Scheduling was a big topic last year due to various events putting players in very tough spots, and it's happening in 2024 as well, influencing Daria Kasatkina.
The 2023 season was a season of many player complaints, some of it to do with scheduling. Quite a few players called out events for very unfavorable scheduling as most, let's face it, prioritized profits more than anything else.
It's become a hot topic, and it's been something the councils conveyed to the leadership of the respective Tours. And yet, here we are in 2024 with the same problem persisting, but this time not even from the tournaments, but from the WTA.
The player affected this time is Daria Kasatkina, who was not happy with how the Qatar Open scheduling went. She's set to play her first-round match on Monday, which is generally not a problem, but not this time around.
It's because the Russian made it to the final of the Abu Dhabi Open, where she'll contest the final on Sunday starting at 5 pm local time. That means that she'll have to be on the court in Doha less than 24 hours after her final in Abu Dhabi, which is far from ideal, and she wasn't happy about it.
"It's terrible scheduling, honestly. 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."
It's not ideal, even though Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are right next to each other. The player still has to catch the one-hour flight and set up in the hotel.
It's just going to be a difficult situation, and if Kasatkina wins, there is a decent chance she won't even play. It's not worth it, and there is another WTA 1000 event in Dubai the following week.
"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?- 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."