Elena Rybakina was "a bit dramatic" about performance bye controversy at Pan Pacific Open, says tennis analyst

Elena Rybakina has been accused of being "dramatic" about the use of performance byes at the Toray Pan Pacific Open last week.

The 2022 Wimbledon champion was expected to receive a bye in the first round of the WTA 500 tournament in Tokyo as one of the top seeds. However, it was revealed that the WTA was trialing performance byes at the event which went to Maria Sakkari and Caroline Garcia due to the fact that they had reached the latter stages of the Guadalajara Open a few days beforehand.

This meant that Rybakina would have to play her first-round match against Linda Noskova. The 24-year-old expressed her frustration and displeasure about the bye snub on social media, receiving a mixed reaction from fans as Sakkari and Garcia insisted that the rule was known about in advance. Rybakina subsequently withdrew from the tournament.

Gross says bye snub not the worst thing in the world

Tennis analyst Gill Gross shared his thoughts about the situation on his podcast Monday Match Analysis.

"Elena Rybakina was a bit upset; a bit dramatic about it. I mean, at the end of the day, if you’re super upset about performance byes, you’ve got to look at what is the punishment here.

"If you are a player who would be a top four seed or a top eight seed, all you gotta do is play a first-round match, right? It’s not the worst thing in the world. Doesn’t really cost you anything," he said.

However, he said that fans shouldn't blame Rybakina for not knowing about the performance byes as, according to him, communication on the WTA Tour can sometimes lack clarity.

"But also, I don’t blame Elena for not knowing, and it should have been communicated to her. Communication on tour is really bad. There’s not a lot of it. We know that.

"You’re a young player, alright? Performance byes in the Asian swing have been for a long, long, long time, but there hasn’t been any Asian swing since 2019, so it’s really understandable that if you’re in Rybakina’s shoes, you show up and you’re expecting to get a bye and suddenly you don’t have one and you’re taken by surprise," he continued.

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