Canadian youngster Denis Shapovalov was not happy about being asked to play a doubles match only a couple of hours after losing to Roberto Carballes Baena in a draining five-hour contest in the second round of singles on Thursday at the French Open.
Despite serving for the match twice in the deciding set, Shapovalov couldn’t quite close it off and eventually went down 5-7, 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-3, 6-8 to the Spaniard.
A little while later, he was on court with partner Rohan Bopanna for the opening round of doubles. With the Canadian short on energy, the duo lost 2-6, 2-6 to Jack Sock and Vasek Pospisil.
“The scheduling is absolutely awful,” an upset Shapovalov told reporters later. “I mean, after a five-hour match I have to play doubles now. It’s just complete trash scheduling.”
“I don’t want to sound spoiled but you expect at least some help from the tournament to help you compete,” the 21-year-old continued.
“I mean, how am I supposed to come out and play doubles now after a five-hour match? It’s a first round as well, they could have scheduled it way better, way easier; it’s not acceptable.”
Shapovalov, who broke into the top-10 this week for the first time in his career, was also unhappy with the conditions at the clay-court Grand Slam. A lot of players have slammed French Open for switching from Babolat to heavier Wilson balls, which have exacerbated their troubles on clay.
“I was playing in Rome (Masters) and I could actually hit winners,” he said.
“Here it’s just like the ball’s not going anywhere. It’s just annoying that you have to be in that situation because in my opinion it shouldn’t be that heavy and that difficult.”
The Canadian, seeded No 9 in Paris, had a good run in the past few weeks. He had made the quarterfinals of the US Open last month and reached the semi-finals of the Rome Masters. But all that momentum came to a shuddering halt on the cold, damp and heavy conditions at the French Open.
Having lost early in both the events he entered at Roland Garros, Shapovalov also criticized the organisers for not keeping the players safe in a bio-secure bubble during the pandemic.
“There is no bubble,” he stated. “You can leave the hotel, you can go to the city, there’s no problem, there’s nobody stopping you. New York (US Open) was done way better.”