Nadal `snub`, rain hit French Open
Paris: Defending champion Rafael Nadal was at the centre of a French Open scheduling row on Monday as rain delayed the start of the second day`s play.
Nadal, who has a phenomenal record of eight titles, 59 match wins and just one loss in Paris, had his opening match against US wildcard Robby Ginepri, the world number 279, shifted out to Suzanne Lenglen court.
However, Roland Garros`s showpiece Philippe Chatrier court will stage title rival Novak Djokovic`s match against Joao Sousa and Stan Wawrinka`s clash against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez.
The main court will also host opening women`s matches featuring Maria Sharapova and home player Alize Cornet. Nadal claimed at the weekend that he found conditions on Chatrier to be different this year after a practice session.
"I think they made the court new, so it`s like the clay gets a little bit more fixed. It was moving around a little bit too much and some small stones make the movement a little bit more difficult," said Nadal.
"But probably they will be ready for the tournament now. They can fix it. They are specialists, no?" However, his complaints stunned ground staff at Roland Garros.
"I was surprised because nobody else had complained about Chatrier," Gerard Tiquet, the man in charge of the courts for 22 years, told L`Equipe newspaper. A new surface of clay has been laid on the court which should improve day by day, added Tiquet, who said he had some sympathy with the Spaniard.
"I understand his fears. Nadal needs to anchor his feet on the clay. I also believe he is worried about a repeat of the problems he had with the blue clay in Madrid in 2012. The clay there was slippy and grainy."