Defender champion Rafael Nadal told reporters last week that “the ball is completely different.” “The ball is very slow and heavy. There are very cold and slow conditions.
“I honestly don’t think it’s a good ball to play on clay. That’s my personal opinion. It’s not a good ball to play on clay court.”
Cooler temperatures mean that Nadal’s heavily rotated forehand doesn’t have a big impact on Roland-Garros’ clay.
After losing 5 sets to Kei Nishikori in the first round on Sunday, Briton Dan Evans agreed with the 12-time French Open champion and said “I’m not going to give the dog a chewing ball”.
Admitted to the cold, he said “the ball seems to be the biggest” of the challenging conditions.
“Maybe the ball is a little bit wrong. It’s hard to take the ball anywhere. How many months in September or October? The ball is too heavy.”
US Open champion Dominic Thiem said the barbolat, previously used by Roland-Garros, was “perfect” for top spin and his “favorite ball”.
However, not all players are against the switch. World No. 5 Daniil Medvedev says the new ball is suitable for his game.
This year’s French Open has changed from the May start date, which means it’s cooler than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As the tournament took place on Sunday, players were packed in several layers.
World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka was one of those who suffered complaining to the match supervisor that she fell into a lull in the first round match.
In November 2019, it was announced that the French Tennis Federation had signed a five-year partnership with Wilson, making the company the official ball of the French Open.
The French Tennis Federation and Wilson did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.