Sports / Tennis

French Open director clarifies Tuesday' s decision on playing in rain

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-06-02 09:34

French Open director clarifies Tuesday' s decision on playing in rain
Courts crew sweeps away water as rain falls at French Open, May 31, 2016. [Photo/Agencies]

PARIS - Harshly criticized over the decision to let a few matches play in rain on Tuesday, the new tournament director to French Open, Guy Forget, felt wronged and tried to make a clarification on Wednesday.

Forget said the decision to suspend or resume play lies solely with tournament referee Stefan Fransson, as "respect for the game always takes precedence" .

Tuesday' s play was suspended at 4:45 pm with "the possibility of another four hours of play" , while the organizers hoped to be able to continue playing at that time and the Meteo France weather service had forecasted that rain would stop 40 minutes later.

The decision was later criticized to be made intentionally to avoid refunding ticket-holders who watched a match between world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and 14th-seeded Spaniard Roberto Bautista Agut having played for two and a half hours.

According to the organizers, Tuesday' s tickets to all courts except Court Philippe-Chatrier will be reimbursed for half their purchase price, including those to Court Suzanne Lenglen, where 2nd seed Agnieszka Radwanska' s last 16 match resumed from 6-2, 3-0 and last for one hour and so, before the Pole crashed out to Tsvetana Pironkova.

"If what we are being accused of were true, it would have been in our best interests as organizers to stop play before the one-hour, 59-minute mark as our insurer would have been responsible for ticket reimbursement," read a statement by Forget.

"However, that was not the basis of our decision. Our aim was to play for as long as possible, even if that meant being criticized for playing in difficult conditions," added the former tennis star, who led the French Davis Cup team as the captain.

Monday' s matches have been washed out since the organizers realized there' s no hope of starting the matches, and an announcement of cancelation was released at 2 pm, something has never happened in history, to enable the ticket-refunding action in full range.

The weather conditions have been unusual at Roland Garros where half of the competing days so far have been marred by rain. "The last time we saw this was in 1873," said Forget.

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