PARIS: Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska lashed out at French Open officials while former finalist Simona Halep questioned the decision to play in more wet conditions after both crashed out in the last 16 yesterday. Radwanska appeared to be cruising into the quarter-finals as she led world number 102 Tsvetana Pironkova 6-2, 3-0 before play was suspended on Sunday, with the tournament then suffering its first washout in 16 years on Monday.
And rain continued to fall yesterday when the Pole, who was hampered by a right hand injury, dropped 10 straight games either side of another weather delay before exiting to the Bulgarian. “I’m just so surprised and angry, that, you know, we have to play in the rain,” fumed Radwanska.
“I mean, it’s not a 10,000 tournament. It’s a Grand Slam. How can you allow players to play in the rain? I cannot play in those conditions. “I don’t know who allows us to play in those kind of conditions. I mean, I don’t think they really care what we think. I think they care about other things, I guess. So, well, I’m just pissed. I just cannot play in those conditions. I mean, I’m not healthy enough.
“We shouldn’t play in that kind of rain. Why? We still have couple of days of tournament. What’s the point?” Former Wimbledon semi-finalist Pironkova extended her best run in Paris and will face Samantha Stosur for a place in the last four. “It was very difficult with all the rain, we waited almost three days to finish the match. But I can’t complain, it turned out great for me,” said Pironkova.
Australian Stosur trailed 2014 French Open runner-up Simona Halep 5-3 when their contest was halted on Sunday, but the 21st seed broke the Romanian as she tried to serve out the first set yesterday before racing through the tie-break. Stosur, who reached the 2010 final at Roland Garros, again broke the sixth-seeded Halep to begin the second set before moving on to the last eight courtesy of a second break. “Heavy, wet conditions like this don’t typically help me too much, but I think today I was able to use them better to my tennis than (Simona) was and I was able to put her under more pressure,” said Stosur.
“I felt like each time we went back out on court I was ready and I was focused and knew exactly what I wanted to do.” Halep, like Radwanska, was critical of tournament organizers, but praised Stosur for handling the “impossible” conditions better. “It was impossible to play, in my opinion. And to play tennis matches during the rain I think it’s a bit too much,” said Halep. “But everyone was in the same situation, and who was stronger won today. “No one cares about the players in my opinion. I don’t care that I lost the match today, but I was close to getting injured with my back, so that’s-that’s a big problem. But like I said, no one cares. We have just to go and play.
“I was frustrated about waiting three days and about playing in the rain. That was the biggest problem for me. I didn’t feel sure on court, safe on court.” Halep also queried the wisdom of scheduling doubles matches before theirs after the tie was originally moved to Court One on Sunday. “When I went to ask to play on Court 1 – doesn’t matter which court, just to play, because we know that it’s going to rain and it’s going to be late, but they took the decisions to put doubles and then us. Here we were.”_ AFP