Days after the WTA announced its WTA Finals will move to Guadalajara, Mexico for 2021, Ash Barty’s coach voiced displeasure with the decision.
Craig Tyzzer, Barty’s long-time coach, blasted the WTA Finals move to Mexico as “ridiculous” and “frightening.”
In an interview with the Australian Associated Press, Tyzzer suggested it’s madness to stage the the WTA’s crown jewel in challenging conditions. Guadalajara’s 5,100-foot elevation means pressureless balls will be used, according to Tyzzer, who questions the logic of asking the world’s top eight elite players to play with balls at a lofty elevation they are unaccustomed playing.
“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,” Tyzzer told the Australian Associated Press. “[To play 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.”
Coach Tyzzer’s comments prompted speculation over world No. 1 Barty’s status for the season-ending event, which is typically played in Shenzhen, but moves to Guadalajara this year due to the pandemic.
The WTA Finals are set to start the week of November 8th, but will Barty be there?
The Wimbledon winner is “physically and mentally exhausted” and needs a break, her coach told AAP. Barty and Tyzzer have been on the road since March and weren’t planning on returning ot Australia until the fall. Australia’s Coronavirus safety protocal call for any Aussie returning home to quarrantine for two weeks in a hotel room.
Given Barty’s goal of capturing her maiden Australian Open title in January, Tyzzer questions if playing Mexico then facing the two-week quarantine makes sense for the defending WTA Finals champion though she could play Indian Wells next month.
“Indian Wells is still on the radar but she just needs a rest. So I told her to just get away and have a holiday,” Tyzzer said.
“It certainly isn’t easy for us to get there and to play that event in Mexico and then to come back and have to do two more weeks in quarantine and then your summer is sort of ruined as well. It’s a decision we’ll have to sit and mull over quite a bit.”
In 2019, Barty dethroned defending champion Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-3 to capture the WTA Finals Shenzhen championship—and a record champion’s check of $4.42 million.
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