Number one seed Simona Halep decries unfair scheduling at Rogers Cup

Simona Halep, of Romania, keeps an eye on the ball as she returns to Caroline Garcia, of France, during quarter-final play at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament, in Montreal on Friday, August 10, 2018. Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press

Simona Halep, the world’s top-ranked player, feels she is the victim of unfair scheduling by the Women’s Tennis Association.

Halep said after her quarterfinal win over Caroline Garcia on Friday that she often plays matches at difficult times and wants it to stop.

“If you look at the schedule, I think I’m the only one person and player who has the worst schedule during the week,” the Romanian said.

“I think this happens almost every tournament. I saw that (Saturday) I play at 1 p.m. (ET). So I think the WTA is a little bit upset with me because they always try to put me down, I can say, in the schedule. And I’m very upset about this.”

READ MORE: 100-year-old Montreal tennis player on what keeps him on the court

It has been a trying week for Halep. The reigning French Open champion was among a handful of players who had a match cut off by rain on Wednesday and then had to play twice on Thursday, including a late match.

Story continues below advertisement

She had hoped to play the second night quarterfinal on Friday and then play the night semifinal on Saturday so she could maintain a consistent preparation routine. Instead, she played the first evening quarterfinal and now has the early semifinal.

“My opponent has already six hours at the hotel resting and I just finished the match and I’m doing now these things (meeting the media)” she said.

“(On Saturday) I’m going to go on court and I will try to give my best. I have nothing to lose. It’s a semifinal. So I just go there and I try to play.”

She doesn’t know why she is often given difficult match times. She said to ask the WTA, who decide the schedule with input from the local promoter and the broadcasters.

“If you check the schedule this tournament, and many other tournaments, you can see what is right and what is not right,” said Halep.

Rogers Cup director of communications Valerie Tetreault said scheduling was particularly difficult this week because two evening sessions were wiped out by rain. Also, some players who reached the quarterfinals were also playing doubles and needed to play both matches within a reasonable time frame.

Story continues below advertisement

READ MORE: Retractable roof could be coming to Rogers Cup

They also like to schedule top players like Halep in the evening because there are more fans in the seats than during the day.

It added up to a tough week for Halep, who won the tournament the last time it was in Montreal in 2016.

Tetreault, a former player, said the challenge is “to find the right balance.”

Sponsored content