“It’s absurd”: Players unhappy with Chile Open conditions

Poor court surfaces at the Chile Open have caused players to fall and balls to stop dead on the court at the ATP 250 event in Santiago this week

Chile Open conditions (1) Panoramic/Zuma

Unfortunate scenes are unfolding at the Chile Open in Santiago this week, with players unhappy with the conditions at the ATP 250 event.

Several players have taken nasty falls on the clay, while a video is doing the rounds on X of a ball failing to bounce entirely and dying mid-court. 

The most recent player to fall was up-and-coming 17-year-old Joao Fonseca, who tumbled while chasing a ball on the baseline in his first-round clash against Thiago Augustin Tirante. The teenager can be seen catching his right foot in a particularly sticky patch of clay at the back of the court, which caused him to roll and lose the point. Fonseca then walks back to the area of clay at fault and kicks it with frustration.

Tennis fans on X have called the conditions of the tournament absurd, labelling the courts worse than Challenger-level tournaments.

“The ball literally dies the second it hits the clay,” said the Tennis Letter. “Making players compete in conditions like this at the professional level is absurd.” Another X user said, “I don’t understand how Santiago got to have an ATP tournament when their conditions are worse than most Challenger tournaments and that’s not even exaggerating.”

“I tried to watch some games and they are unwatchable.”

Two seeds have lost at the Chile Open already this year, with Yannick Hanfmann (5) and Roberto Carballes Baena (7) failing to make it beyond the first round. Top seed Nicolas Jarry and recent Rio Open winner Sebastian Baez remain on track to meet in the final of the ATP 250 event, however.

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