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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Sunday September 26, 2020

 
Roland Garros

Everybody is talking about the heavy conditions at Roland Garros. Here's what the players had to do about what they faced on a damp, chilly Day 1.

Photo: Roland Garros

Conditions are all the rage this week in Paris. Tennis fans want to know what the players are saying and how they are adapting (or trying to adapt) to the unique situation in Paris this year. With cold weather, wet weather, shorter days, tennis under the lights in Paris for the first time, and heavier balls all playing a role in player’s performance, we took a tour around the press room to see what we could learn from the pros.

Alexander Zverev


"I'm stringing three kilos less than I did in New York. That's quite a lot. Yeah, look, we all have to adjust. This is not in any way perfect for us players, as well."


Coco Gauff

"It was definitely difficult. I literally warmed up for so long before the match because I wanted to come on the court sweating, which I always try to do that. When you're playing in a warmer climate, it's definitely easier to get warmed up in just the four minutes. This time it was like 20 minutes before my match I was just doing everything high intensity. Obviously wearing the leggings and everything. I mean, other than the wind, like the coldness and everything was obviously a factor, but I guess when you're out there on the court, I mean, you do feel the cold. I don't know, when you're moving, it's not so much. When we sit on the changeovers, you can literally feel the difference when you're not moving, when you're staying still."


Diego Schwartzman

"It was funny, you know, playing my first match this year under the lights. Was totally different feeling here in Roland Garros. Yeah, also this year the tournament changed the balls. The conditions are different because of the month, as well, because of the weather. It's different conditions for everyone who is here. So we have to adapt to these conditions and try to do our best. For me, playing at night, similar to Rome under the rain, under the lights, was similar to the last week, so I felt great on court today. For me, the conditions today were really, really good."


Kei Nishikori

"For my tennis, I think it's better balls are flying because I like to play quicker, finish the point little bit quicker than other guys. But, yes, for sure it's less bounce. Especially today it didn't bounce. Almost half bounce playing in the summer."

Venus Williams

"Obviously it was very cold and rainy and the courts are playing much differently than usual. Those are the conditions right now for everyone, so it should be interesting. You know, a lot of tricky bounces. Balls not coming up. The balls are different this year, too. So definitely a lot different than the preparation, for example, in Rome or even the days leading up."

John Isner

"But with how the clay is now, I think it almost helps me in the sense that the really good movers can't really slide around like they normally can because the clay is really damp. It kind of played like a slow hard court, I thought. There wasn't much sliding. I'm not the best slider. It's tough conditions. I really don't mind it."

Dan Evans

"But with how the clay is now, I think it almost helps me in the sense that the really It was cold. Some of those balls we were using you wouldn't give to a dog to chew. I mean, listen, it is what it is. It's brutal. It's so cold. I think the balls are the biggest thing. Maybe they got it a little wrong with the balls. It's tough to get that ball to go anywhere. It's in what month, September, October? That ball's a bit too heavy, I think."


Simona Halep (who played under the roof on Chatrier)

"I was very honored to open actually this roof, to be the first women's match. It was much better, because we could play and the rain didn't stop us at all. It was pretty cold, because it's cold outside. But also, we were very away from the wind so we could play normally. It was really nice to be able to play on the court. Even if it was a little bit heavy, because of the weather, it was good conditions to play in this rainy day."


Victoria Azarenka

"Conditions and everything around, they don't bother me. The only thing that can bother me is myself. So everything else around me is an exterior that is whatever. It's not easy. I mean, I'm not going to sit here and say, oh, everything is perfect and I'm on holidays. I just don't think about those things. I'm just there on the court to try to find a solution on what to do. The motivation is coming from there, it's how can I rise up to this challenge."


Victoria Azarenka

“For sure it's like something that we're not used to it. I mean personally, I haven't played in these conditions in a long time, not even practiced, you know. So I think it's tough for everyone. It's not nice to play under these conditions, but we're professionals and we are actually lucky to be playing here and not having the tournament cancelled. So, yeah, as I said, we have to just get used to it and adapt."


 

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