The Women's Tennis Association has agreed to bring back byes to certain tournaments in 2009 in order to give players more time to rest between certain high-intensity events.
Rome is a 56-draw tournament followed by Madrid which is a 64-draw tournament. Similarly in the fall, Tokyo is a 56-draw tournament followed by Beijing. Several players were concerned there was too many matches in too few days.
The WTA responded by reintroducing byes for semifinalists in Rome and Tokyo, so that they can play one match less and have more time to rest. (source: Reuters)