VIDEO SHOWS: RAFAEL NADAL SPEAKING AT A POST-MATCH NEWS CONFERENCE TALKING ABOUT THE COLD WEATHER AND FRENCH OPEN MATCH SCHEDULING
SHOWS: PARIS, FRANCE (OCTOBER 7, 2020) (FFT - SEE RESTRICTIONS BEFORE USE)
1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) 12-TIMES FRENCH OPEN CHAMPION, RAFAEL NADAL, SAYING:
"The problem is the weather. Having two days in the middle is not a big deal. Of course, it's not ideal finish a match at 1:30 in the morning. But the problem is the weather. It's too cold to play. Honestly, it's very, very cold to play tennis, no? I know football players play under these conditions, but it's little bit different. They are all the time moving, no? We stop, we come back, we stop on the changeovers. It is a sport that you are stopped in a lot of moments, no? So, I think it is little bit dangerous for the body to play with these very heavy conditions. But that's what happened today. I really don't know why they put five matches on the Chatrier today. That was a risk. I saw immediately yesterday when they send me the schedule because there is a chance that there is a couple of long matches. That's what happened. Little bit unlucky, of course but for me, I just tried to be patient, accept everything, and be in a positive shape and that's what I did."
STORY: Having finished his quarter-final match at 1:26am local time on Wednesday (October 7) in cold, windy conditions, Rafael Nadal questioned French Open organisers' decision to schedule no fewer than five matches on the same court over the day.
The 12-times Roland Garros champion was scheduled last on the main court and when he started his match the temperature was 13C with a cold wind sweeping the clay off the court, whose roof was left open throughout.
"The weather... it's too cold to play tennis. I know football players do it all the time but they're always moving while us tennis players, we stop, we come back, there's the changeover," Nadal told a news conference after his 7-6(4) 6-4 6-1 win against Italian teenager Jannik Sinner.
Play started at 0900GMT on Tuesday (October 6) with a rescheduled women's fourth-round match before a quarter-final between Nadia Pogoroska and Elina Svitolina, a men's quarter-final between Diego Schwartzman and Dominic Thiem that lasted five hours and eight minutes and another last-eight encounter between Iga Swiatek and Martina Trevisan.
Nadal started his match at 10:36 pm local time (2036GMT). While such starting times are not unusual at the U.S. and Australian Opens, those tournaments are held during the summer.
This year's French Open, however, was moved from its usual spot in the warmer May-June months because of the COVID-19 crisis.
(Production: Tim Hart, Ursa Presern)