Sport Sharapova: Brisbane feels like 'second-hand event'
Venus pulls out of Brisbane International, cites 'setback' in training
Venus pulls out of Brisbane International, cites 'setback' in trainingWilliams, 39, was set to join world number one Ash Barty, Karolina Pliskova and Naomi Osaka in a strong field at the Queensland Tennis Centre from Jan. 6-12 and the organizers said they would announce a wildcard to take her place in the draw.
Maria Sharapova claimed the Brisbane International feels like "a second-hand
event" after the women's tournament was shunted off the main court by the ATP Cup.
Traditionally, men and women would have shared top billing but the introduction this year of the ATP Cup means no women's matches have so far been played on Pat Rafter Arena.
That will change on Thursday, when action at the ATP Cup switches entirely to Sydney, but the scheduling has come in for criticism.
The women's tournament is traditionally very strong, and this year's field includes home favourite and world No 1 Ashleigh Barty and defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka.
Nadal and Djokovic make winning start in ATP Cup
Nadal and Djokovic make winning start in ATP CupThe $15 million (£11.46 million) ATP Cup, which features 24 nations competing in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney over 10 days, is a solid platform for the world's top players to prepare for this month's Australian Open, which starts in Melbourne from Jan. 20.
After losing her first-round match to Jennifer Brady, Sharapova told reporters in Brisbane: "You definitely recognise it and notice it, it feels like a little bit of a second-hand event.
"I think on Thursday the girls go back on centre court. But it's definitely a bit of a strange strategic move. I think there's a lot of girls that are deserving of that centre court spot in this draw."
Tournament director Mark Handley said in a statement talks are ongoing with the WTA over a "new concept".
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