Tennis

Barty might skip WTA Finals due to 'ridiculous' conditions, says coach

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty might not defend her title at the season-ending WTA Finals in Mexico because of the "ridiculous" playing conditions at the venue and the tournament's timing, said her coach Craig Tyzzer.

The WTA Finals, contested by the world's top eight singles players and eight doubles teams, were moved to Guadalajara from Shenzhen this week due to the Covid-19 pandemic and will begin on Nov 8.

Tyzzer said Barty, who won the 2019 WTA Finals before the 2020 edition was cancelled, might also compromise her 2022 Australian Open preparation if she plays in Mexico as she would have to undergo two weeks of home quarantine on her return to Australia.

"We only just found out it's in Mexico at 1,500 metres (above sea level) and they're using pressure-less balls," Tyzzer told the Australian Associated Press yesterday.

"Pressure-less balls absolutely fly. It's a ball that, if you use it in normal conditions, it doesn't bounce. It's not the greatest advertisement for the best girls in the world to be playing something they've never done before.

"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."

Tyzzer had also told Barty, 25, to go on a holiday as she is "physically and mentally exhausted, after a third-round exit at this month's US Open, which was won by British teenage sensation Emma Raducanu. - REUTERS

Tennis