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Nadal’s Scheduling Snub Creates Uproar on Twitter

In a somewhat baffling decision, Roland Garros tournament organizers have elected to leave eight-time and defending champion Rafael Nadal off of Monday’s schedule for its No. 1 show court.

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Nadal, who owns a 59-1 career record at Roland Garros and has not lost in Paris since 2009, will instead play his first-round match against American wild card Robby Ginepri on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Players and fans alike responded with surprise—and some with outrage—and even Ginepri, who spent his morning practicing on Court Philippe Chatrier to prepare to play Nadal on what is known as the world’s largest show court, was caught off guard.

Though it may have been funny to Isner, there are many who see the tournament’s decision as a snub. It has long been customary for the defending champion to open his title defense on Philippe Chatrier.

Nadal, who last opened his French Open on Court Suzanne Lenglen in 2010, when he was not defending champion, had complained about the surface on Chatrier in his pre-tournament press conference: 

“I think they make the court new, so it's like the clay get a little bit more fixed. It was moving a little bit too much around and some small stone that makes the movement a little bit more difficult. But probably they will be ready for the tournament now. Remain a few days, and probably they can fix it. They are specialists, no?”

And those words led some to speculate that he had either requested to be on Lenglen, or was getting the “business” from the tournament for his comments about the surface.


Regardless of the reason, there was quite a bit of outrage from fans on Twitter when the schedule was released late Sunday in Paris.

There were, however, some that saw the decision as a non-event: