2011 French Open recap

I spent a few days here and there at Roland Garros this year, and I am always surprised of how journalists (especially French journalists) present the all thing and I sometimes wonder if I live on a different planet or in a parallel universe.

For French journalists it was fantastic two weeks of tennis, for me as a spectator it was another boring French Open.

Roland Garros

PS: I’m the one taking the photo, not the one sleeping ;o)

Everything was summed up in the mens trophy ceremony speeches: thanks to the sponsors, to the family, Roger is the best, Rafa played fantastic. Nothing new under the sun, things heard hundred times.
Conventional, boring, no emotion. From my point of view, the only 3 bright moments of the tournament: the semi Djokovic vs Federer, the Schiavone and Li runs to the final, and the Carte Blanche to Bob Sinclar for the Kids Day.

Here are a few personal thoughts about this Roland Garros tournament.

– Empty seats:

Court Philippe Chatrier

Tickets for main courts like Court Philippe Chatrier and Court Suzanne Lenglen are really expensive and really difficult to get. So when I finally get a ticket (about 70 euros) and I see all those empty seats, I’m really upset.

Here’s a suggestion by tennis journalist Jon Wertheim:

How’s this for a bit of cultural exchange? The French help with some junior development. We help them with fan behavior. There were matches held on Philippe Chartrier for which the stands looked to be about 10 percent of capacity. We’re talking rows and rows of empty sears. Surely there is a way to let the patricians in the sponsor tents know how unseemly it is to have these choice tickets and then not use them. We eagerly look forward to the upgrades to the venue. But it’s all for rien if the stands are empty. Just disgraceful.

Nadal: he didn’t play well during the tournament, but at the end he won for the sixth time, equaling Borg. He also remains at number one for a few more weeks, but Djokovic will probably become the 25th ATP number one after Wimbledon.
What does it change for Rafa? Nothing. He already has won everything – career Grand Slam, Davis Cup, Olympic Gold – and he has nothing to prove. He will have less pressure, he won’t be the one supposed to win everything, but Djokovic will. Nadal will be even more dangerous.

Rafael Nadal


Ivo Karlovic about Nadal:

Federer: the so-called GOAT, really played like a goat at times. OK, that was an easy one,, but I’m so fed up of this “greatest ever” non sense-debate.

Interesting analysis by Andre Agassi who compared his 2002 US Open final against Pete Sampras with the 2011 French Open final:

“He (Sampras) was playing not so great. But when he saw me on the other side of the net, nothing else mattered. It didn’t matter, because he was comfortable in our many matches. He knew what he could do. Knew what he would do.
It’s the same for Nadal. He hasn’t been playing that well, his confidence was low the first week of the tournament. But when he sees Roger out there, he’ll feel relaxed, comfortable. They’ve played 24 times and Rafa has won most of them.”

Speaking of Agassi, he played an exhibition on Saturday against the player who beat him in final 20 years ago: US Davis Cup captain, Jim Courier.

– Wozniacki? Pathetic.

Schiavone: grit, joy, emotion. Everything that Wozniacki is not.

Francesca Schiavone

Sharapova is back. She is one of the favorite for the Wimbledon title.

– The Roland Garros Kids Day (previously known as the Benny Berthet Day): unexpected, fun, popular. A big success.

Bob Sinclar, Novak Djokovic, Michael Llodra

Nadal and co

Trophée des Légendes: it’s always a pleasure to watch those old glories like McEnroe, Cash, Wilander.. play. They clearly have fun and the crowd enjoys it.
Message for Edberg: could you please please please play next year? Please…

Peter McNamara and Pat Cash

Mark Woodforde and Mansour Bahrami

And finally, thank you to Monsieur Ilie Nastase, the first ATP number one, the first bad boy of tennis, who played his last match at Roland Garros.

Ilie Nastase

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