- Rain continues to affect play in Paris
- Women's duo furious about conditions
- Halep: "No one cares about the players"
- Djokovic in one of men's matches halted
Paris (CNN)French Open organizers haven't had it easy this year.
The pre-tournament withdrawals of Roger Federer and Gael Monfils were followed last week by Rafael Nadal's pull-out due to a wrist injury. Then Jo-Wilfried Tsonga's leg problem forced the normally ebullient Frenchman to retire from his third-round match in tears.
That quartet, arguably, are the four most popular male players in a country that loves its tennis. Maria Sharapova, perhaps the world's highest-profile female athlete, is missing, serving a provisional ban for failing a drug test.
And the weather has been frightful, taking a chunk out of the romance of Paris in the spring.
For the first time in 16 years, rain washed out all of the play at Roland Garros on Monday, with temperatures more suited to late winter than late May.
On Tuesday, tournament organizers -- already criticized for being the only grand slam not to have a roof -- received more stinging words from two fan favorites: Simona Halep and Agnieszka Radwanska. No men's matches were completed, and play was canceled shortly before 7 p.m. local time (1700 GMT) once again thanks to Mother Nature.
Men's No. 1 Novak Djokovic led Roberto Bautista Agut 3-6 6-4 4-1 when play was halted. If the men's semifinals don't switch from their usual Friday slot, he faces the possibility of playing on four straight days heading into the final weekend.
It's an unpleasant scenario for a player seeking to win the only grand slam missing from his collection.
Both Halep and Radwanska exited the year's second major, which no doubt raised their frustration levels. Halep, the 2014 finalist, accused the powers that be -- in this case the French Tennis Federation and tournament supervisors -- of not caring about the players.
The Romanian lost to 2010 runner-up Samantha Stosur 7-6 (7-0) 6-3, while second seed Radwanska fell 2-6 6-3 6-3 to unseeded Tsvetana Pironkova. Both fourth-round matches were contested in, at the very least, a light drizzle. At worst, the rain came down hard.
Clay absorbs moisture better than hard courts and grass courts, so play can still take place when rain falls. But Halep and Radwanska felt conditions were too harsh.
"No one cares about the players, in my opinion," sixth-ranked Halep told reporters. "I don't care that I lost the match today. But I was close to getting injured with my back, so that's a big problem.
"The court was not good. The balls were wet, completely wet during the match. I think it's too difficult to play tennis in these conditions."
Halep and Radwanska led their encounters prior to the resumption. On Sunday, Halep held a 5-3 advantage, and Radwanska was in an even better position, at 6-2 3-0.
The Pole, now out of contention for the $2.3 million first prize, needed treatment to her hand Tuesday.
"I'm just so surprised and angry, that, you know, we have to play in the rain," Radwanska told reporters. "I mean, it's not a $10,000 tournament. It's a grand slam. How can you allow players to play in the rain? I cannot play in those conditions.
"The second set -- we played pretty much in the rain. I don't think they really care what we think. I think they care about other things, I guess.
"So, well, I'm just p***ed."
Their views harkened memories of the 2011 U.S. Open, when Nadal and Andy Murray criticized officials for forcing them to play on wet hard-courts.
Pironkova, a former Wimbledon semifinalist now ranked 102nd, said she just got on with it.
"We have played in all sorts of conditions," the Bulgarian told reporters. "Usually if the court is not fit for play, like if it's slippery, they would cancel the match right away.
"But today the court was still hanging in, it was okay, we could have played, and so we did."
Stosur, who plays Pironkova next, said the delays -- and likelihood of more bad weather -- meant players needed to take every opportunity to be on court.
"If the umpire says we're stopping, we're stopping. I don't know what the forecast is," the Australian said.
"I know what it feels like out there and I know it was raining for the first time we went out today, but the court was okay for the most part.
"I don't think Simona was complaining about it. Again we're told to play, we play. If it gets too wet you've got to say something. Yeah, like it's not good out there, but it was fine for us."
French Open tournament director Guy Forget didn't immediately reply when contacted by CNN for his reaction.
Slow start for Djokovic
Djokovic is sure to speak about the situation when his match ends against Bautista Agut.
Due to start on center court at 11 a.m., they began at 12:10.
Looking unfocused -- maybe pondering his now much more difficult path to a maiden title at the French Open -- Djokovic dropped the first set.
Returning from another rain delay, his mood lightened. The Serb borrowed an umbrella from a fan in the stands prior to offering a brief dance on court.
His level escalated, even if his luck didn't. It's rare for players to break a string in a match, but Djokovic broke two in the same game attempting to serve out the second.
Tomas Berdych, David Ferrer, Dominic Thiem, Marcel Granollers, David Goffin and Ernests Gulbis are also in the top half of the draw. Thiem and Granollers split two sets; Gulbis led Goffin 3-0 in their opener; and Ferrer was 2-1 up over Berdych in their first.
With the rain falling, Thiem, who boasts the most wins on clay in 2016, seemed to stop play by himself at 5-2 in the first, not waiting for the umpire to call off proceedings.
Murray's last-eight clash with France's remaining singles player, Richard Gasquet, was pushed back to Wednesday along with defending champion Stan Wawrinka's match with maiden grand slam quarterfinalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas.
Among women's matches canceled, for the second straight day, was defending champion Serena Williams' fourth-round meeting with Elina Svitolina.
Organizers, fans and players can only hope for a reversal of the weather fortunes.
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