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Petra Kvitova speaks out against 'far from ideal' scheduling at China Open
The Czech was back on court for her second round match Monday evening after finishing her first round earlier that day at 1 a.m.
Published Oct 02, 2023
Match scheduling at the WTA's biggest tournaments once again became a topic of conversation Monday after Petra Kvitova, the eight-time winner of the Karen Krantzcke Sportsmanship Award, spoke out on social media on conditions she called "far from ideal" at the China Open.
Kvitova, seeded No. 12, saw her campaign in Beijing begin and end over a 24-span. In the first round, she played a late-night match against home hope Wang Xinyu that started on Sunday evening and ended in the early hours of Monday. 2014 Beijing finalist Kvitova rallied in the 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-3 win that lasted 3 hours and 5 minutes, and finished after 12:30 a.m. local time.
Around 18 hours later, the two-time Wimbledon champion was back on court, as she was scheduled to play Liudmila Samsonova in the second round, not before 5:30 p.m.
Kvitova lost to Samsonova, 6-4, 7-5, and afterwards, the usually soft-spoken Czech took to social media to share her displeasure with the arrangement.
"Far from ideal to finish my match at the @ChinaOpen at 1 a.m. and then be back on the schedule at NB 5:30 p.m. the next day when some first round matches had yet to be played," Kvitova wrote on X, the platform formerly called Twitter.
"I have always played the sport with huge respect and rarely speak out, but this time I feel strongly enough to say that there \has\ to have been a fairer option."
"Please do better for your players," she added, tagging the WTA's official account.
Kvitova joins the likes of Elena Rybakina and Iga Swiatek in hitting out at the tour's match scheduling this year, with the former critiquing "weak" leadership in the aftermath of a weather-affected WTA 1000 in Montreal and the latter backing her up in Cincinnati.
And in Beijing, which also features an ATP 500 event, the men have complaints, too. Alexander Zverev and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina finished their second-round match at 2:41 a.m. on Sunday, having began play after midnight.
Afterwards, the German provided his own commentary on the state of the order of play.
“I’m happy with the win. Obviously, it’s difficult to play 'til 3 a.m. I’m not sure it was the right call to keep us on this court," Zverev said. "I think we should’ve changed courts. We should’ve gone on. There are so many great courts in the stadium. So many opportunities where we could’ve played. I’m not sure we should’ve waited 'til past midnight to start the match, to be honest.”