Tennis fans are demanding refunds from Cincinnati Masters organisers after the blockbuster clash between Emma Raducanu and Serena Williams was moved from Monday to Tuesday.
Her farewell tour got underway at the Canadian Open last week, but the 40-year-old was knocked out in the second round by Olympic champion Belinda Bencic.
The Cincinnati Masters is likely to be the penultimate tournament Williams plays and she had been drawn against none other than Raducanu, who will defend her US Open title later this month.
Raducanu has never faced Williams before and fans are understandably desperate to watch the two go head-to-head for what could be the first and only time.
The match was initially scheduled for Monday, and tickets allegedly cost upwards of £150, with some paying inflated prices in order to secure seats for the mouth-watering tie.
Yet, organisers re-scheduled the contest for Tuesday –– meaning those who paid above the odds for Monday tickets, could no longer watch the match.
Fans want refunds
Tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg wrote on Twitter that the situation was unfair and that fans should be entitled to their money back.
“Really poor of #CincyTennis to announce back on Friday that Serena-Raducanu was on Monday night…and then not put Serena-Raducanu on Monday night,” he said.
“That should be a refundable situation, given the interest (and prices, surely) around Serena’s farewell tour.
“Scheduling being unknowable in advance is a massive weak point of tennis tournaments, but if you are going to make a rare promise to fans like that once the draw comes out, you gotta honour it or give refunds.”
Really poor of #CincyTennis to announce back on Friday that Serena-Raducanu was on Monday night…and then not put Serena-Raducanu on Monday night.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) August 15, 2022
That should be a refundable situation, given the interest (and prices, surely) around Serena’s farewell tour.
The post prompted a number of people who attended the tournament on Monday to share their experiences and echo the idea that refunds should be granted.
One said: “I totally agree. Tickets were $35 before they announced she would be playing Monday night. So I waited until they said that and when I bought them they were already $135 for each ticket. I bought two, so $270 before fees.”
Meanwhile, another had a similar experience, writing: “This is really frustrating, travelled across [the] country on your advertising [that] Serena would play Monday night!
“Last minute you swap [the] order of play… Now [I] may have to cancel [my] flight if I want to see it.”
A third said: “They should refund the d**n ticket. People made adjustments to their own personal schedule to watch [the] Serena – Raducanu game. #CincyTennis is too insensitive on this.”
I totally agree. Tickets were 35 for where I got mine before they announced she would be playing Monday night. So I waited until they said that and when I bought them they were already 135 for each ticket. I bought two so 270 before fees and now she isn’t playing— Brian Thurman (@serenarulz09) August 15, 2022
Why was the match moved?
Few details have been given on why the match was re-scheduled, but a spokesperson for the event claimed the decision was made “on account of a number of factors related to scheduling.”
Fans were not informed of the switch and no refunds have been offered as of yet.
Instead of Williams vs Raducanu, fans saw Sloane Stephens beat Alize Cornet 6-1 6-0.
Stephens will face world number one Iga Swiatek in her next match.