Because of the “terrible” playing conditions at the venue and the schedule of the tournament, world No. 1 Ash Barty may not defend her title at the season-ending WTA Finals in Mexico, according to her coach Craig Tyzzer.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the WTA Finals, which feature the world’s top eight singles players and eight doubles teams, were shifted from Shenzhen to Guadalajara this week and will begin on November 8.
Barty, who won the 2019 WTA Finals before the 2020 edition was canceled, could jeopardize her preparation for the 2022 Australian Open if she competes in Mexico, according to Tyzzer, because she would be subjected to a two-week home quarantine upon her return to Australia.
“We just found out it’s in Mexico at 1500 meters above sea level, and they’re using pressure-free balls,” Tyzzer said on Wednesday to the Australian Associated Press.
“Pressure-free balls fly like crazy. It’s a ball that doesn’t bounce when used in regular conditions. Playing something they’ve never done before isn’t the best advertisement for the best girls in the world.
“I just think it’s ludicrous that they’re playing in conditions they’ve never played in, in a country they’ve never played in, and at altitude.” It’s just terrifying as a spectacle.”
Barty, who was eliminated in the third round of this month’s US Open https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/number-one-barty-loses-third-round-us-open-2021-09-05, is “physically and mentally drained,” according to Tyzzer.
“Indian Wells (next month) is still on the radar,” he explained, “but she just needs a break.” “So I encouraged her to simply get away and enjoy her vacation.”
“It’s not simple for us to get there and play that event in Mexico, then return and have to spend two (more) weeks (in quarantine), and then your summer is ruined as well.”
“It’s a decision we’ll have to sit and think about for a long time.”