Guadalajara, a unique 1600m challenge for the WTA Tour

With an angry face, Polish tennis player Ija Swiatek hits her racket on the ground and then turns to her coach in confusion. He makes his third and final match on the robin stage of the 2021 WTA Finals on the grounds in Guadalajara, enduring a temperature of 25 degrees with a heat sensation of over 30 due to the intense sun hitting 2:00 in the late afternoon.

Swiatek reached this last match (against Spain’s Paula Padusa) within the Chichén Itzá group, and was no longer able to advance to the semi-finals, losing her first duels against Maria Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka. Likewise, but in the Teotihuacan group, Barbora Krejcikova reached her last match without options, which was the result of the difficulties of adapting to Mexican dirt.

“Mexico is really challenging. In the world there are few tournaments of as high as the one here, in Mexico the WTA Tour is held in Guadalajara and Monterrey, but Monterrey is half as high here, and I can’t compare it to other regions,” describes El Economista, Alejandro Garcia. Cinzano, a WTA certified coach and official fencing player during the various tournaments of the season.

The 2021 WTA Tour kicked off on January 4 at the Abu Dhabi Open 500, in the United Arab Emirates, 27 meters above sea level. The season is currently closing with a big lead: at 1,566 metres, at the Akron Tennis Stadium, in Zapopan, Jalisco.

Of the 58 tournaments that made up the 2021 Tour (including the Grand Slam and the Tokyo Olympics), only three pitches exceeded 500 meters in height: Monterrey with 540, Guadalajara with 1,566, and Bogota with 2,640, but all three were at 250, so none were Of the current participants in the WTA Finals, with the exception of the Mexican Juliana Olmos (in Monterrey in the singles and in Guadalajara in the doubles). That is, throughout the year, the best singles and doubles representatives performed below 200 meters above sea level.

See also  Columbus Crewe, with the Argentines Lucas Zillarayan and Milton Valenzuela, crushed in Honduras

“Of course height is a challenge, it’s hard, but I also think it’s a mental issue. It’s a condition that you have to deal with from the grassroots, you actually face different situations on the field and you just have to find a way to adapt to it, if you accept it mentally it will be easier Much more, you can do a lot more with adequate practice and conditioning your equipment. There are definitely specific strategies we use in this matter,” adds Torsten Peschke, coach of the duo between Demi Schurz (Netherlands) and Nicole Melchard Martins (USA) at the 2021 WTA Finals.

Although the players arrived a week before the finals began in Guadalajara (it kicked off on November 10), their physical adaptation is a process that takes between four and five days, with some odd moves that have generated consistent high payouts during the match. matches.

What specific jobs did you do during your stay in Guadalajara in exchange for altitude?

“The truth is very special, it depends on every game, but I think working hard on the serve is very important, working to get a higher percentage and fewer silly mistakes, the key here with altitude is to play every ball well. You have to.Spain Garbine Muguruza replied to this newspaper: You should take good care of the ball in general, because you get a little confused and the circumstances do not help you.

Poland’s Swiatek was an example when dealing with these conditions, although it was a statement the players made from their early days in Mexico: “It’s hard to adapt, the ball flies a lot, it’s not like Indian Wells, you can think it’s the same, but here it’s very difficult.” Being in control of the ball. It mediates, maybe a little slow, but it flies more regardless of the shape of the field”, reflected the Spaniard Paula Padusa.

See also  Why do so many soccer players celebrate their birthday in January? The importance of due date | Spain

The first four or five days were fundamental, from knowing the weather to preparing strategies, assures Alejandro García Cinzano: “Tennis players used to play more at sea level, at lower altitude, or in places like Madrid, but here there are more than twice as high. Which they are used to and eventually I noticed that the ball bounces a lot. To reduce it you have to tension (the racket) with a different tension higher. It is not easy to adapt, you have to speed up your hand a lot more until the ball falls.”

In other cases, this was also observed in a strenuous physique, as happened to Muguruza on his first two days in Guadalajara: “It’s hard to play, I’ve never seen a great height, maybe 700 meters. It’s hard to get used to, on the first day you I hallucinate a little and breathe fast, you have to work on that and get used to your body, but I feel it’s hard for everyone,” said the Spaniard, who reached the semi-finals.

Padusa and Muguruza were able to beat Robben’s turn and continue to hunt for the title, but Swiatek did not, although he managed to come home with at least one win (7-5, 6-4) over Padusa at the close of the match. Tuesday at 2:00 p.m., under the exhausting Guadalajara sun. In her last game, the Pole showed more rallies and rallies, a pace that cost her two losses.

Just the setting of the evening schedule was another factor opposite from the coaches’ perspective, even more so than the height itself: “Playing at that altitude is fine, but maybe later, as in the late evening, when the temperature drops a little, that will be the adaptation. necessary for us. We are preparing not to be surprised by the conditions from here for two weeks”, concluded Czech coach Torsten Peszek.

See also  Puebla scores six more positives for COVID-19: Her US tour has been cancelled

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *