New WTA boss claims ‘fundamental’ calendar changes

Singapore, Oct 26 (IANS) Women’s Tennis Assocation (WTA) chief executive Steve Simon on Monday claimed there will be “fundamental changes” to the tough schedule following a series of injuries among top players.

“We will consult with players to improve the schedule to protect their health and keep the tour a ‘premium product’ for tennis fans,” Xinhua quoted Simon as saying.

More recently, many outstanding tennis players have struggled with injuries. World No.1 Serena Williams pulled out of Singapore tournament to “heal” her body.

The WTA Finals’ top seed Simona Halep was forced to withdraw in her opening match at the China Open in Beijing due to an ankle injury. Also, Petra Kvitova, Garbine Muguruza, Victoria Azarenka and Belinda Bencic are among the players who have retired from matches in recent weeks.

Simon said the intense period between the end of the US Open and the WTA Finals is “the most exacerbated” because players are tired and also under extra pressure to reach the season finale.

He also hinted that next month’s new WTA Elite Trophy in China is one event that could be rescheduled. He added that changing the calendar will be controversial because it will affect investments and traditions.

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