Empty Stands During WTA Finals Doubles Match Rocks Tennis Fans

Empty Stands During WTA Finals Doubles Match Rocks Tennis Fans

by Nurein Ahmed

The number of tennis fans in the stands during a doubles match at the 2023 WTA Finals could have been counted on one hand.

A video circulating on social media of the match featuring Gabriela Dabrowski and Erin Routliffe taking on the pair of Laura Siegemund and Vera Zvonareva showed an incredibly low turnout by the locals in Cancun, with Portuguese journalist Jose Morgado asserting that a paltry number of 10 fans were there.

Even though doubles tennis doesn't quite bring in numbers parallel to singles matches, it was quite alarming for a matchup that less than two months ago graced the courts of New York in the US Open doubles final. Fans were completely dismayed.

From the outset, this year's WTA Finals has been marred with diabolical scheduling decisions by the women's governing body, WTA, who announced the host city just a few weeks before the actual tournament's start despite reported interest from at least multiple countries.

Moreover, the construction of the stadium court to be used at the tournament was not completed in time, and the qualified players in both singles and doubles ended up using hotel courts as makeshift practice courts. This was not commended by the players who expressed their shock and grievance on social media.

The playing conditions in Cancun have been far from ideal, with the unpleasant wind (due to the city's close proximity to the sea), and the inconsistent court which was laid in a hurry being criticized by some players. World No. 2 Iga Swiatek pleaded with the fans during her on-court interview after winning her first round-robin match to fill empty seats.

"I hope for the next matches we can make the stadium full because there are many empty seats. Guys, please come and watch our game. We are giving 100 percent in every match."

Swiatek during her post-match interview


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