How delayed French Open is forcing millionaire tennis players to suffer like us amateur enthusiasts


To be truthful to the participant discipline, Azarenka was an outlier. Extra typical was the method taken by Shelby Rogers, the primary participant out of the event at round 12.10pm on Monday afternoon.
Rogers, who hails from South Carolina, clearly didn’t relish the claggy clay or the coolness issue – which discovered her desperately switching between outfits searching for a mix that might protect some heat with out proscribing her motion.
Rogers felt that play ought to have been stopped a few occasions early within the day, and was fast to level out that the umpire – who makes this resolution – will get to take a seat in a lined chair. In the meantime, the gamers have been taking raindrops within the eye each time they threw the ball up.
Finally, although, Rogers took accountability for her personal underwhelming efficiency towards an 18-year-old qualifier from Russia. “Champions adapt,” she acknowledged, “and I didn’t do this very effectively at the moment”.
There may be absolutely a division right here between the rank and file of the tennis tour and the grandees on the high. The foot troopers may not be used to chilly climate, as a result of even the scummiest of tournaments are usually staged in excessive summer season. However they know all about adversity. Situations on the second tier of occasions – typically performed in offbeat locations comparable to Egypt, Bulgaria or Nigeria – are extraordinarily tough.
Andrew Bettles – the Briton who now coaches world No5 Elina Svitolina – informed me final week that he finds his new life far much less annoying than his outdated one as a Futures-level wannabe. He now not frets about whether or not he can afford to get his rackets restrung. Neither should he control his in a single day bag, mendacity along with the court docket, to ensure there isn’t a opportunist thief rifling by its contents.
Gamers like Azarenka, who was successful junior slams at 15, can largely bypass these distant testing grounds – which have been as soon as described by tennis-playing novelist David Foster Wallace because the slaughterhouse of the sport, spitting out the “well-presented sirloin” of the slams.
It was the identical with Roger Federer, who selected to have a second knee operation in the summertime, however clearly had little curiosity in enjoying Covid-style occasions with out followers.
These members of the tennis gentry expertise each cease on the tour as a Downton Abbey-style banquet, served as much as them by liveried footmen. Whereas, within the period of the pandemic, tennis simply bought considerably extra chewy.

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