Rafael Nadal brands Roland Garros scheduling “a joke”

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Reigning French Open champion Rafael Nadal branded the scheduling at Roland Garros “a joke” after he came through his second round tie on Friday morning.

The World number four survived an early scare to come through 4-6 6-3 6-3 6-3 against Martin Klizan after it was delayed from Thursday due to rain.

Despite looking a little rusty in the first set, Nadal eventually found his rhythm and cruised through the match without much fuss – he wasn’t happy in the press conference afterwards though.

Nadal faces Fabio Fognini in the third round but the Italian got to rest for the whole of Friday and will be the fresher of the two when they meet on Saturday.

The seven-time winner criticised organisers for him having to play after Victoria Azarenka on Thursday – the day-ending downpour came during his knock up – claiming they should have been aware of the threat of rain and put his match before the women’s.

Nadal is on the quest for a record-equalling eighth title and feels the best of five sets format should mean any threat of playing on consecutive days should primarily be felt by the women, with them still only playing best of three.

"I think everybody knows in this room that the schedule of yesterday was wrong. That's the real thing,” he said.

"I don't know if the director of the tournament, supervisors, guys who take the positions, they take a bad position two days ago.

“Because when you make the schedule at 7:00 in the [evening], not 11:00 in the morning, you know which weather predictions you have for the next days.

"I cannot play third after men's and girls when my possible opponent plays second after girls. That's not fair.

“And today I was playing almost three hours on court, and my opponent was watching the TV in the locker room.

"So if you told me that's fair, I say that's not fair. The only thing that I can do is be positive, smile, and try to win my match and try to be ready for tomorrow.

"This is not right, and I hope they accept the mistake because girls plays best of three.

"For them it's a normal tournament. Even if they play Grand Slam and all the matches of the career and all the tournaments, they play best of three. It's not a change. If they have to play two days in a row, it's not a big deal.

"For us it's completely different. The excuse they told me was because Rosol has to play doubles. I am sorry, but that's a joke. You have one more week to play doubles if you want to play doubles.

"Why do you want to protect the player who has to play doubles? So I'm going to write myself on the doubles draw then and I have the priority to play? That's not the right excuse to make a schedule like this.

"I don't want to keep talking, because it seems like I am the bad guy saying that, but that's the real thing, and everybody here knows that's not right."

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Rafael Nadal
French Open

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