Radwanska hits out at French Open organisers after Paris exit

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  • Livid: Agnieszka Radwanska.

    Agnieszka Radwanska expressed her anger at having to play under the rain following her 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 exit to world No102 Tsvetana Pironkova in the French Open fourth round on Tuesday.

    The Polish No2 seed was up 6-2, 3-0 against Pironkova before play was suspended due to the rain on Monday. The match was originally scheduled for Sunday but was also postponed for bad weather.

    Upon resumption of the match on Tuesday, Radwanska lost 10 games in a row, on either side of another rain delay, to fall behind 2-6, 6-3, 4-0.

    She received some treatment on her right hand from the trainer before getting one break back and held for 2-4 in the third. But Pironkova still closed out the match three games later to enter the quarter-finals in Paris for the first time in 11 main draw appearances.

    Asked about the nature of the injury that required treatment in the third set, Radwanska said: “It was my hand. Well, I had surgery few years ago and I couldn’t really play in that conditions. End of story.”

    Radwanska, a quarter-finalist in Paris in 2013, hit out at organisers for making players in wet conditions.

    “I’m just so surprised and angry, that we have to play in the rain. 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.”

    Radwanska said she complained about getting on court the first time, in the morning, when the Pole and her peers were asked to play for 37 minutes under the rain before taken off court again.

    “We played pretty much in the rain. I don’t know who allows us to play in that kind of conditions,” said a fuming Radwanska.

    “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 that conditions. I mean, I’m not healthy enough.

    “I had hand surgery a few years ago, and for me, playing with those balls in that kind of court is pretty much impossible. So, I mean, I tried. Maybe I played worse, did worse things other days than when we start to play that match, but it definitely, you know, shouldn’t be like this.

    “We shouldn’t play in that kind of rain. Why? We still have couple of days of tournament. What’s the point?”

    Pironkova, who had never made it past the third round in Paris prior to this fortnight, was thrilled to make her third career major quarter-final (other two were at Wimbledon).

    “It’s 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,” the Bulgarian said on court.

    Pironkova next faces No21 seed Sam Stosur in the last eight.

    In Pironkova’s opinion, the court was safe enough for play and it wasn’t the first time she had to compete in such conditions.

    “It happened before, of course,” said the 28-year-old. “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.”

    Sixth-seeded Simona Halep, a runner-up in Paris in 2014, echoed Radwanska’s sentiments following her 7-6 (0), 6-3 to Stosur.

    Halep was up 5-3 against the Aussie on Monday before play was suspended.

    “I cannot comment about the conditions because I have no words,” said a dejected Halep.

    She shared Radwanska’s feelings that organisers “don’t care” about the players and are favouring the interests of the tournament instead.

    Halep said she did not complain because she knew it would be futile, but she was unhappy with the conditions.

    Stosur felt the court was playable.

    “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,” said Stosur, a runner-up in Paris in 2010.

    “I don’t think Simona was complaining about it. Again, we’re told to play, we play. If it gets too wet you’ve got to say something. Yeah, I mean, like it’s not good out there, but it was fine for us.”

    In the match that followed Halep and Stosur on Court 1, Ernests Gulbis and David Goffin protested relentlessly to stop the match, complaining about the conditions. Gulbis at one point started walking off the court before umpire Eva Asderaki convinced him to walk back to his bench.

    But further argument from both players led to play getting suspended, even though the matches on Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen continued for a while longer.

    When Halep was told about Gulbis and Goffin winning their battle with the officials, she said: “Good (showing thumbs up). Well done to them.”

    Rain forced organisers to change Tuesday’s schedule, cancelling the quarter-finals between Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet, and Stan Wawrinka and Albert Ramos-Vinolas. The remaining ladies’ singles matches were all postponed to Wednesday as well.