Ellen Perez - Wimbledon 2023

WTA Finals finalist labels tournament a ‘scheduling disaster’

Ellen Perez is expected to play the doubles final in Cancun later today, before taking a long-haul flight to Seville in time for Australia’s Billie Jean King (BJK) Cup tie on Tuesday at 10am, and she has now spoken out about the ‘scheduling disaster’.

It is not the first time that players have spoken out against this tournament, with the last-minute building of the courts and bad weather also causing frustration.

There was always going to be a tight turnover for those wanting to compete at both the WTA Finals and BJK Cup, but with both the singles and doubles finals being postponed to Monday it has made that almost impossible.

This tight turnaround had already lead Iga Swiatek, Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula choosing not to enter the team event.

Two of the four doubles finalists are also entered into the Billie Jean King Cup, and Ellen Perez is one of those.

The Australian spoke out about the situation on social media, “Anyone got a private jet and want to fly me from Cancun to Seville tomorrow night to make it in time for BJKC[up] Tuesday 10am match. Really not impressed with this scheduling disaster. Why do I have to be punished for this.”

The doubles No.22 is playing alongside Nicole Melichar-Martinez, who is not heading to Seville, against the veteran duo of Laura Siegemund and Nicole Melichar-Martinez.

Siegemund is also entered into the BJK Cup, but the German has until Thursday before her nations first match in Seville.

Whereas Perez and Aussie compariot Storm Hunter, who lost in the doubles semi-final yesterday, have their first match at the BJK Cup Finals on Tuesday morning.

Martina Navratilova, who is the most successful WTA Finals player in history in both singles and doubles, has spoken out against the leadership on the WTA.

“It shouldn’t have come that late in the year, making this decision. There was a sequence of bad decisions,” claimed Navratilova. “Ultimately, Steve Simon has been the boss for nine years and here we are. Players adjusted and they had to but to come to Cancun in the rainy season?

“You cannot be hoping it’s not gonna rain at a premier event for the WTA Tour. It was just a whole bunch of decisions. You have to own the bad decisions you made and make some choices after that.”

The former No.1 continued to suggest that the next leader of the WTA should be a woman, “Maybe it’s time for new leadership. For me personally, this being a woman’s association and being involved for such a long time from the beginning, and we’ve only had three women at the head of it.

Navratilova concluded, “I think it’s time. Hopefully, when we get a new leader, it’s a woman. There are plenty of them that are qualified for the job. It’s gonna be hard for Steve to stay in the job because everything is pointing the other way.”

The WTA Finals doubles final begins at 1:30pm local time (6:30pm GMT), followed by the singles final between Swiatek and Pegula at 4:30pm local time (9:30pm GMT).

Inside the baseline…

Ellen Perez certainly did not mince her words on social media, and rightfully so. The WTA Finals are supposed to be a reward for being one of the top eight singles players/doubles teams, but as the Aussie said they have been ‘punished’ instead. A decision on the location for the 2024 WTA Finals needs to be made much sooner than it was this year.

READ NEXT – Billie Jean King Cup Finals Guide: How does the ‘Tennis World Cup’ work?

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.