French Open organizers under fire as backlog grows

Tue May 31, 2016 2:22pm EDT
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By Pritha Sarkar

PARIS (Reuters) - Fans spent more time looking at the murky Parisian sky than watching tennis on Tuesday as French Open organizers were accused of "not caring about the players" after the event was disrupted by more rain following the previous day's washout.

Czech seventh seed Thomas Berdych summed up everyone's frustration on a day when nine hours of play was lost by tweeting: "Hey @AustralianOpen can you send us one roof here to Paris?! You have 3 down there."

The inability to play under cover, with Roland Garros being the only one of the four grand slam venues that does not have a court with a retractable roof, certainly proved costly for Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep -- fourth-round losers in the only two matches that were completed on day 10.

With the fixture list piling up, the women in top seed Serena Williams' half of the draw would now need to play on four successive days to win the title if the final takes place on Saturday as scheduled -- though more rain is forecast.

World number one Novak Djokovic and the men in his half of the draw, including Berdych, can also forget about enjoying the traditional rest days between each round as they would have to play on four of the next five days to contest Sunday's final.

Radwanska, the world number two, and 2014 runner-up Halep --who both started their last-16 matches on Sunday -- were forced to play in misty rain on Tuesday as organizers made a desperate attempt to clear the huge backlog.

"No one cares about the players in my opinion," sixth seed Halep said after she was beaten 7-6(0) 6-3 by Australian Sam Stosur in a battle of former finalists.

"It was impossible to play. To play tennis matches during the rain is a bit too much. I was close to getting injured with my back... but no one cares."   Continued...

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros - Rain at French Open -  Paris, France - 31/05/16. Workers cover the Suzanne Lenglen court due to rain. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol