World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty’s participation at the WTA Finals are up in the clouds after her coach Craig Tyzzer criticised the venue and its playing conditions.
The WTA finals is the last event of this year and only the top players will take part in it. Specifically, only the top eight ranked players will go up against each other. The ranks are decided by the points won by that particular player over the course of the season.
The Aussie tennis star is leading the points chart with five titles this season which also includes the Wimbledon title. She won the 2019 edition of the event and will enter this time as the defending champion after last season’s event got cancelled due to COVID-19.
The event was scheduled to happen in Shenzhen, China but due to health reasons the WTA have decided to relocate it to the Mexican city, Guadalajara as the new host city for the 2021 edition of the WTA finals.
This decision irked Barty’s coach Craig Tyzzer as he shared some strong opinions regarding the new venue. Speaking to the Australian Associated Press, Tyzzer highlighted how the geography of the city will be a major drawback for the players featuring in that event. He also pointed out how pressure less balls which are supposed to be used in this event would fly in a place with over 1500 metres altitude.
“We only just found out it’s in Mexico at 1,500 metres (above sea level) and they’re using pressure-less balls,” Tyzzer said. “Pressure-less balls absolutely fly. It’s a ball that if you use it in normal conditions, it doesn’t bounce.”
He also opened up on how making the top players play at such conditions won’t be the best advertisement for the women’s game.
I mean, it’s not the greatest advertisement for the best girls in the world to be playing something they’ve never done before,” Tyzzer continued. “In conditions they’ve never played, in a country they don’t play and at altitude, I just feel it’s ridiculous. As a spectacle, it’s just frightening.”
“It’s almost like it’s a last-gasp,” he went on. “It doesn’t strike me as they’re really trying to promote the best girls in the world for the top eight as a showcase, to put it where it’s at.”
Now it will be very interesting to see if Barty features in this tournament or not. Hearing her coach criticise the venue mind play on her mind too.