Roland Garros 1978

Extract from Inside tennis – a season on the pro tour by Peter Bodo and June Harrison:

The French is the epicurean’s tournament, where the kiosks feature crepes filled with apricot jam and dusted with powdered sugar, and ice cream bars favored with Grand Marnier; where hot dogs doze in light, crisp rolls that resemble sleeping bags; where these and other specialities evolved through centuries of respectful doting on the sensitive receptacle that for some peoples is a mere stomach.

The French tournament site, like those of Wimbledon and the US Open, is located just far enough outside the city to achieve a slumberous, almost pastoral quality. The Stade Roland Garros borders the Bois de Boulogne, the rambling park that contains the famed Longchamp Race Course and the Racing Club de France. The stadium and its grounds, named after a World War I aviator killed in action, were constructed in 1927 primarly for the defense of the Davis Cup.

Despite the French preoccupation with style, there is a monotonous, almost martial quality to Roland Garros. Yet this grim undertone strikes a symbolic note, for the French is the most grueling tournament in the world. The Italian assaults the nerves, Wimbledon tests the spirit, and the US Open challenges the will. The French attacks the body and often defeats a player through sheer exhaustion. Matches routinely last four hours on the slow clay, and despite the draw of 128, five-set matches are the rule from the start. Tennis at the French is trench warfare; lobs are lifted like deadly mortars, except they almost always come back. Battles that commence while the idle are still taking croissants and café au lait on the the Boulevard Saint-Germain last long into the dusk. As late as nine in the evening, there is still enough light to keep the contestants engaged.

The main walkway at Roland Garros:

Roland Garros 1978

Arthur Ashe, serving and selling his way deep into the Paris underground:

Metro Porte d'Auteuil, Roland Garros 1978
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Richard Gasquet, Roland Garros 2017

Richard Gasquet stormed past Victor Estrella Burgos 6-1 6-0 6-4 to book a spot in the third round, and set up showdown with Gaël Monfils. Richard’s outfit is available on Le Coq Sportif’s website.

Richard Gasquet Roland Garros outfit

Richard Gasquet Roland Garros outfit

Richard Gasquet Roland Garros outfit

Follow our Roland Garros 2017 coverage.

Pablo Carreno Busta, Roland Garros 2017

20th seed Carreno Busta defeats Dimitrov 7-5 6-3 6-4 and reaches the last 16 at a Grand Slam for the first time. He’ll next face Milos Raonic was leading 6-1 1-0 when his opponent Guillermo Garcia-Lopez retired.

Check out a few pictures from Grigor’s practice on Saturday:

Grigor Dimitrov

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2017 clay court season: who won what
Carreno Busta wins Estoril Open

Fabio Fognini, Roland Garros 2017

Fabio Fognini won the battle of Italians yesterday at Roland Garros, prevailing against his Davis Cup teammate Andreas Seppi to reach the third round. His next opponent: Stan Wawrinka. Well known for his unpredictable game and personality, Fabio wears an eye-catching outfit from his new sponsor Hydrogen:

Fabio Fognini Roland Garros outfit

Fabio Fognini Roland Garros outfit

Fabio Fognini Roland Garros outfit

Fabio’s outfit is available online.

David Ferrer, Roland Garros 2017

David Ferrer has perhaps played his last match at Roland Garros yesterday: a hard fought 5-set marathon loss against Feliciano Lopez. Finalist here in 2013, Ferru has a 7-10 win-loss record this year, and is out of the top 30 for the first time since April 2005.

Lopez who’s playing his 61st consecutive Grand Slam will face Marin Cilic in the third round.

A few pictures from David Ferrer’s practice session on Saturday:

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Nick Kyrgios, Roland Garros 2017

It’s already over for Nick Kyrgios beaten by big server Kevin Anderson. The South African rallied from a set and a break down to stun the 18th seed 5-7 6-4 6-1 6-2. He will face Kyle Edmund in the third round.

Enjoy a few pictures from Kyrgios’ practice session with Jack Sock on Saturday.

Lleyton Hewitt was watching his fellow compatriot at work:

Lleyton Hewitt

Click to enlarge pictures: