Belinda Bencic Calls Out 'Terrible' Court Conditions at WTA Finals After Retirement
Shenzhen: Belinda Bencic was unhappy with the court conditions at WTA Finals in Shenzhen after she had to retire mid-way through her semi-final against Elina Svitolina on Saturday.
Svitolina won her 10th straight WTA Finals match and advanced to her second straight final as Bencic retired with the defending champion leading 5-7, 6-3, 4-1.
The Swiss struggled with cramping from late in the first set but gamely fought on before retiring hurt.
"I was cramping," Bencic said after the match. "I started to feel it at the start of the second set, my hamstring. I called the physio. I started cramping in my foot and again in my hamstring.
"I really didn't want to retire. I wanted to finish the match. It was not possible. I'm really disappointed about how my body failed me.
Bencic became the third player this week to retire mid-match in Shenzhen following the withdrawals of Kiki Bertens and Bianca Andreescu. While Bertens said she felt some problem with her stomach, Andreescu got her knee injured while stretching to get a shot back and had to retire.
World number three Naomi Osaka withdrew from the year-ender before her second match against Barty citing shoulder injury.
Bencic, however, did not mince her words and had scathing criticism for the court conditions that she felt were not good for the movement of players.
"I think these courts are really not ideal. You can see there were four retirements this week.
"I think these courts are terrible for movement of players and for the muscles," Bencic said of the indoor hard court.
"You stop immediately, and it goes directly into your muscles. I think since the first practice, you can feel that in your body," said Bencic who described it like "playing on sand".
Earlier in the week, Wimbledon 2019 champion Simona Halep had also complained of the slow court conditions. "We have to do extra work on the shots and the points on this surface. This court is too tough for me," said the Romanian.
In the final on Sunday, Svitolina will look to defend her title against world No.1 Ashleigh Barty.
(With AFP inputs)