A furious Simona Halep has launched a stinging salvo at French Open organisers, questioning how fourth-round defeat to Samantha Stosur was allowed to be played in “impossible” conditions.
A clearly frustrated Halep said she didn’t feel safe on court and that “no one cares about the players” whose safety, she believes, was put at risk by taking the courts in grim conditions on Tuesday.
Stosur’s 7-6 (7-0) 6-3 upset victory over the sixth seed was played out over three days due to persistent heavy rain.
They started late on Sunday night, after rain caused a logjam of schedules and bumped them off centre court, and managed just 44 minutes being being forced off due to bad light.
Monday produced not a minute of play for the first time in 16 years at Roland Garros.
And on Tuesday, after a delayed start, they were able to complete the match across two segments and further rain delays.
But Halep, who complained of a sore back and Achilles after the match, is adamant they shouldn’t have taken the court.
“I have no words. It was impossible to play, in my opinion,” she said.
“And to play tennis matches during the rain I think it’s a bit too much.
“I was (unhappy that they started the match in rain). Because the court was not good. The balls were wet, completely wet during the match.
“So I think it’s too difficult to play tennis in these conditions.
“I felt some pain in my back, in my Achilles.”
Halep indicated should would not take her complaints up with tournament officials, but was unimpressed with the level of care shown to players.
“No one cares about the players in my opinion,” she said.
“I don’t care that I lost the match today, but I was close to get injured with my back, so that’s a big problem.
“But like I said, no one cares. We have just to go and play.”
Halep was supported by world No.2 Agnieszka Radwanska, who was “pissed” following her shock defeat to Bulgarian world No.102 Tsvetana Pironkova.
“I’m just so surprised and angry, that we have to play in the rain,” Radwanska said.
“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 that conditions.
“…It’s definitely not the right decision (that they) pushed us to play.”
Stosur admitted the lengthy rain delays and conditions were far from ideal, but said she was pleased with how she was able to overcome them to secure a quarter-final berth.
“I don’t typically like the heavy, wet, damp conditions, but today I was able to use them I think a lot better I think than she was,” Stosur said.
“…It’s not as easy to move out there, so I think you’ve just got to, again, be adaptable and hit what feels right.
“It’s not always what you necessarily would do, but hit what feels right for that moment.”