When the WTA created the draw for the Pan Pacific Open in Japan, Maria Sakkari, who was coming into the tournament with a title win in Guadalajara Open the previous last week and Caroline Garcia, who reached the semifinals, would have directly progressed to the second round.
However, Elena Rybakina, ranked 5, had to face Linda Noskova in the first round while Both Sakkari (6) and Garcia (10) didn’t.
Elena Rybakina, who was the number three seed, eventually pulled out of the Pan Pacific Open after slamming the WTA for the introduction of performance byes at the tournament.
What is a performance-based bye?
In tennis, players that are highly ranked often are excused from playing the first round. Earlier all WTA tournaments used to give the first-round bye for the top 4 seeded players participating in the tournament.
A player is given a Performance-based bye based upon the performances in the previous week and accordingly will be awarded a bye from the initial round of the tournament.
Pan Pacific Open isn’t the first time this system has been opted. WTA first used this system in 2009 Madrid Open, then China Open 2014, and in Dubai 2015.
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