The best tennis players in the world are angry. The organization of the WTA Finals last week in Cancun, Mexico, has caused bad blood. “Maybe it’s time for a new WTA president,” declared Martina Navratilova.
The WTA only chose Cancun in September as the organizer of the end-of-year tournament for the best eight players in women’s tennis. The prospects seemed good. Cancun, located on the Caribbean Sea, had to be the perfect setting to end the season. But things turned out differently last week. Images showed shivering players on the courts, flying trash cans and tennis balls blowing away.
The tournament literally and figuratively fell through due to the many rain showers. The final was postponed by one day. The problems started before the tournament. Due to the late designation of Cancun, not all preparations had been completed when the players arrived. Training on Center Court was next to impossible. “Unacceptable at such an important tournament,” said world number one Aryna Sabalenka.
At the beginning of October, the top players also complained in an open letter about the developments in women’s tennis. A majority is dissatisfied with, among other things, the prize money and the tournament planning. WTA boss Steve Simon did not respond to the letter, but invited the players to a meeting in Cancun. There were also no answers, so the players resigned.
Tennis legend Martina Navratilova was tough on Simon, who has headed the WTA for eight years. “It’s going to be difficult for him to keep his job,” she said. “There may be a need for a new chairman. If there is to be a successor, I hope it is a woman. There are plenty of women with chairmanship qualities.”
The debates about the WTA Finals seem to continue. After all, the highly criticized Saudi Arabia would be a candidate for the 2024 organization.