'Unplayable And Dangerous': Chile Open Court Conditions Draw Flak From Tennis Players

'Unplayable And Dangerous': Chile Open Court Conditions Draw Flak From Tennis Players

by Nurein Ahmed

The Chile Open was meant to offer the ATP's undercard the spotlight to shine and showcase their abilities, but in fact, it is the tournament that has been at the center of a sandstorm.

This ATP 250 tournament marks the end of the Golden Swing every single year and is played on outdoor clay courts. But the state of the main court in Estadio San Carlos de Apoquindo has most certainly not been up to the required standards.

There has rarely been a single main draw match held on the televised main court that did not feature incidences of bad bounces and players tumbling. The uneven surface has continued to bamboozle those playing on it to the extent that it has irked them.

Videos circulating on social media, which were recorded by those attending the tournament during the qualifying stage, show an instance where a ball dropped dead when it hit the surface on its first bounce, messing up with players' timing.

The surface has also been very sticky, such that even the seasoned campaigners on the surface have struggled with their movement. There was an occasion when Brazilian prodigy Joao Fonseca tripped and fell like a thud on the dirt.

Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena competed in this tournament and lost his opening match against Corentin Moutet. He took to social media to air his grievances, stating that the courts are unfit for competition and can be detrimental to players' bodies.

"Where's the @atptour limit? Unplayable and dangerous courts for players."

Carballes Baena posted on his Instagram stories (translated from Spanish)

Baena's criticism didn't just end there; he spoke to CLAY in the aftermath of his defeat to the French lefty. The 30-year-old ranted about the substandard surface in Santiago and hit out at the ATP for allowing the tournament to be held at the venue.

"What do you want me to tell you, that the tournament is sh*t? That on the court you can’t play? I think it’s a shame that an ATP is played on this court, I think it’s dangerous for the players. Hopefully, this tournament will never be held again."

Carballes Baena told CLAY

Additionally, Cristian Garin, who hails from Chile, did not hold back in echoing Baena's sentiments. Garin asserted that it was the "worst court" he had ever set foot on at tour level, as he was also heavily impacted by the surface in his first-round loss.

Retired Australian John Millman has shared his thoughts about the court conditions at the Chile Open and called for all tournaments in South America to provide a more suitable playing surface without specifically laying all the blame on the Santiago tournament organizers.

"I would have loved to play more in South America.. I wasn’t good enough on dirt! But we when I was on the players council there was a push for minimum standards, including court surface. Has to be better at all levels, can’t single out Santiago here, happens at a lot of venues."

Millman wrote on X


You may also like