Former Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina is leading a charge against the expanded 12-day format of Masters 1000 events which players say are turning tournaments into endurance tests.

In what many consider a money grab, almost all of the ATP-WTA joint events stretch to almost two weeks – the length of a Grand Slam with proportionally less reward at the end,

Rybakina, for one, has had enough.

“These tournaments becoming so long is not very helpful, I would say, because if you’re fit, you’re fit,” the Kazakh said.

“But to stay in one place for almost two weeks, and it’s not like here you finish and you go rest. You go and you play another mandatory one (Rome starting next Wednesday). 

“That’s definitely not making it easy.”

Rybakina complained that making the Masters-level tournaments required for top players imposes a big physical burden given the crowded season calendar with few rest days part of the scenarios.

“We have a lot of mandatory stuff where you cannot really choose and pick what you want to play..

“At some point it’s fair enough that people choose what they want to play; if the Tour is good for everyone, then people will want to play. 

“Everyone is chasing rankings and everyone is chasing points and so on. If you want to play, you play. If you don’t want to play, you don’t play.”

Main photo:- Elena Rybakina won title in Stuttgart last month – by