Last week, a quarterfinal match in Montreal between Daria Kasatkina and Elena Rybakina finished at 3 am in the morning, as the organizers fought tooth and nail to complete a congested schedule due to rain interruptions. Rybakina's recovery was far from ideal and the Kazakh branded the decision-making as 'unprofessional'.
A lot of players have weighed in on the issue, and the repercussions of late-night finishes couldn't have been more apparent than the final where Liudmila Samsonova ran on fumes after playing four matches within three days and just 24-hour rest time in between. The Russian won one game in a truly one-sided match against Jessica Pegula that was hardly a spectacle.
Swiatek, the WTA No. 1, shared her thoughts on this issue earlier this season, but it appears to be an elephant in the room as weeks go by, certainly with the tournament organizers using the same-old excuse of bad weather. Asked to revisit the topic again, Swiatek maintained that the health of players should always come first.
"For sure, weather is something we can’t really predict, but maybe we should focus more on what is healthy for players because we have to compete every week."
"The tour is so intense with travel and not actually having two days of calm and not working that it would be nice in the future to focus on players, especially next year when there will be more and more mandatory tournaments and longer tournaments."
Swiatek adds that she requested some input from the WTA regarding the late-night start of matches to try and gauge whether such matches draw any massive viewership, to try and back up the tournament's reasoning, as it also tries to please the worldwide list of broadcasters.
"In Rome, I already told you guys the scheduling is crazy. But then during the clay season in Rome and Madrid I played four matches close to midnight or after midnight I finished them. It wasn't as obvious as Elena's situation last week."
"I understand that we have to adjust to broadcasters and everything, but I also asked the WTA for some data to see if people are watching matches that start past 10 pm. I didn’t get anything, but it would be easier to actually understand that it makes sense to play that late."