Former World Number three Sloane Stephens lost her first-round match to Russian qualifier Liudmila Samsonova 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 at Brisbane International 2020. Being a member of the WTA Players council she criticized the scheduling of the Brisbane tournament.
Sharing courts with ATP Cup matches
The stadium is also hosting the new tournament on the men’s track the ATP Cup 2020. The comfortable time slots and the premier courts are occupied by the ATP men. The women’s matches are scheduled early, and they are held on the outside courts of the Queensland Tennis Center.
“I think that having an ATP Cup at the same place that you have a premier tournament for the women is a bit challenging,” said Sloane Stephens.“I think that when you’re a No.1 player in the world who is going to play on the side court, I don’t think that that’s great.”
World Number 24 Stephens claimed that it was unfair to prioritize ATP matches over WTA ones. The top-ten women which include Ashleigh Barty, Karolina Pliskova and Naomi Osaka played their matches on the outer courts.
“We (the WTA) just weren’t in the conversation to even be considered. It was what the ATP wanted, they got what they wanted, girls to the side, that’s kind of how it always is. I think it’s unfortunate, but we play and we do what we do and hopefully next year there will be some adjustments.”
“Business is business” – Sloane Stephens
The American Sloane Stephens mentioned that the tennis world is engaged in the money-making business. ATP fills more seats than WTA. It attracts more viewership, so naturally, the organizers would tend to be inclined more towards ATP events. Sadly, on the WTA’s side, the elite ladies of the sport involved in the premier-level tournament had to settle for the peripheral options.
“Obviously, business is business, their priority was the ATP Cup,” Stephens added.“I understand it’s a huge event and they might not have many options, which I also understand. But at the same time, we’re playing a premier (tournament) here and when you have your, a lot of the girls in the top-10 that are playing here and they’re all playing on side courts, it’s not the greatest look.”
“It should be equal” – Sloane Stephens
Despite blasting those organizers she was pleased by their efforts to control the situation. They tried their best to schedule ladies’ matches on the main courts. “It’s not like they’re not trying. I think they’re putting on a great event for what they have, and obviously to accommodate men and women, the people that they have. It’s not a knock on them at all. I just think that in the future, women, like, it should be equal,” she said.
Thursday onwards all the ATP Cup 2020 participants will fly to Sydney. Since the knock-out matches of the will be taking place there. And WTA matches can be held on the prior courts as per their schedule.