Paris: French Open organisers have had sufficient issues dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the dwindling quantity of followers on web site and inclement climate however they confronted one other controversy on Friday — criticism of the choice of ball for this 12 months`s edition.
Roland Garros has switched to Wilson balls for the 2020 event after utilizing Babolat for a few years and 12-times champion Rafa Nadal was not impressed.
“You have to take care because with these conditions you can`t practise that much because the ball is super heavy,” the second-seeded Spaniard advised reporters on Friday.
“Different brand than last year, a new ball. The ball is much slower than the previous years. If we add these conditions of cold and humidity, then it is super heavy.”
Nadal, a 19-time Grand Slam champion, prefers hotter climate and sooner clay-courts at his favorite event however faces cooler and wetter situations at this 12 months`s occasion, which was pushed again to the tip of September from its regular May-June dates. While the choice to alter the ball was already recognized, Nadal felt the prevailing situations had a fair larger affect.
“I practised with the balls in Mallorca,” stated the Spaniard. “In Mallorca with heat situations, the ball was very sluggish, I believe (it`s) not a great ball to play on clay, truthfully. That is my private opinion.
“Even with these situations it makes issues harder. But I knew earlier than arriving right here. So no drawback in any respect. Just settle for the problem.
“(But) I really believe that the organisation need to take a look at that for the next couple of years, for the health of the players too, because the ball is super heavy. (It) becomes dangerous for the elbow and for the shoulders, I think.”
Austria`s newly-crowned US Open champion Dominic Thiem, who misplaced to Nadal within the ultimate of the final two editions at Roland Garros, additionally prefers the ball utilized in earlier editions.
“I practised two days at home with the ball. Now, of course, here. I`m a little bit sad because the Babolat at Roland Garros, it was my favourite ball, it was perfect,” he stated.
“Obviously it was the ball from my racket company. (It) was fast, was taking spin incredibly well. But the Wilson ball is good, as well. It`s just a little bit slower. It gets a little bit bigger after a while.”
However, Russian Daniil Medvedev, who prefers slower clay-court situations and fewer spin, had no complaints.
“I like the balls because, yeah, tennis is a funny and interesting sport,” stated the world quantity 5, who misplaced to Nadal in final 12 months`s US Open ultimate.
“It`s normal that when one player doesn`t like something, second one maybe is going to like it. So far I like it. I think it suits me not bad.”