No.2 seed Simona Halep and No.6 seed Agnieszka Radwanska were furious at organizers for having to continue their Sunday’s fourth-round matches on Tuesday, another wet day at Roland Garros, and both the favorites lost, not hiding their frustration with the tournament’s policies.
After suffering a huge financial blow on Monday which had no matches played due to rain and all the tickets had to be refunded (it was the first time in 16 years that there was absolutely no play in one full day at Roland Garros), organizers were pressured to squeeze in at least two hours of match play on Tuesday, as that is a minimum for the tournament not to be obliged to refund the spectators. The players didn’t like it, especially those on the losing end!
Radwanska had a commanding 6-2 3-0 lead against Tsvetana Pironkova when the match was stopped on Sunday evening, but when play resumed almost 48 hours later, the Pole lost 10 straight games and was soon waving goodbye. After a 2-6 6-3 6-3 loss, the 2012 Wimbledon runner-up expressed her disappointment:
I’m just so surprised and angry that, you know, we have to play in the rain. I don’t know who allows us to play in that kind of conditions. I don’t think they really care what we think. I think they care about other things.
The ball gets so heavy after actually a couple of shots. You know, it’s slippery, as well. So, well, I’m just pissed. I just cannot play in that conditions. I mean, I’m not healthy enough. For me, playing with those balls in that kind of court is pretty much impossible.
When Halep’s fourth-round match against fellow former Roland Garros finalist Samantha Stosur was stopped on Sunday evening, the Romanian was leading in the first set, but today Stosur’s heavy hitting worked better in the soaked Court 1 and the Australian triumphed 7-6(0) 6-3. Halep voiced her discontent in the post-match press conference, saying that the tournament doesn’t care about players’ satisfaction with the conditions.
The winning players also didn’t enjoy the rain and cold, but they didn’t show any discontent for being forced to play.
The 2011 US Open champion Stosur said:
I know what it feels like out there and I know it was raining for the first time we went out today, but the court was okay for the most part.
The 102th-ranked Pironkova gave her two cents:
We have played in all sorts of conditions. Usually if the court is not fit for play, like if it’s slippery, they would cancel the match right away. But today the court was still hanging in, it was okay, we could have played, and so we did.
These two matches will remain the only women’s singles matches played on Tuesday, as other encounters have been moved to Wednesday.
I don’t think their comments should be brushed off because they lost. I understand that the organizers wanted to squeeze as many matches as they can but this was ridiculous. It’s really hard to play with wet balls and in rain. It’s Such a shame especially since I thought aga was playing nice clay court tennis. Totally irresponsible on organizers part they just didn’t want to refund for second straight day. Madrid has not one not two three courts with roofs and they are not even a slam. Now serena williams and every one in her half has to play straight four days IN A SLAM. well on bright side they don’t have to play best of five and will still get paid same
Still, there is always a winner and a loser in a tennis match. The weather in Paris has been bad most of the time this year but WELL DONE by Pironkova and Stosur, obviously they could deal with it. The conditions are never completely “fair”. Some of the players tolerate heat (as in Australia) worse than others, it’s the same thing.
There is a reason that tournament matches are delayed or cancelled when in rains….SAFETY of the players. These professionals work so hard to stay physically fit, and one accident on a rain soaked court can be devastating to their careers. I don’t blame them for being upset with the tournament officials.
“If love can e’er a loving one inspire,
Most lovingly it gave me now its fire…”