- 26 Oct 2019
Ashleigh Barty claims there are no favourites at the WTA Finals, despite her standing as the world number one.
French Open champion Barty comes into the year-end showpiece at the top of the rankings and will be expected to come through a group stage where she faces Naomi Osaka, Petra Kvitova and Belinda Bencic.
However, the Australian believes there is an even field at the Finals and sees each player as having an opportunity to win the tournament.
“In my opinion, I don’t think there ever is a favourite,” Barty said. “I think everyone is deserving to win that’s in the draw.”
The 23-year-old added: “On any given day, anyone can be beaten. That’s the beauty of sport, there are no certainties. There’s always an opportunity for someone to try to bring their best.”
— WTA (@WTA) October 24, 2019
Even if the eight players are well matched, Karolina Pliskova claims the five who have been to the Finals before have the benefit of experience in the round-robin format.
Barty, Bianca Andreescu and Bencic are the three debutants who, according to Pliskova, are at a disadvantage.
“I think it’s a little bit different compared to other tournaments,” Pliskova said. “You have to get used to it. It’s a different format.
“You play more matches. If you lose, you can still play. This is just something that we are not really used to during the year.
“But it’s the last big tournament, everybody is following it. I think you can be a little more nervous than maybe during the year, of course, maybe a little more tired.
“It depends what your feeling is. It can make some difference, I think, for the players who have never played.”