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"Scariest thing I've seen this Halloween" - Tennis fans react to shockingly low spectator turnout for WTA Finals 2022 opener between Jessica Pegula and Maria Sakkari

Maria Sakkari and Jessica Pegula (L); Ons Jabeur and Aryna Sabalenka at the 2022 WTA Finals.
Maria Sakkari and Jessica Pegula (L); Aryna Sabalenka and Ons Jabeur at the 2022 WTA Finals.

The 2022 WTA Finals did not get off to the most auspicious start, with very few people turning up to watch the tournament opener at the Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, featuring American No. 1 and World No. 3 Jessica Pegula.

The tournament - one of the biggest on the WTA calendar - was moved to Fort Worth this season on a one-year contract. The fact that the prestigious WTA Finals, featuring the top eight players in the world, is being held in the United States for the first time in 17 years, doesn't seem to have added to the excitement, at least for now.

Crowd for the first singles match of the WTA Finals in Fort Worth, featuring US's #1 Jess Pegula. https://t.co/QRbyFrepfJ

Pegula, who recently achieved a career-high ranking of No. 3, took on fifth seed Maria Sakkari in the opening round-robin match on Monday.

Many tennis fans worldwide reacted to the shockingly low turnout for the match, particularly one involving the American No. 1 in her home country. One such fan opined that the tournament is dearly missing the likes of Emma Raducanu, Naomi Osaka, and Serena Williams.

"I’m pretty sure if Emma, Naomi or Serena was here the crowd would have been packed. Byeeee these girls ain’t selling," read their post on Twitter.
I’m pretty sure if Emma, Naomi or Serena was here the crowd would have been packed. Byeeee these girls ain’t selling twitter.com/josemorgado/st…
That's the scariest thing I've seen this Halloween😭 twitter.com/josemorgado/st…

Another fan lamented the fact that the top-ranked American player competing in such a big tournament did not draw a strong crowd.

"I've never thought Texas was a hot bed for tennis, outside the US Open. I do remember the crowds were great last year in Mexico. The person who's really hurt is Pegula -- she should have had lots of US fans cheering for her, instead it's dead quiet," read another tweet.
@josemorgado I've never thought Texas was a hot bed for tennis, outside the US Open. I do remember the crowds were great last year in Mexico. The person who's really hurt is Pegula -- she should have had lots of US fans cheering for her, instead it's dead quiet.

Here are a few more reactions from tennis fans to the spectator turnout in the WTA Finals opener:

@josemorgado More people came to watch sharapova’s photoshoot than this match https://t.co/OJhDXNKkpm
The WTA's marketing has gotten so, so terrible on all fronts. Has to be one of the worst for a major sport. Which is sad because it used to be amongst the best. twitter.com/josemorgado/st…
Hey @BuffaloBills nobody would mind a few @JLPegula promo tweets in the future. #BillsMafia twitter.com/josemorgado/st…
You have your biggest event of the year and you put it in the arena best known for the AAC Tournament, in the middle of the World Series + football season. Why.
Come back @serenawilliams !!!!! twitter.com/josemorgado/st…
Have not and still do not understand why they let an American city host this event… especially given how poorly we promote both women’s sports and tennis as a whole in the US. I certainly saw this coming. On behalf of the US, I am sorry twitter.com/josemorgado/st…

Maria Sakkari gets off to winning start at 2022 WTA Finals

2022 WTA Finals - Day 1
2022 WTA Finals - Day 1

Maria Sakkari avenged her defeat to Jessica Pegula in last week's Guadalajara Open final by winning their crucial WTA Finals opener on Monday. Sakkari got the job done in two tie-breaks, winning 7-6(6), 7-6(4). The Greek star reached the semifinals of the tournament last year and is aiming to go two steps further this time around.

In the next match of the same group, Aryna Sabalenka stunned Ons Jabeur, winning a thrilling match 3-6, 7-6(5), 7-5. Pegula will now have to beat both Sabalenka and Jabeur in her remaining group stage matches to have a chance of qualifying for the semifinals.

Also Check Out: Jessica Pegula Parents

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Edited by Nihal Taraporvala
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