PARIS (Reuters) - American player Taylor Townsend, when deciding whether to stay in a cramped Parisian hotel or rent a private apartment during Roland Garros, opted for the former.

Past experience helped make up her mind.

Recalling last year's U.S. Open, the 19-year-old described how she was forced to share a toilet with a cat.

"You guys are going to laugh at this," Townsend, beaten 6-3 6-4 by Czech Tereza Smitkova in the first round on Tuesday, told reporters.

"Lord have mercy. We were in New York, and the guy walked outside and he greeted us and he had no shoes on.

"Then he told us when we were in the elevator 'I hope you like cats'. We're like, yeah, cats are fine. He was like 'but you can't let down the toilet seat because the cat uses the toilet.'

"After that, I think hotels are safer!"

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ian Chadband)