WTA Finals relocated from Shenzhen to Guadalajara prompting withdrawal rumours around #1 Barty due to the altitude and other factors

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
Terrible move by the WTA. Singapore or somewhere with less extreme conditions would've been far better. Mexico is of course known for it's very high altitude which impacts a variety of things for the sport.


https://www.news.com.au/sport/tenni...u/news-story/6e0c5b96849a5f3a5d97e886fe223a7a
World No. 1 Ash 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 timing of the tournament, her coach Craig Tyzzer said.

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

The 2019 edition of the WTA Finals had a prizemoney pool of $19 million and is the richest event on the WTA calendar. Barty pocketed a cool $6.4 million for winning two years ago — the biggest cheque in tennis history for men or women.


“We only just found out it’s in Mexico at 1500 metres (above sea level) and they’re using pressure-less balls,” Tyzzer told AAP on Wednesday.
“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.”


Barty, who suffered a third-round exit at this month’s US Open, is “physically and mentally exhausted”, said Tyzzer.


“Indian Wells (next month) is still on the radar but she just needs a rest,” he added. “So I told her to just get away and have a holiday.

“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.

“We were originally told it was Hong Kong and then we were told it was Prague and all of a sudden we hear it’s in Mexico.

“It’s almost like it’s a last-gasp. 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.”

Barty has been on the road since leaving Australia in March and will no doubt look forward to coming home when she can.
 

ttwreader

Semi-Pro
Wow, Guadajalaha's elevation is almost a mile high, like Denver. The ball supposed to be the ball for high altitude and the players will have to be there a plenty amount of time before the event to get used to the elevation.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
Terrible move by the WTA. Singapore or somewhere with less extreme conditions would've been far better. Mexico is of course known for it's very high altitude which impacts a variety of things for the sport.
If you only knew at which heights ski World Cup races are held....
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
This is a really surprising choice, especially considering that the WTA Tour headquarters are in Florida and 15 out of the current top 20 players in the race to the WTA Finals are from Europe. It seems like the logical choice would have been to hold this somewhere in Europe, especially considering that practically every tournament after Indian Wells is also in Europe. I agree that it's hard to see this as a showcase event by staging it in the middle of Mexico in November.

Here's the list of the top 20 players in the race as it stands right now.

Rank Player Region Age Tournaments Played Points
1 -Ashleigh BartyASHLEIGH BARTY
AUS25126411
2 1Aryna SabalenkaARYNA SABALENKA BLR23164669
3 1Barbora KrejcikovaBARBORA KREJCIKOVA
CZE25154398
4 -Karolina PliskovaKAROLINA PLISKOVA
CZE29163972
5 -Iga SwiatekIGA SWIATEK POL20122921
6 7Maria SakkariMARIA SAKKARI GRE26142842
7 1Naomi OsakaNAOMI OSAKA
JPN2392771
8 1Garbiñe MuguruzaGARBIÑE MUGURUZA
ESP27152671
9 1Ons JabeurONS JABEUR
TUN27162435
10 1Anastasia PavlyuchenkovaANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA RUS30142329
11 1Elise MertensELISE MERTENS
BEL25162325
12 3Cori Gauff
CORI GAUFF
USA17162325
13 5Elina Svitolina
ELINA SVITOLINA
UKR27172283
14 109Emma Raducanu
EMMA RADUCANU
GBR1842282
15 5Jessica Pegula
JESSICA PEGULA
USA27162232
16 -Angelique Kerber
ANGELIQUE KERBER
GER33142171
17 2Daria Kasatkina
DARIA KASATKINA
RUS24192061
18 4Paula Badosa
PAULA BADOSA
ESP23142057
19 7Belinda Bencic
BELINDA BENCIC
SUI24161939
20 42Leylah Fernandez
LEYLAH FERNANDEZ
CAN19161911
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
So how many players have to withdraw before Emma and Leylah get in?
/glass half full
5 for Raducanu, Leylah would need a whole bunch. Still have Indian Wells and a few 500's to come too.

Seems unlikely Osaka will play. Barty now in doubt.
 

Yoneyama

Hall of Fame
Pressure-less balls?? Really? When I think of those, I think of the pressure-less balls used for ball machines. They don't bounce normally and are boulders in comparison to a regular ball. That does not sound ideal.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
They played two football world cups in Mexico (1970 and 1986), with matches in Guadalajara and even cities with higher elevations.
I am aware. The Mexico City Olympics were held in 1968 and saw many upsets and athletes who were tipped to do well, didn't do as well due to the altitude impacting the athletes. Athletes from nations with high altitudes did well as they were acclimatized, however others like us here in Australia didn't (since many are on the ocean level).
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
So the women are joining the mile high club. What could be more enjoyable?

Wow, Guadajalaha's elevation is almost a mile high, like Denver. The ball supposed to be the ball for high altitude and the players will have to be there a plenty amount of time before the event to get used to the elevation.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
It's hardly Quito or Bogota.
lol, my thought exactly... they make it sound as if they're gonna play at the Everest base camp! :D
guadalajara's elevation is only ~1500m...
Well thankfully those weren't options. London is 11m, Melbourne is 31m, Singapore is 15m, Shanghai is 4m, NYC is 10m. Guadalajara? It's 1,566m. 100x the elevation of Singapore which used to host the WTA finals.

Not really consistent is it for the ladies on tour?
 

vive le beau jeu !

Talk Tennis Guru
Well thankfully those weren't options. London is 11m, Melbourne is 31m, Singapore is 15m, Shanghai is 4m, NYC is 10m. Guadalajara? It's 1,566m. 100x the elevation of Singapore which used to host the WTA finals.

Not really consistent is it for the ladies on tour?
using a multiplicative factor to compare elevations is absolutely ridiculous... what if you compared it to a tournament played exactly at sea level or below? ;)
you need to look at the atmospheric pressure if you want to make a valid comparision...
 

Arak

Hall of Fame
I think it’s good to have a new experience for the players and spectators. 1500m isn’t excessive. I tried jogging at 1800m while on holidays and it was a pleasant experience. It actually felt good.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
I think it’s good to have a new experience for the players and spectators. 1500m isn’t excessive. I tried jogging at 1800m while on holidays and it was a pleasant experience. It actually felt good.
For a tournament available to all players sure go ahead, Bogota used to be interesting as heck. However, this is the WTA Finals for the top 8 players of the season and altitude can impact players. We could get utterly random results. For what's meant to be the 5th most important tournament of the year, I wouldn't mess with it. I want to see Barty v Osaka and Barty v Krejcikova, Swiatek v Osaka on a nice hard court where they don't need to worry about altitude and other conditions. we rarely get all top 10 matches so the finals are crucial.
 

Arak

Hall of Fame
For a tournament available to all players sure go ahead, Bogota used to be interesting as heck. However, this is the WTA Finals for the top 8 players of the season and altitude can impact players. We could get utterly random results. For what's meant to be the 5th most important tournament of the year, I wouldn't mess with it. I want to see Barty v Osaka and Barty v Krejcikova, Swiatek v Osaka on a nice hard court where they don't need to worry about altitude and other conditions. we rarely get all top 10 matches so the finals are crucial.
I agree that it’s a strange choice, but I’m just downplaying the severity of the conditions.
 

Aussie Darcy

Bionic Poster
I agree that it’s a strange choice, but I’m just downplaying the severity of the conditions.
I'm sure it's not overly bad but after a long season it can be immense. Barty in particular has had it tough. Missed almost all of 2020 due to Covid lockdowns here, returned this year, hasn't been back to Australia since March due to quarantine restrictions and now being asked to fly to Mexico (which will disrupt training considering when she returns she'll have to do 2 weeks quarantine ahead of the Australian summer of tennis). Of course she wants to play, she's the defending champ from 2019 with lots of points to defend but this is inconvenient.
 

Fedinkum

Legend
"...withdrawal rumours around #1 Barty due to the altitude..."
I read the OP, and thought: "Barty? Really? She rarely has an attitude problem..."
 
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AM75

Hall of Fame
It is the tournament with insane prize money, I’ve read the winner will take 4+ Mil $$ . I’m sure there will be only few withdrawals.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
Beggars can't be choosers. Do you really think that WTA had so many options? I'm happy it will be played.
Tournament moved from China to Guadalajara?
Thought China had conquered the virus long ago. What is going on? Or is it a matter of China not allowing visitors entry?


 

Arak

Hall of Fame
Tournament moved from China to Guadalajara?
Thought China had conquered the virus long ago. What is going on? Or is it a matter of China not allowing visitors entry?


21 days quarantine and entrance allowed only for Chinese nationals with prior entry approval. That’s how I understand it at least.
 

Dolgopolov85

G.O.A.T.
Tournament moved from China to Guadalajara?
Thought China had conquered the virus long ago. What is going on? Or is it a matter of China not allowing visitors entry?


I don't know what they're reporting in Western media but we do a lot of business with China as one of my organisation's associate companies and principal suppliers is Chinese. So get this: the Ningbo port was shut down in August over covid worries. Yes! This did not happen anywhere else to my knowledge. Even us incompetent Indians didn't shut down any of our ports.

Conquered covid my ass. China is struggling with Delta but, as usual, not reporting the numbers because it would hurt Winnie The Pooh's ego.
 

R. Schweikart

Professional
I am aware. The Mexico City Olympics were held in 1968 and saw many upsets and athletes who were tipped to do well, didn't do as well due to the altitude impacting the athletes. Athletes from nations with high altitudes did well as they were acclimatized, however others like us here in Australia didn't (since many are on the ocean level).
Many US track and field athletes coped quite well - Bob Beamon, Lee Evans, Tommie Smith come to mind.
 
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