Iga Swiatek’s coach tears into WTA over ’embarrassing’ finals plans
Leading tennis coach Tomasz Wiktorowski has slammed the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for its handling of the end-of-season WTA Finals, despite his charge Iga Swiatek winning the title and returning to the top of the rankings. On the court, the tournament was a breeze for Swiatek, going through the tournament in Mexico without dropping a set and thrashing Jessica Pegula 6-1 6-0 in the final.
However several players, including Polish sensation Swiatek, have spoken out since the event concluded in Cancun on November 5, with frustrations over the organisation, state of the court and the lack of fans in the stadium. And Wiktorowski, 42, has joined them in taking aim at the WTA for its delivery of the showpiece event.
“In terms of tourism, I see great potential of this place. And maybe one day I will go to Mexico to learn more about the history of this civilisation,” the Pole told Rzeczpospolita. “However, I hope that I will never have to fly there again for business and tennis purposes. It was an embarrassment in terms of the decision-making process and organisation of the tournament.”
Four-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek, 22, took aim at the WTA in the aftermath of the tournament, with the players feeling let down by the lack of spectators. She said: The marketing should be better. It’s a shame that we don’t have a full stadium like we can’t really feel like we’re on a tennis celebration for the whole week.”
Reports emerged last month that the WTA is facing significant financial problems, with Yuri Polsky, vice president of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation, claiming the organisation is at risk of going bankrupt by 2026, according to Tennis World. “For the WTA it is a question of survival,” he added.
Wiktorowski’s frustrations are not limited to the events in Cancun and he has urged players to take charge and ensure the women’s game is being led appropriately. “I am very disappointed with the way the WTA has been functioning recently and I am starting to believe that tennis players should unite to speak about the most important issues to them with one voice,” Wiktorowski said.
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“Ten years ago, I trusted the WTA and was impressed by how it creates conditions for tennis players to develop, work and even function after the end of their careers. At the moment, it looks like the WTA is an organisation struggling to survive and managed in a way that is not entirely favourable to the players.”
The WTA did receive a significant boost last week, though, with Sky Sports acquiring the UK TV rights for all of its events, potentially opening the sport and its biggest names up to a larger viewing audience.
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