Borotra Cup 2017

Since 1975, Le Touquet, in Northern France, has been hosting the 16&Under Boys Summer Cup aka the Borotra Cup, and has welcomed players like Yannick Noah in 1977, Mats Wilander in 1980, Richard Gasquet and Jo Tsonga in 2001, Rafael Nadal in 2002 and Novak Djokovic in 2003.
The event brings together the best 8 European teams, and acts as the European regional qualifying competition for the Junior Davis Cup.

I spent a few days in Le Touquet to attend the event last August. I did enjoy the tennis and the city, and plan to attend again in 2018, here’s my recap:

Dominic Thiem Roland Garros outfit

It’s that time of the year again, Roland Garros is just around the corner! Rafa Nadal will go for the undecima, a mind-blowing 11th Roland Garros title, while Simona Halep will be looking to finally win her maiden Grand Slam title.
Check out our Roland Garros guides, relieve some of the biggest defeats and triumphs of the past, and of course share your pictures, videos and stories!

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

2010-2017:
A look back at Roland Garros 2011
A look back at Roland Garros 2014
A look back at Roland Garros 2015
3 days at Roland Garros 2017: Rafa, Andy, Petra and more

Pictures and Recaps:

Fashion and gear:

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View from Montmartre, Paris

Discover our new series: Travel guides for tennis fans. And just in time for Roland Garros, check out our Paris travel guide.

Next travel guides should be Lille (France) and Antwerp (Belgium). In the mean time, follow our Roland Garros coverage.

Lille Grand Place

From 21 to 23 November France and Switzerland will contest the 2014 Davis Cup Final at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in the Lille suburb of Villeneuve d’Ascq. If you’re planning to attend and wonder how to get tickets, how to get to the stadium or what to do in Lille, this article is for you. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any question, and I hope you’ll enjoy your time in Lille!

Le Stade Pierre Mauroy à Villeneuve d’Ascq dans la banlieue de Lille va accueillir la finale de la Coupe Davis, du 21 au 23 novembre. Si vous avez l’intention d’y assister, ce guide est fait pour vous. Si vous avez des questions, n’hésitez pas, laissez un commentaire. Bon séjour Lille!

Welcome to Lille

Getting there

Train

Lille has two train stations: Gare Lille Europe and Gare Lille Flandres, situated 400 meters from each other and only a 10 min walk from the city centre.
Eurostar and TGV link Lille with Brussels (35min), Paris (1h) and London (1h40). If you come from Switzerland, take a high speed TGV Lyria from Geneva (3h), Lausanne (3h40), Basel (3h) or Zurich (4h) to Paris Gare de Lyon, then take a TGV from Paris Gare du Nord to Lille (1h). When you book your tickets, remember to allow about 60 minutes to cross Paris. The easiest way to go from Gare de Lyon to Gare du Nord is to take the RER D direction Creil (follow the signs). If you have time for a coffee, a beer or a lunch, try the beautiful Train Bleu restaurant at Gare de Lyon.

Lille possède deux gares séparées de seulement 400 mètres et à quelques minutes à pied du centre-ville: la Gare Lille-Europe et la Gare Lille-Flandres. Lille est facilement accessible en train: Eurostar et TGV relient Lille à Bruxelles (35 minutes), Paris (1h) et Londres (1h40).
Si vous venez de Suisse, prenez un TGV Lyria pour Paris Gare de Lyon à partir de Genève (durée: 3h), Lausanne (3h40), Bâle (3h) ou Zurich (4h). Quand vous réservez vos billets, n’oubliez pas de prévoir environ 1h pour changer de gare. Pour aller de Gare de Lyon à Gare du Nord, prenez le RER direction Creil (seulement 2 arrêts). Si vous avez le temps de prendre un café, une bière ou de déjeuner, essayez le célèbre restaurant le Train Bleu, Gare de Lyon.

Gare Lille Europe:

Gare Lille Europe

Plane

Lowcost airline company easyjet links Geneva to Lille-Lesquin International 4 days a week. A direct coach connects to central Lille (stops outside Euralille, next to Gare Lille Europe) in 20 minutes, and runs once an hour costing €8 (return ticket is €10).

easyJet propose 4 vols directs Genève-Lille par semaine. L’aéroport de Lille est situé à Lesquin, à 20 minutes en navette du centre-ville de Lille (aller: 8€, aller-retour: 10€).

Getting around

Public transport

Lille’s transit system features two tram metro lines (lines 1 and 2), two tramways (Roubaix and Tourcoing) and a network of buses that connect Lille centre with the suburbs. In the city centre, metros run every two to four minutes from 5.30am until 12.30 am.
A single journey ticket costs €1.50. A 1-day unlimited pass (Pass journée) allows unlimited travel on the bus-underground-tram network for 24 hours and costs only €4. 2-days and 3-days pass cost respectively €7.50 and €9.50.

Lille dispose de deux lignes de métro (lignes 1 et 2), deux tramways (Roubaix et Tourcoing) et d’un système de bus assez dense. Dans le centre, les métros circulent toutes les 2 à 4 minutes de 5h30 à minuit 30 environ.
Un ticket simple coûte 1.50€. Le Pass journée permet de voyager en illimité sur le réseau métro-bus-tramway pour seulement 4€. Les Pass 2 et 3 journées coûtent respectivement 7.50€ et 9.50€.

V’lille

Lille also has its own public bicycle sharing system called the V’lille. To hire a bike, new users must register by providing a security deposit of 200 euros (which is not debited), either online or at any of the credit card enabled bike stations. Once registered, simply pick up a bike at any hire location then return it to any bike station around the city. The first 30 minutes of each rental is free.

V’Lille est le système de location de vélos en libre-service. Pour louer un vélo, les nouveaux utilisateurs doivent s’enregistrer en ligne ou à l’une des stations V’lille et verser une caution de 200€. Une fois enregistré, prenez un vélo à l’une des stations et redéposez-le à n’importe quelle station du réseau. La 1ère demie heure de location est gratuite.

V'lille station

Must see

If you think Lille is a grey and unattractive city, you might be surprised by its impressive architecture, his charming old quarter and its plethora of restaurants.

Si vous pensez que Lille est une ville grise et sans attrait, vous serez surpris par son architecture, son charmant quartier médiéval et sa multitude de restaurants.

Grand Place

La Grand Place, officially called Place du Général de Gaulle was originally the wheat market. Today, the Grand Place is the city’s heart and contains some of Lille’s finest buildings. At the centre of the square, the statue known as la Déesse (the Goddess) celebrates Lille’s victorious resistance against the Austrians in 1792.
La Vieille Bourse is the gem of the Grand Place. Probably the city’s most beautiful monument, it is made up of 24 identical houses surrounding a cloister. Inside, it houses a little booksellers’ market and sometimes chess players.

La Grand Place (officiellement appelée place du Général de Gaulle) était à l’origine un marché au blé. Aujourd’hui elle est devenue le véritable coeur de la ville. La statue de la Déesse au centre de la place commémore la défense héroïque de la ville face aux Autrichiens en 1792.
La Vieille Bourse est le joyau de la Grand Place. Probablement le plus beau bâtiment de Lille, elle est composée de 24 maisons identiques qui entourent un cloître. La cour abrite des bouquinistes et aussi parfois des joueurs d’échecs.

La Vieille Bourse:

La Vieille Bourse

La Grand Place:

Grand Place

Place du Théâtre

East of the Vieille Bourse, place du Théatre is dominated by the Louis XVI-style Opéra and the neo-Flemish Chambre de commerce. Both were built in the early 20th century.
Opposite the chamber of commerce is the Rang du Beauregard, an uniform alignment of three-storey houses, typical of 17th century architecture in Lille.

Sur la Place du Théâtre, le beffroi néo-flamand de la chambre de commerce côtoie l’Opéra de style Louis XVI. Les deux bâtiments ont été construits au début du 20ème siècle.
En face, le Rang du Beauregard est un alignement uniforme de maisons sur trois niveaux représentatif de l’architecture lilloise du XVIIe siècle.

Left, the chamber of commerce. Right, l’Opéra. A gauche la chambre de commerce. A droite, l’Opéra:

Chambre de commerce et Opéra

Rang du Beauregard:

Rang du Beauregard

Vieux Lille

Vieux Lille, which means Old Lille, is a labyrinth of narrow cobbled streets, filled with ancient buildings, cafes, restaurants and designer shops.
Vieux Lille’s main sight is l’Hospice Comtesse, rue de la Monnaie. This former hospital run by nuns was founded by Joan of Constantinople, Countess of Flanders in the 13th century. It is now a museum exhibiting the interior of a religious 17th century home in Flanders.
Another must-see is the Cathédrale Notre Dame de la Treille, a cathedral you will either love or hate. It started life in 1854 but was not completed until 1999.

Le Vieux Lille est un labyrinthe de rues pavées, bordées de bâtiments anciens, cafés, restaurants et boutiques de designers. Le monument principal du Vieux Lille est l’hospice Comtesse, un ancien hôpital tenu par des nonnes et foundé par Jeanne, comtesse de Flandres au XIIIè siècle. Aujourd’hui c’est un musée, évoquant l’intérieur d’une maison religieuse flamande du XVIIe siècle.
Autre incontournable du Vieux Lille: la Cathédrale Notre Dame de la Treille, dont la construction a commencé en 1854 et s’est terminée en 1999.

Hospice Comtesse:

Hospice Comtesse

Palais des Beaux Arts

The Palais des Beaux-Arts de Lille, the largest French museum outside of Paris, is a short walk from the Grand Place. The collection include works by Rubens, Rembrandt, Goya, Rodin among many more.

Le Palais des Beaux-Arts, le plus grand musée des beaux-arts de province, est situé à quelques minutes à pieds de la Grand Place. Sa collection contient entre autres des oeuvres de Rubens, Rembrandt, Goya et Rodin.

Palais des Beaux Arts

Eat

If you want to try some traditional flemish cuisine, avoid restaurants on Place Rihour and Grand Place, and head to Vieux Lille, especially rue de Gand, a street lined with estaminets and restaurants.
Chez la Vieille and its sister restaurant Au Vieux de la Vieille (place aux Oignons) serve local comfort food like carbonnade flamande, waterzooi or pot’je vleesch.

Si vous voulez manger de la cuisine traditionnelle flamande, évitez les restaurants de la Place Rihour et de la Grand Place, et dirigez vous vers le Vieux Lille, en particulier la rue de Gand, bordée d’estaminets et de restaurants. Essayez Chez la Vieille ou son restaurent jumeau Au Vieux de la Vieille (place aux Oignons), qui servent des plats traditionnels comme la carbonnade flamande, le waterzooi ou le pot’je vleesch.

Enjoy more pictures from Lille (click to enlarge):

Davis Cup final:

How to get tickets

Tickets will go on sale from October 10th for members of the FFT (only on fft.fr), and from October 17th for general public (on fft.fr but also at Auchan, Cora, Cultura, Leclerc, FNAC, Carrefour). Tickets will be sold at a maximum of four per day per person, so a maximum of twelve tickets per person. Ticket prices are €30, 50, 75, 100 and 220. Watch this infographic for prices and seatings.

Les billets seront en vente à partir du 10 octobre pour les licenciés de la FFT (site fft.fr) et du 17 octobre pour le grand public (site fft.fr, Auchan, Cora, Cultura, Leclerc, FNAC, Carrefour). Chaque spectateur pourra acheter 4 places par jour, soit 12 places maximum. Il y a 5 catégories de prix: 30, 50, 75, 100 et 200€. Plus d’infos sur cette infographie

The stadium

The stadium is a multifunctional arena that can be converted from a football and rugby stadium to a large concert venue or smaller indoors sports or concert arena. It is equipped with a retractable roof, which can be opened or closed in about 20 minutes. The stadium was completed in 2012 and is usually the home of the LOSC football team. It will be one of the venues of the EuroBasket 2015, UEFA Euro 2016 and 2017 World Men’s Handball Championship.
And if you wonder who Pierre Mauroy was, he was Lille Mayor for 28 years and also François Mitterrand first Prime Minister.

Le stade Pierre Mauroy est une aréna multifonction, qui combine en un même lieu stade de football ou de rugby, salle de concert ou palais des sports. Il est équipé d’un toit amovible qui peut s’ouvrir ou se fermer en 20 minutes seulement. Le stade a été achevé en 2012, et depuis l’équipe du LOSC y joue ses matches à domicile.
Le stade est l’un de ceux qui accueilleront l’EuroBasket 2015, l’UEFA Euro 2016 et le championnat du monde masculin de handball en 2017.
Si vous vous demandez qui est Pierre Mauroy, il fut Maire de Lille pendant 28 ans, et Premier Ministre du premier gouvernement Mitterrand de 1981 à 1984.

Stade Pierre Mauroy

Getting there

The stadium is in the suburb of Villeneuve D’Ascq and is easily accessible by the metro – just take line 1 to the Hotel de Ville or 4 Cantons Grand Stade station – and then it is about a 10 minute walk, which is well signposted.

Le stade, situé à Villeneuve d’Ascq est facilement accessible en métro: prenez la ligne 1 jusqu’à l’arrêt Hotel de Ville ou 4 Cantons Grand Stade, suivez ensuite les indications, le stade est à environ 10 minutes de marche.

Any question? Feel free to ask, I’ll try my best to answer!

Si vous avez des questions, laissez un commentaire, je ferai de mon mieux pour répondre!

This is a guest post by Soha Yamin, who operates Travels with Soha, that offers luxury tennis excursions.

The U.S. Open is one of the world’s most exciting sporting events. Both casual tennis fans and true devotees of the sport can enjoy attending this annual event. Although tennis championships have been held in the U.S. since 1881, the U.S. Open began in its modern form in 1968, when the tournament was held at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, New York. In 1978, the event was moved to the National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York, which has since been renamed Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. 

If you are flying into New York to see the U.S. Open, both JFK and LaGuardia airports are quite close to Flushing Meadow Park, where the tournament takes place. While you’re in town, there is plenty to see and explore aside from the tennis matches. Let’s look at some of the possibilities.

Flushing Meadow Park

Unisphere

As long as you’re going to be at the park to watch the games, you may as well explore some of the park’s many other attractions. Prior to becoming the home of the U.S. Open, Flushing Meadow Park was best known for being the location of the 1939 and 1964-1965 World’s Fairs. The famous Unisphere globe sculpture, which was built in honor of the more recent fair, is still standing. The park also contains other well-known sculptures, such as Freedom of the Human Spirit and Free Form. Other attractions at Flushing Meadow Park include the Queens Theatre in the Park, where a variety of performances can be seen, and the Flushing Meadows Carousel. 

Queens Museum of Art

The Panorama of the City of New York

Also on the grounds of Flushing Meadow Park is one of New York’s most interesting museums. The Queens Museum of Art is most famous for The Panorama, an impressively detailed diorama of New York City. The Panorama was built in 1964 for the World’s Fair, but has been refurbished several times. The museum also has many World’s Fair related exhibits, as well as a variety of art from all over the world.

The New Chinatown

While New York’s best known Chinatown is in downtown Manhattan, the Chinatown in Flushing is actually larger. This neighborhood now has one of the world’s largest Asian populations outside of China. Here you can find a wide selection of shops and restaurants. In addition to eating a delicious Asian meal, you can find traditional Chinese herbs and exotic souvenirs. 

Astoria

Astoria is one of New York’s trendiest neighborhoods, and is located in the borough of Queens, not very far from Flushing and the U.S. Open. Astoria is fun to explore on foot or in a car, with its many Greek and other ethnic restaurants. It’s also the home of Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden, where you can relax on a hot summer day with a pitcher of beer. There is often live folk music as well.

A Short Trip to Manhattan

New York City

The U.S. Open is held in Flushing, Queens, but you are not very far from Manhattan and its incomparable attractions. These include Times Square, Central Park, the Empire State Building and shopping on Fifth Avenue, to name just a few. The #7 subway train goes directly from Flushing to Manhattan. You can drive or take a taxi and get to Manhattan in about 30 minutes.

The U.S. Open is Close to Many Attractions

Visitors to the U.S. Open can find lots to do and see after watching a few exciting matches. Whether you explore nearby neighborhoods such as Flushing and Astoria, or venture into Manhattan, you are never far from everything that New York City has to offer.