Kasatkina Smokes WTA for 250 Related Rule – Here’s What You Missed

We all know that professional tennis players don’t always agree with the rules that are in place for both the WTA and ATP Tours. However, with these being separate entities, the rules are actually different for the men and women in certain areas. This alone causes confusion and uncertainty for various tennis professionals, and some rules seem more restrictive than others. I say this because there has been a recent development between Daria Kasatkina and the WTA Tour surrounding one of these ‘bizarre’ rules.

Specifically, this relates to a WTA rule that’s in place with regard to top 10 players and WTA 250 events. I will give you the full overview of this rule and why Kasatkina decided to voice her opinions on the matter below. But first, you should know that Kasatkina decided to jump on her partner’s YouTube channel to express her displeasure with the rule, to put things politely. Of course, the manner of this public outpouring is what has really caused the story to blow up, and it sure made for a good watch!

Kasatkina WTA Rule

Taking this into account, as I’ve promised, I will now discuss the WTA rule that has fueled this controversy. And at the same time, I will then showcase the problems that this current rule causes for both the WTA and the players involved. 

Let’s begin.

Daria Kasatkina Fires Shots at WTA Rule – The Full Breakdown

First and foremost, if you don’t know who Daria Kasatkina is, she’s currently number 11 in the world as per the most recent WTA rankings updates. Therefore, because she is right up there among the world’s top players, her opinion on this subject does carry more weight than if it came from others. Not only that, but I’m sure that Kasatkina has been somewhat disgruntled in the last 12-18 months given the handling of the very delicate situation between Russia and Ukraine. 

Of course, with her being Russian, she’s come in for her fair share of backlash and difficult moments lately – through no fault of her own I might add. Anyway, now that you have an idea about Kasatkina and her presence on the WTA Tour, let me get into this rule and why the story has blown up over the last week or so.

One Top 10 Player per WTA 250 Event

This ‘rule’ that I have been referencing throughout relates to the WTA only allowing one top 10 player per WTA 250 event to be involved in the draw. For the record, the ATP has no such restrictions in place, yet this is the way things are on the WTA Tour. So effectively, if you are involved with a WTA 250 tournament, there can only ever be one top 10 player standing between you and the title. 

The remaining players are guaranteed to be ranked outside of the top 10 at the time of entry – more on this shortly!

Two WTA 250 Appearances per Year for a Top 10 Player

If you thought that only allowing one top 10 player in WTA 250 tournaments was restrictive enough, it gets worse. While yes, just a single top 10 player is permitted to compete in these events on an individual basis, they can only compete in two of them each year. Of course, this makes top 10 players incredibly restricted in terms of what WTA 250 events they can play. 

And when you consider that there are almost 30 WTA 250 tournaments held annually, unless the top 10 players constantly changed, some of these events would naturally be played without any top 10 players. That’s because if each top 10 player competed in 2x 250 events each, that still amounts to just 20 tournaments combined. 

The Problem – Rankings Adjustments and Prestige of 250 Events Suffering

I’ve touched upon a couple of issues with this rule above, but let me get a little more specific now. Here’s the first problem – this top 10 rule applies at the time of entry, which can be weeks ahead of an event. During that time, the player rankings can change, potentially leading to zero top 10 players involved in the tournament when it ultimately gets played. This was actually Kasatkina’s argument when she voiced her concerns over the last few days, among other things, of course.

As for the second problem, WTA 250 events don’t have the same financial backing as the larger events. And if they can’t secure the top players to compete in them, there is zero chance for them to grow in stature. Finally, when it comes to the third problem, such a rule causes serious scheduling challenges for the top players. This makes an already tough schedule even tougher to navigate, and I have to say, this could easily be avoided.

Subscribe to Punditfeed on Google News for all the latest updates from the world of sports!