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WTA players Barty, Osaka, Pliskova react to ATP Cup scheduling
No women's matches will be scheduled on the event's center court for the first three days, despite a strong field that includes six of the Top 10 players led by Australian and world No. 1 Barty.
Published Jan 07, 2020
WTA players have expressed varied reactions to having their WTA event alongside the ATP Cup in Brisbane.
While the facility previously held a regular combined women's and men's tournament, it is now one of the three sites of the men's ATP Cup team competition while the women's event is unchanged.
Among the effects is that no women's matches will be scheduled on the event's center court for the first three days, despite a strong field that includes six of the Top 10 players led by Australian and world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty. The top women get first-round byes at the event.
"It's a bit rough," said Australia's Sam Stosur following her opening win at Brisbane. "And I know a few fans that I've talked to or come up to me are a little bit confused about what's actually going on."
Stosur also said that she had spoken to Tennis Australia chief Craig Tiley about having a similar event to the ATP Cup for the women, or a combined event with both men and women competing.
"I know that he's very much on board to try and make a WTA event," she told press. "But I think everyone likes playing in a team.
"Hopman Cup's always been very successful with the men and women so I think if you are going to do it, I think it would be pretty cool to have a combined event.
"I think that would be really exciting if all parties can get together and make that happen."
But Barty did not bring up any issues with the scheduling.
"I think that, obviously, it's a new event for the men, and yes, it coincides with the women's event," she said. "So I actually don't think it really matters which court it is. The size of the court is the same."
The 24-year-old added that she did not want to get involved in whether a women's version of the new team event should be created.
"It's the first time an event like this has been played. But at the moment I'm very happy with playing a tournament in my hometown, in my backyard, and in a normal regular WTA tournament. So I have absolutely no complaints," she said.
Naomi Osaka, talking to press before the women's event began, insisted she had not noticed a big difference.
"But for me it just feels like a men's tournament and a women's tournament, so it's pretty much the same thing," said Osaka.
But Karolina Pliskova would like the start of the ATP Cup moved back to allow the top women to play their openers on the largest court.
"I think the ATP Cup, at least I'm having fun to watch it," she said. "I think the timing could have been different because, of course, we have a tournament too. So I think... just to have also women's on the center court.
"So I think that would be fairer."
The ATP Cup final rounds will be played at Sydney.