0. Meanwhile, Coco Gauff had a comfortable win, defeating Ons Jabeur 6-0, 6-1 in just 57 minutes.
The competition at the WTA Finals in Cancun promises excitement and a fierce battle for the year-end championship title.