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I can see why Barty withdrew, but this is the second time in a row she has done that the week before a slam, and her third tournament in the past five to do that. Sevastova is pretty notorious for withdrawing. These players are not alone because it is a WTA-wide culture (my favorite is one of the worst), but the WTA desperately needs to do something about this habit because it is getting absolutely ridiculous. And I agree that the "get in the car and drive to Eastbourne" comment is also a bad look, although at least she entertained that possibility when many others wouldn't even do that.
There's no easy solution. They either withdraw before the tournament or tank early to secure the bonus pool prize money. The WTA is scratching that next year which is an interesting move.
 

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There's no easy solution. They either withdraw before the tournament or tank early to secure the bonus pool prize money. The WTA is scratching that next year which is an interesting move.
Or they act like professionals and either show up and give 100% or don't commit to play. The WTA's culture has devolved into acting as if a player who goes deep one week is crazy to play the next. They either need to change that attitude or stop signing up for two tournaments in a row because it is beyond ridiculous at this point.
 

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Ash says she has 'bone stress' injury in her arm which has flared up during heavy workloads since she was 18. Expects to be fine for Wimbledon.
Then the first thing she should do is cut right back on playing doubles, at least on the regular tour.
 

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I can see why Barty withdrew, but this is the second time in a row she has done that the week before a slam, and her third tournament in the past five to do that. Sevastova is pretty notorious for withdrawing. These players are not alone because it is a WTA-wide culture (my favorite is one of the worst), but the WTA desperately needs to do something about this habit because it is getting absolutely ridiculous. And I agree that the "get in the car and drive to Eastbourne" comment is also a bad look, although at least she entertained that possibility when many others wouldn't even do that.

Meanwhile Feliciano Lopez played five matches in two days at Queens, yet is on the Eastbourne OOP for tomorrow… Not that the ATP is perfect and he may still withdraw, but somehow the problem seems way less severe on that tour.
I wouldn't have any problem at all if Lopez were to withdraw. There are a number of mitigating circumstances: First, his very heavy match-load in the last few days at Queens that you highlighted. While he got a walkover from Delpo in R2, his last 3 singles matches were 3-setters, and the final against Simon featured some very long rallies (that's Gilles Simon for you ...). People speculated that had Andy Murray not been his doubles partner, he might well have pulled out of doubles, but of course he stuck with it, giving his all. Secondly, Eastbourne is only an ATP 250 for the men, while Queens was an ATP 500. Thirdly, Lopez is not seeded at Eastbourne. Fourthly, while he won Eastbourne only two years ago, and has a good record on grass, he wasn't considered a favourite at Queens this year, and so his success came as something of a surprise. Not so with Barty in Birmingham.

Oh, and Simon is (as I type this) also down to play at Eastbourne tomorrow, despite having played 5 x 3-setters at Queens - total time on court, c. 13 1/2 hours.
 
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Or they act like professionals and either show up and give 100% or don't commit to play. The WTA's culture has devolved into acting as if a player who goes deep one week is crazy to play the next. They either need to change that attitude or stop signing up for two tournaments in a row because it is beyond ridiculous at this point.
It’s problematic though... if they’d lost in the first round of Birmingham, it would have been too late to secure match practice for Wimbledon.

I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to have some sort of ‘deposit’ required to secure your place (e.g. half your first round fee) which you have to pay to f you pull out last minute.

Players who perform well the preceding week wouldn’t mind because it just comes out of their winnings.

Of course then you just risk people showing up and tanking. No easy solution.
 

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It’s problematic though... if they’d lost in the first round of Birmingham, it would have been too late to secure match practice for Wimbledon.

I wonder if it wouldn’t be a good idea to have some sort of ‘deposit’ required to secure your place (e.g. half your first round fee) which you have to pay to f you pull out last minute.

Players who perform well the preceding week wouldn’t mind because it just comes out of their winnings.

Of course then you just risk people showing up and tanking. No easy solution.
I like this idea. Something needs to be done! And honestly I think tanking is better than withdrawing in most cases :shrug:. Retiring at 1-0 would be a mess, but having a lucky loser with a bye instead of the top seed messes up the whole draw, and I have to assume that most players are too competitive to consistently throw matches just because they won a title (or played semis/final) the week before. Fairly often, so-called tanks end up biting top players in the ass too because they end up facing that lower-ranked opponent again who suddenly believes she can win. If nothing else the press should quit this "forced to withdraw due to [insert so-called injury]" bullshit and call out the players for wanting to save energy, which could at least help them think twice about this prevalent withdrawal culture.
 
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