Alexander Zverev, Roland Garros 2016

I usually like preparing my day at Roland Garros, and write down the matches I want to watch but more often than not I end up watching different matches than those planned. I had in mind to attend either Coric-Fritz on court 8 or Bouchard-Siegemund on court 16. But given the long long long queues to enter the stadium and the queue to access court 16, I made my way to court 17 as I wanted to watch the end of the match between 2010 French Open finalist Sam Stosur and Misaki Doi. But first on court 17, 74-ranked Qiang Wang faces 17-year-old French wild card Tessah Andrianjafitrimo.

Qiang Wang defeats Tessah Andrianjafitrimo 6-0 6-0

I have nothing against that player I had never heard of before, but I really don’t get why Roland Garros officials awarded a wild card to Tessah Andrianjafitrimo who is ranked 311th and has never won a WTA match. 6-0 6-0 for Wang in an hour… no comment.

Qiang Wang

Qiang Wang

Tessah Andrianjafitrimo

Tessah Andrianjafitrimo
Read More

Serena Williams Roland Garros shoes

Serena Williams will compete in Paris in a NikeCourt Flare that celebrates her love of roses. It is available beginning nike.com/nikelab and select NikeLab stores.

Serena Williams Roland Garros shoes

Serena Williams Roland Garros shoes

Follow our Roland Garros 2016 coverage.

Rafael Nadal, Roland Garros 2016

Former French Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot said on French TV last March that “it is known that the injury of Rafael Nadal, which lasted seven months, was probably because of a positive control”. Nadal filled a lawsuit against Bachelot last month. Here are a few extracts from l’Equipe Magazine’s interview in which the 9-time Roland Garros champion talks about the doping accusations.

Why he filled a lawsuit:

Someone who is supposed to be serious, responsible, can not say those things without any proof, citing someone who’s not on the tour anymore and who has been banned for life (former player Daniel Köllerer). I am not afraid, but my credibility and sport’s credibility in general are at stake. No one can say things like that without information, so the only way to stop such unfounded statements is to take legal action. I have full confidence in French justice.

His reaction to Bachelot’s accusations:

I am serene. What she said can not hurt me because I know all the work I’ve done to be where I am today. On the contrary, for the people who know nothing about that and hear Bachelot’s accusations, it’s shocking. It damages the image of my sport, my image, and I can no longer tolerate it. I worked so hard throughout my career, always ensuring respect for my true values, applying to give everything every day.

On doubts about his physical playing style:

Maybe my way of playing encourages ill-intentioned people to think certain things. It’s unfair and it’s a lack of respect for my daily work. Some players hit harder than me, others are stronger physically, others even mentally. You need to have all those qualities to be the best. But I’d never put in doubts anyone.

About French players’ support:

I go very well with all the French players and I was heartened by their support. We are together on the tour, we see each other in the locker rooms everyday and we know each other well. I appreciated.

About his confidence in the anti-doping system:

I believe in my opponents. I am sure players I face are clean. Simply because I believe in the anti-doping system.

On his request to the ITF to publish all his drug-test results:

We’re in the middle of a lawsuit and my lawyers intend to use the results for my defence. They advised me to wait until the end of the lawsuit before publishing them. Once the legal procedure is behind me, I will share them. AnNd I’m sure that in a near future that’s something that will happen all the time. It would be a great way to show that our sport is clean. Today, it’s essential for its image that we are as transparent as possible.

On whether there are enough doping tests:

I can not say if there are enough tests or not. What matters is that everything has to be made public.

Interview by Georges Homsi for l’Equipe Magazine, translation by Tennis Buzz. Photo credit: Tennis Buzz.

Julien Benneteau, Roland Garros 2016

Julien Benneteau and Quentin Halys practiced together on court Lenglen on Friday. Benneteau will face recent Rome semifinalist Lucas Pouille in the first round, while Halys will face Hyeon Chung.

Julien Benneteau

Quentin Halys
Read More

Andy Murray and Amélie Mauresmo

Andy Murray announced his ‘mutually agreed’ split from coach Amélie Mauresmo earlier this month. In an interview with l’Equipe Magazine, Mauresmo explains the reasons behind the end of their partnership. She also talks about the Fed Cup, and various things she already discussed in previous interviews like her view on Grand Slams format and lack of winning culture in France.
Here are a few extracts (interview by Romain Lefebvre and Franck Ramella, translation by Tennis Buzz):

Q: We would like to know more about your split with Andy Murray

I had the feeling we had felt the end of road professionally. It was concluded that it would be difficult to continue. I reduced a bit my number of weeks of presence since the Australian Open and we spent little time together. It happened to be a difficult period for him and I couldn’t help him. But this decision (to end the partnership) was initiated some time ago.

Q: For what reasons?

I don’t want to go into details. Everybody could see some things.

Q: In particular you no longer sat in Murray’s box in Miami?

I no longer wished to be there. I wanted to try something else.

Q: Because of his behaviour on court?

Andy is complex. On a court he can be the complete opposite of what he is in life. It can be confusing. I was there to help him. I had the feeling we could not make progress anymore.

Q: What is your assessment of this experience?

It was a beautiful adventure. It broke down barriers in mens’ tennis. I was proud to be a pioneer. And it worked, thanks to respect and communication. I have good memories of his success on clay last year (titles in Munich and Madrid) while he had never won a title on this surface. I liked the way Andy works, I enjoyed working with his team. Andy has great listening and analysis capacities. He is curious, always looking. And that’s what makes great champions. It was a great challenge in which I put myself in danger. I accepted the job because I knew I could bring him most of the things he wanted. He had difficulties to communicate. He wanted someone able to listen to him. He also wanted to play more aggressively, near the baseline. He thought he could open up a bit more with a woman. Back then, he didn’t want to play anymore.

Photo credit: Tennis Buzz, Andy Murray practicing with Thanasi Kokkinakis, Roland Garros 2015

Pablo Carreno Busta, Roland Garros 2016

The world number 43 had solid results this year with two finals in Bueno Aires and Estoril. I don’t know much about this player but he seems a good guy and it looked like he enjoyed his one-hour practice on the Lenglen.
He will face Federico Delbonis in the first round.

Pablo Carreno Busta

Pablo Carreno Busta
Read More