Tennis players Aryna Sabalenka and Barbora Krejcikova are allowed to participate for the first time in the WTA Finals, the tournament for the best eight players of the season. Sabalenka (23) is the current number 2 in the world and has won two tournaments this season. The tennis star from Belarus already participated in the WTA Finals two years ago with Elise Mertens in doubles and will play in singles for the first time in November.
Krejcikova, 25, won Roland Garros and has climbed up to fifth place in the world ranking. The Czech has collected enough points to also participate in the singles in the WTA Finals. With her compatriot Katerina Siniakova she is participating in the doubles tournament for the third time in a row. In 2018 Krejcikova and Siniakova lost the final.
The year-end tournament was supposed to be held in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, but due to the corona pandemic, the WTA decided to move the event to Guadalajara in Mexico. Not all tennis players are happy with that. For example, defending champion Ashleigh Barty, the Australian number 1 in the world who also qualified, doubts whether she wants to go to Mexico because of the circumstances in Guadalajara.
“Guadalajara is 1,500 meters above sea level and it is played with unpressurized balls,” her coach Craig Tyzzer recently said. “Pressureless balls will fly and if you use them under normal conditions, they don’t even bounce. That doesn’t seem like the best starting point for the best players in the world. They will play in conditions they are unfamiliar with, in a country unknown to them and at a height. I think it’s really outrageous.”
Barty won the last edition of the WTA Finals two years ago, last year the event was canceled due to the corona crisis.