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French Open pair earn £8,000 in just 80 seconds

ROLAND GARROS — Two doubles players earned £8,524 in just over a minute before pulling out injured from the second round of the French Open – making £100 per second they played.

After a lengthy rain delay on Saturday, Mackenzie McDonald and Marcus Daniell walked out to face Marcelo Arevalo and Mate Pavic on Court 4, but played just four points before withdrawing from the match that officially lasted five minutes – but the completed game took up only 80 seconds of that.

Daniell, an Olympic bronze medallist at Tokyo 2020, appeared to be telling the physio he had a problem with his thigh and was unable to continue. The New Zealander missed almost all of the 2023 season with a knee injury.

McDonald and Daniell subsequently retired from the match, but will still share £23,440 in prize money.

Had they withdrawn before the match they would only have received £14,916, the first-round prize money, meaning their five minutes on court was worth £8,524.

i has approached the French Tennis Federation and the ATP for comment.

Their short match was the only doubles tie completed on Saturday at Roland Garros after rain delayed play for several hours – although more could have been finished had organisers not bungled the arrangements.

It is believed players were told “all doubles matches have been cancelled” for the day – although it appears the message had been supposed to say “all doubles matches that have not started have been cancelled”.

Five matches were already in progress, include those of British players Henry Patten, Luke Johnson and Maia Lumsden, who were told along with everyone else that they would not be required again on Saturday.

However, the rain stopped and play resumed shortly before 6pm local time – but only with singles apart from the solitary five-minute affair ended by injury.

The failure to get matches back on court could have direct knock-on effects for some players who will now miss the Surbiton Trophy, the first grass-court tournament of the season, because they will not be in time to sign in on Sunday. Had they resumed on Saturday, losing teams would have been able to get to Kingston in time.

The news will be a further blow to the Challenger tournament after Andy Murray announced he was pulling out on Saturday evening.

“Unfortunately, I won’t be back to defend my title at the Surbiton Trophy this year,” Murray said.

“It’s such a great tournament with amazing fans so it’s been a tough decision but one my team and I felt we needed to make.”

However, i understands they will be boosted by the presence of Dan Evans, who is desperate to find some form after failing to win a single tour-level match on clay.

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