Juan Martin Del Potro, Roland Garros 2017

The 2009 US Open champion returns to Roland Garros for the first time since his quarterfinal loss to Federer in 2012, and won his opening match 6-2 6-1 6-4 over qualifier and recent Munich finalist Guido Pella. He faces Nicolas Almagro tomorrow on court 2.

Enjoy a few pictures from his training session last Friday:

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro

Juan Martin Del Potro

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Angelique Kerber, Roland Garros 2017

It’s already over for world number one Angelique Kerber knocked out by Eketerina Makarova 6-2 6-2. Given Kerber’s pretty bad results this year, it hardly comes as a surprise.
With that defeat, she became the first top-seed woman in the Open era to lose in the opening round at Roland Garros. She joins Virginia Ruzici (Australian Open 1979), Steffi Graf (Wimbledon 1994) and Martina Hingis (Wimbledon 1999 and 2001) as top seed who have fallen in the first round of a Grand Slam.

I watched Kerber at practice on court Lenglen on Thursday and I must say I was impressed neither by the intensity nor the quality of her training session. Enjoy a few pictures:

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Kei Nishikori, Roland Garros 2017

Lots of Japanese fans were on court number one to watch Kei practice with his coach Michael Chang. Nishikori will debut his Roland Garros campaign against Thanasi Kokkinakis on Tuesday. How far do you think he can go?

Enjoy a few pictures from the training session:

Kei Nishikori

Michael Chang

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Rafa Nadal, Roland Garros 2017

Lots of people to watch Rafa‘s training session on court number 1 yesterday. He appeared a bit grumpy, seemed frustrated by his forehand and talked quite a bit with Carlos Moya after practice. He then spent a good 10 minutes signing autographs before being interviewed on court. Rafa will debut his quest for a 10th Roland Garros title tomorrow against Benoit Paire on court Suzanne Lenglen.

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

Click to enlarge pictures:

Rafael Nadal at practice, Roland Garros 2016

Roland Garros visitor’s guide:

A trip down memory lane:

1956: First time at Roland Garros for Rod Laver

1960-1969:
Portrait of Manuel Santana, first Spaniard to capture a Grand Slam title in 1961
1967: Françoise Durr defeats Lesley Turner
1969: Rod Laver defeats Ken Rosewall

1970-1979:
Portrait of 6-time Roland Garros champion Bjorn Borg
Portrait of Adriano Panatta, the only player to beat Bjorn Borg at Roland Garros
1978: Virginia Ruzici defeats Mima Jausovec
1978: Bjorn Borg defeats Guillermo Vilas
Roland Garros 1978 in pictures

1980-1989:
1982: At the request of Monsieur Wilander
1982: first Grand Slam for Mats Wilander
1983: Yannick Noah defeats Mats Wilander
1984 French Open: Ivan Lendl defeats John McEnroe
1985 French Open: Chris Evert defeats Martina Navratilova
Roland Garros 1985: Mats Wilander defeats Ivan Lendl
Roland Garros 1988: bold Leconte swept aside by a Mats for all surfaces
Portrait of Natasha Zvereva, 1988 runner-up
Portrait of Arantxa Sanchez, 1989 French Open champion
Portrait of Michael Chang, 1989 French Open champion

1990-1999:
1990 French Open: Opposites attract, Gomez defeats Agassi
Roland Garros 1990: Defending champion Sanchez loses in the first round
Roland Garros 1990: Edberg and Becker lose in the first round
1991 French Open 3RD: Michael Chang defeats Jimmy Connors
1991 French Open final: Jim Courier defeats Andre Agassi
1996: An unflinching Edberg causes a grand upset
Roland Garros 1996: Pete Sampras run through the semi-finals
1997: Going ga-ga over Guga
Steffi Graf – Martina Hingis Roland Garros 1999

2000-2009:
2000: Mary Pierce finds peace and glory
2004: Coria vs Gaudio: the egotist vs the underdog
2005: Rafael Nadal defeats Mariano Puerta
2006: Nadal defeats Federer, wins second Roland Garros title

2010-2016:
A look back at Roland Garros 2011
A look back at Roland Garros 2014
A look back at Roland Garros 2015

Pictures and Recaps:

Fashion and gear:

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Roger Federer, Indian Wells 2017

Thanks a lot to Tony for sharing his story and pictures!

It was another memorable evening for me at the BNP Paribas Open. Last night’s Roger Federer practice is probably my second favorite encounter with him since I started attending the tournament in 2008 — my favorite being the time in 2014 when he walked over after practice and sign my RF hat.

Things started off a little crazy. Fans camped out for hours on Practice Court 1 after they saw Federer’s name on the morning’s practice schedule for a 7 pm session. I arrived there about an hour and a half before, thinking I would get a seat, but the bleachers surrounding the court were full, and no one was budging from what was prime real estate in the Coachella Valley at that moment. So, I decided to wait along the fence of the adjacent practice lawn where the players pass on their way to practice. During this time, I tweeted my frustration to the tournament, saying that they should move Roger to an empty stadium court so everyone can see. 7 pm comes around and no Roger. 7:15 pm comes around, and still no Roger. Then there was a rumbling like you hear during a distant desert earthquake. Apparently, word had spread that Roger was actually on Stadium Court 3, so that rumbling turned into a stampede of people leaving the bleachers en masse like a heard of wild animals. When I realized what was happening, I took off running with the pack like one of those girls you see in a Beatles documentary from the 1960s. And here is what I got: prime second row seating and these photos of the greatest tennis player of all time! Enjoy!

Roger Federer at practice

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