Billie Jean King defends WTA’s decision to host WTA Finals in Guadalajara

Former 39-time Grand Slam champion Billie Jean King has defended the WTA’s decision to host this year’s WTA Finals in Guadalajara. 

As no tennis events took place on the Asian soil in 2021, the WTA had to find another location for the WTA Finals. 

The WTA Finals decided to host the WTA Finals in Mexico and its the first time that the season-ending event is taking place in Latin America. 

The WTA Finals will return to Shenzhen in 2022. 

World No. 1 Ashleigh Barty is skipping the WTA Finals after previously her coach criticized the WTA over their “ridiculous” choice of the location. 

The high altitude and the current difficulties involved in traveling from Europe to Mexico were the main reasons why the WTA was criticized for their decision to choose Guadalajara.

“They killed themselves (to make it happen),” King, the founder of the WTA, told Reem Abulleil of Arab News. “First of all, the women have to understand, ‘Oh, this is an opportunity but where did the money come from?’ So they have to appreciate and support these tournaments and I get irritated when they don’t connect.

“They need to understand why and where, and why it’s important to participate, because it will go away very fast if you don’t work hard at keeping them and improving them. I don’t know if the players understand that.”

Garbine Muguruza absolutely loves King, WTA’s decision 

“I do feel we could be the fan favorites just because we have a similar culture,” Muguruza. “I feel like this is going to motivate young girls from Spain, from Latin America.

“I never thought that Latin America would hold a Masters final, just because it is very complicated (and there are) many aspects. When (WTA CEO) Steve (Simon) said that Guadalajara was an option, I was like, ‘Oh, my God, are you sure? You mean Guadalajara, Mexico, right, not another Guadalajara?’

“I was so nervous to make it happen. Now I want it even more. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. That had a big effect on me.”

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