For the 1st time in 16 years, French Open is washed out

By Matt Brown

The rain fell all day at Roland Garros. Photo / AP
The rain fell all day at Roland Garros. Photo / AP

For just the second time in tournament history there has been a complete washout at the French Open.

No play was possible on a dreary Monday in Paris leaving organisers with a serious backlog and players in the bottom half of the men's and women's draw with a significant advantage.

Organisers made the call to abandon play at 1.40pm local time, the earliest in tournament history. The only other time play was abandoned without a ball hit in anger was ironically on the same day (May 30) 2000.

The rain is expected to continue for much of Tuesday meaning the prospect of world number one Novak Djokovic potentially playing four best of five set matches in six days to win the one Grand Slam title to so far elude him.

Djokovic in 12 visits to Paris has never lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy having lost twice to Rafael Nadal in finals and last year to an inspired Stan Wawrinka.

He has been the dominant player in the world for the last two years winning five of the past nine Grand Slams.

The weather however will test the world number one's resolve with Wawrinka and second seed Andy Murray enjoying the advantage of being one match ahead, having won their fourth round matches before the rain came.

Djokovic is now scheduled to play Auckland's ASB Classic champion Roberto Bautista Agut on Tuesday. (tonight NZ time).

While the Serb only dropped three games in his only previous meeting against the Spaniard on clay last month in Madrid, the conditions here in Paris are vastly different.

At altitude in the Spanish capital the ball travels faster through the air, suiting Djokovic The cool damp heavy humid conditions at Roland Garros has made it difficult for the big hitters and a grinder like Bautista Agut should be competitive against the world number one.

The reality is four best of five set matches over six days (weather permitting) will test anyone. Wawrinka and Murray face the prospect of three.

In Rome a couple of weeks ago Djokovic had to play Rafael Nadal in the quarter finals, Kei Nishikori the next day in the semis and after two gruelling encounters appeared to be flat and down on energy against a fresh Andy Murray in the final. But they were best of three set matches.

Matt Brown is at the French Open thanks to Emirates Airline

- NZ Herald

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