"F* your performance byes"; "Why does WTA hate Elena Rybakina" - Tokyo Open experimenting with new bye system leaves tennis fans unimpressed

Elena Rybakina is ranked fifth in the world.
Elena Rybakina is the third seed at the Tokyo Open 2023

Several tennis fan expressed their disappointment after learning about the 2023 Tokyo Open women's singles draw. Elena Rybakina has been put into an unfavorable position despite being the third seed, as the tournament has introduced a new bye system.

This year, there are 'performance byes' in the Tokyo Open main draw. Such byes are aimed at awarding a player for a good performance in the week preceding a competition.

As per the new set of rules, fourth seed Maria Sakkari and fifth seed Caroline Garcia will advance straight to the second round in Tokyo, whereas Rybakina will face Linda Noskova in the first round.

Sakkari and Garcia played against each other recently, in the semifinal of the ongoing Guadalajara Open, with the former emerging victorious.

Tennis fans are now protesting the new parameters, with many claiming that they are discriminatory to Elena Rybakina. A fan wrote:

"GoodBYE WTA!!!! You're being so unfair to Rybakina."

Another fan argued that the seeding system is based on the performances of players to begin with, writing:

"Performance bye??? Seeds are already performance based! Why Elena have to r1 because Garcia and Sakkari decided to play every possible tournament? It is their schedule decision."

Another account chimed in with some harsh words, writing:

"F* your performance byes. You get your byes by your seed and seed are already performance based??? Bffr."

Here are a few more reactions from tennis fans:

"The leadership is a little bit weak" - When Elena Rybakina criticized the WTA over late-night matches

Elena Rybakina pictured at a press conference
Elena Rybakina pictured at a press conference

Elena Rybakina criticized the WTA for late-night matches during the Canadian Open in August. The Kazakh defeated Daria Kasatkina in a grueling quarterfinal match that finished at around 3 a.m. on August 12.

"It’s the first time when the match went that long and we finished also so late," she said during a press conference in Montreal.

Rybakina's semifinal against Liudmila Samsonova was also delayed because of rain. It was supposed to be played on Saturday but got postponed by a day.

"It’s the first time and hopefully the last time because I think it’s been a little bit unprofessional from the, I cannot say really the tournament because I think that the most important is the WTA here, and the leadership is a little bit weak for now," Elena Rybakina said.

The former Wimbledon Champion will enter the Tokyo Open on the back of an unexpected third-round exit at the 2023 US Open, where she was defeated by Sorana Cirstea.