One of tennis’ most prestigious events, the Roland-Carros tournament, has been rocked by unexpected controversy this year. The balls used in the match were heavily criticized by many players, sparking debate on the corridors of the stadium, reports said. Parisian, on June 2, 2023. Reactions weren’t long in coming, with even the losers voicing their displeasure. Benoît Payer, famous for his outspokenness, said, “We’re doing Roland-Carros in dog balls! What the hell is this? These balls are rotten!” He first denounced the Balls by declaring that The dismissal, albeit awkward, brought a smile, but it set the stage for a flood of criticism from other players. “They’re devastating,” said Laszlo Djer after his elimination against Andrey Rublev. Taylor Fritz also didn’t mince words: “I hate them.” Even young prodigy Holkar Roon admitted the balls were less than ideal. Ironically, the weather this year was perfect, with no rain and pleasant temperatures. But the bullets have not stood the test of time. Benoit Baier described these balls as blowing up in seconds. Taylor Fritz added that bullets wear out quickly, making it difficult to generate power. Players had to hit harder to get results, which led to premature fatigue.
Official supplier Wilson has been the target of all these criticisms. The players said that the balls provided for the match were different from the balls used earlier. They became heavier and bulkier, dramatically changing the feel of the court. Babolat, an older brand used in the tournament, is more suited to clay courts, unlike Wilson, an American company that doesn’t know much about this particular surface. Financial aspects also seem to have played a role in the decision to switch suppliers. Some players have pointed out that the quality of the ball has gone down after the Covid-19 pandemic. Manufacturers have been accused of using low-quality rubber to cut production costs. Richard Caskett has already mentioned this hypothesis in the past. Players feel that the balls are not what they used to be.
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A question arises: Who benefits from this situation? Roberto Bautista-Acute thinks physically stronger players will benefit from this. Benoît Bayer confirms that those with great endurance will be favored. Daniil Medvedev believes players with strong wrist play are at an advantage. Ultimately, no one agrees, but all players must face the same ball. This controversy over Roland-Garros balls has brought to light a major problem for professional players. The quality of balls used in matches is an important factor in guaranteeing fair and high level play. Organizers should consider these criticisms and work with manufacturers to find solutions that satisfy players and protect the integrity of the competition.
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