World number one Aryna Sabalenka has criticised the Women’s Tennis Association over the organisation of its season-ending Finals in Mexico.
The 25-year-old Sabalenka beat Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-0 6-1 in her opening match on Sunday but said she felt “disrespected” by the sport’s governing body.
The venue for the Finals was only confirmed in early September after talks between the WTA and Saudi Arabia failed to yield an agreement for 2023 and the construction of the court in the Mexican resort of Cancun was only completed in the days before the tournament’s start on Sunday.
Sabalenka took the top ranking from Poland’s Iga Swiatek after the US Open in September and will finish as year-end number one if she is undefeated in round-robin play or reaches the final.
Earlier in Group A, American Jessica Pegula beat Elena Rybakina 7-5 6-2 and Monday’s Group B matches see Swiatek take on Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova while US Open winner Coco Gauff faces Ons Jabeur.