'Dog balls' not good enough for Evans at French Open

Tennis - French Open - Roland Garros, Paris, France - September 27, 2020 Britain's Dan Evans in action during his first round match against Japan's Kei Nishikori REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

PARIS (Reuters) - Dan Evans became the latest French Open player to complain about the balls used for the claycourt tournament on Sunday, saying they were too heavy in cold and humid conditions.

The Briton was also left grumbling about the hotel situation at the tournament after losing to Japanese Kei Nishikori 1-6 6-1 7-6(3) 1-6 6-4 in the first round in cold and windy Paris.

Just like 12-times champion Rafael Nadal, Evans believes the balls are too heavy.

“It was cold. Some of those balls we were using you wouldn’t give to a dog to chew,” Evans told reporters.

“I mean, listen, it is what it is. It’s brutal. It’s so cold. I think the balls are the biggest thing. Maybe they got it a little wrong with the balls. It’s tough to get that ball to go anywhere.

“It’s in what month, September, October? That ball’s a bit too heavy, I think.”

The tournament, traditionally played in May-June, was postponed amid the COVID-19 crisis, with players being parked in two different hotels, which, contrary to what happened at the U.S. Open, are also open to the public.

“I would prefer the hotel not to have outside people, if that would have been possible. It makes me a little nervous, I think, when I see the public in the hotel,” said Evans.

“That’s the only thing for me, is Saturday night in Paris, as you can imagine, a pretty central hotel. There was a lot of people in our hotel. For me that’s not what I want to see in this situation personally.”

Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ian Chadband