Daria Kasatkina on Saturday called out the WTA and organizers of tournaments for “terrible scheduling” after she booked her place in the Abu Dhabi Open final with a grueling three-hour victory over Beatriz Haddad Maia.
Kasatkina was to face top seed Elena Rybakina in the title decider yesterday and is due on court the following day in Doha for her opening-round clash with fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova at the Qatar Open.
It is a situation Kasatkina described as “unfair” to the players, noting that it could result in an increased risk of injury.
“It’s terrible scheduling, honestly,” said Kasatkina, who is through to her second final of the season after a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2) win over Brazil’s Haddad Maia. “I don’t know how you can schedule the finals of the tournament on Sunday, wanting to finish the next tournament on Saturday, so you start it on Sunday, and like this, the player, if like me, you don’t have a bye in Doha, I have to play on Monday and I play finals tomorrow at 5pm. We don’t have yet this technology that I can just do like this [snaps her fingers] and be in Doha in five seconds.”
Kasatkina was unsure whether she would be able to catch a flight on Sunday night from Abu Dhabi to Doha, and has urged the WTA Tour and tournament organizers to consider adjusting the schedule moving forward.
“I have a question, I don’t know to who, to WTA or the tournaments, like, are you guys trying to make players die or to get injured often?” Kasatkina said. “I might have to fly Monday and step on the court the same day, after playing five matches here at the highest level. So I’m sorry, but that’s something we have to talk about and consider.”
Kasatkina, who was targeting the seventh title of her career yesterday, and first since 2022, acknowledges there is nothing that can be done for this year’s scheduling, given the first-round byes have already been set for the Qatar Open, with no chance for a performance bye to be added for her.
“We’re players, we’re humans and we’re trying to do our job the best we can, but under the circumstances it’s not very easy,” the 26-year-old said. “I hope this question will be addressed to the right people, and I’m not crying, I’m just saying the facts and the facts are saying that it’s impossible, it cannot be like that.”
Meanwhile, Rybakina does not face the same scheduling issue brought up by Kasatkina, given she is a top-eight seed in Doha and has been awarded a first-round bye.
The former Wimbledon champion overcame last year’s Abu Dhabi runner-up Liudmila Samsonova 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 to move into her second final of the season.
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