World No.7 Belinda Bencic takes a dig at the quality of the courts used at the Shiseido WTA Finals Shenzhen 2019 after she pulled out of the final event of WTA season due to a right hamstring injury that she took upon during her semifinals against the defending champion Elina Svitolina on Saturday.
The Swiss star became the fourth player to withdraw from the year-ending championship in Shenzhen after Kiki Bertens, Bianca Andreescu, and Naomi Osaka were forced to pull out for one reason or another during the one-week event, featuring world’s top eight women.
“I’m really disappointed with how my body failed me. Also, I think these courts are really not ideal. You can see there were four retirements this week,” Belinda Bencic said in the press conference after her withdrawal on Saturday.
“I think these courts are terrible for the movement of players and for the muscles because it’s like sand. You stop immediately, and it goes directly into your muscles. I think since the first practice, you can feel that in your body,” Bencic added
Bencic retired midway through the third set after battling through cramps as she struggled with cramping from late in the opening set at the indoor Shenzhen Bay Sports Center.
In the first set, the two players traded breaks in games six and seven respectively, however, it was Belinda Bencic who clinched another break at 6-5 and sealed the set 7-5 in 53 minutes. The 22-years-old had asked for a medical timeout before the 11th game and the pain started to bother her more and more as she suffered a break in the first game of the second set.
Elina Svitolina then went onto secure the set with another break of serve. Bencic did not have anything more left in her tank in the deciding set as she could barely win a point on the return and also lost the serve in the second game with Svitolina earning a lead of 4-1. The Swiss then decided to retire after the fifth game as she couldn’t battle until the end of the match.
Elina Svitolina will try to defend the title against Ashleigh Barty in the title match on Sunday.