Bartoli: Learn to play under tough conditions

Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli said Roland Garros organisers were right to insist tennis was played on Tuesday and Wednesday despite the unfavourable weather conditions.

The Frenchwoman’s comments come in response to several players complaining about the playing conditions.

After losing their matches on Tuesday, Agnieszka Radwanska and Simona Halep complained about being forced to play in the rain as it made the balls heavy and the court lines very slippery.

American Venus Williams, who lost on Wednesday, backed what Radwanska and Halep said by stating that conditions were unplayable.

Bartoli, a tennis pundit for Fox Sports Asia, said via a phone interview with Straits Times from Paris that of course conditions were tough but that it was part of players jobs to play in difficult varying conditions.

“Of course, it’s difficult, we’ve all been through this at one point. My match against Jelena Jankovic at Wimbledon in 2007 was interrupted nine times.

“I think it was playable, it was tricky and difficult for players. You have to learn to play under tough conditions…it’s part of your job, you must be ready for it.

“That’s why we practice and train so hard every day – to be ready for this.”

Bartoli added that she backed defending champion Serena Williams to be crowned Roland Garros champion after her emphatic 6-1, 6-1 victory against 18th seed Elina Svitolina to reach the quarter-finals.

“The way she was playing against Svitolina one of the best I’ve seen her play for a long while,” she said.

“When Serena is playing her best, she is the top player in the women’s game, no doubt about that. I put her as my favourite to win the Grand Slam.”

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