World No.1 Aryna Sabalenka criticized the organization of the WTA Masters in Cancun on Monday, saying she did not feel safe in the ephemeral stadium built for the occasion and deploring a “lack of respect” from the governing bodies of world tennis.
“I have to say that I am very disappointed with the WTA, and with my experience so far at the WTA Finals,” the name given to the Masters, wrote the 25-year-old Belarusian on Instagram.
“As a player, I feel like the WTA disrespects me. I think most players do too. The organization is not at the level expected for the Masters. To be honest, I don't feel safe at the idea of having to play for a long time on this court,” added Sabalenka, who crushed Greece's Maria Sakkari 6-0, 6-1 on Sunday on the first day of the tournament. .
According to Aryna Sabalenka, the players were not allowed to train on the court until the day before the opening of the Masters: “It is not acceptable for me, with such stakes”.
The player clarified, however, that her criticism was aimed at the WTA, and not the local tournament organizers: “I really want to salute the tournament organizers, everyone who built this court at the last minute and everyone who works around this event. I know it’s not their fault.”
Cancun was officially designated to host the prestigious end-of-season tournament only on September 7, after the WTA ruled out the possibility of organizing the Masters in Saudi Arabia, an idea which had caused controversy, notably among former players Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert.
The Masters brings together the eight best-ranked singles players and the eight doubles pairs at the end of the season at the end of the year. They took place last year in Fort Worth, Texas.