Roland Garros: Who's saying what

Paris (AFP) –


Who's saying what at Roland Garros on Friday, two days from the start of the claycourt Grand Slam tournament delayed by four months due to the coronavirus pandemic:

"I really believe that the organisation needs 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 and becomes dangerous for the elbow and for the shoulders."

-- 12-time champion Rafael Nadal not happy with the new Wilson ball being used at the tournament.

"The conditions here are probably the most difficult conditions for me ever at Roland Garros."

-- Nadal on the challenges ahead.

"Well, when it's cold, it's a little bit heavier and a little bit different. It's a big difference between Rome and here, that's for sure. 15 degrees less. I feel the cold. I feel like struggling a little bit."

-- 2018 champion and top seed Simona Halep on the chilly, damp conditions in the French capital.

"You have a slower court, slower balls, heavier conditions over all. Rafa doesn't like that. He likes a sunny, dry day and a high bounce."

-- Martina Navratilova in the New York Times on how Rafael Nadal's bid for a 13th French Open title could be scuppered by the autumn weather in Paris.

"From the very outset of the public health crisis that our country is experiencing, the French Tennis Federation has consistently worked closely with government departments, to determine how to organise the tournament in the current situation. It deeply regrets these new restrictions."

-- French Tennis Federation after being ordered by the government to limit the number of spectators to 1,000 a day due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Tens of millions of euros have gone up in smoke."

-- FFT marketing chief Stephane Morel on the impact of the 1,000-fan limit

"I hated clay. I hated everything about it. The shitty bounces, the sliding that I can't stop. The ball bounce here and everything. Ask me what I could not complain about when I used to play, so... I guess growth. Hey, maturity."

-- Former two-time major winner Victoria Azarenka on her early struggles on clay before making the 2013 semi-finals in Paris