Simonne Mathieu

The women’s doubles trophy at the French Open is named for Mathieu, Coupe Simonne-Mathieu and the new 5,000 seat Roland Garros court will be named after her.
But who was Simonne Mathieu? Alongside Suzanne Lenglen and Henri Cochet she is one of France’s greatest tennis champions. But she was much more than that.

Simonne Mathieu and Suzanne Lenglen

Married at 17, her baby laid in his pram courtside when she became French junior champion in 1926. At 20, she was a mother of two kids whom she rarely saw as she travelled the world, collecting titles in Egypt, the Netherlands, Greece, Switzerland or Belgium.

She bounced back from losing six French Open singles finals (including three consecutive against the same opponent, Hilde Sperling) to finally win her home Grand Slam event at the seventh attempt, in 1938. She defeated fellow countrywoman Nelly Landry 6-0 6-3.
She even completed a rare triple that year, sweeping Roland Garros singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles titles. Only Suzanne Lenglen (1925 and 1926), Maureen Connolly (1954) and Margaret Court (1964) have achieved that distinction.

Simonne Mathieu, Nelly Landry, Marlene Dietrich - Roland Garros 1938

Simonne defended her title in 1939, with a straight sets victory over Jadwiga Jedrzejowska 6-3 8-6. France would have to wait until 1967 to see another French-born winner, Françoise Dürr, win the home title. [1]

She never played in Australia and only twice at the US Championships where she reached the quarterfinals in 1938. And even though she never captured the title in London, she had tremendous success at Wimbledon, with six semifinals (1930, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1937) and four quarterfinals (1933, 1935, 1938, 1939).

Mathieu was ranked in the world top 10 eleven times and reached rank number 3 in 1932 behind the two Helens: Wills Moody and Hull Jacobs. She was French number one from 1928 until 1940.

A resolute baseliner, she played with great steadiness and determination, quite often in long drawn-out matches. She had an outstanding forehand drive.

“There was one great drawback to Simone’s game to which she was never able to overcome – or perhaps she did not think it necessary – the absence of any sort of effective volley or smash. This shortcoming did not prevent her from winning innumerable doubles championships, but it was a tremendous handicap in singles competition against players who had the tactical sense to draw her up to the net with short, low shots and then lob deeply. To win, she relied almost entirely on baseline duels, or upon drawing the opponent up, then making the passing shot or the lob, herself” – Helen Jacobs

Despite her weakness at the net, she was a fantastic doubles player: she won 11 Grand Slam doubles titles: three women’s doubles titles at Wimbledon (1933, 1934, 1937), six women’s doubles titles (1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939) and two mixed doubles titles (1937, 1938) at Roland Garros.

Simonne Mathieu and Toto Brugnon

A fighter on the court, Mathieu has also gone down in history as a fighter off the court.
She was playing a tournament in the United States when World War II broke out in 1939 and then decided to return immediately to France. Following France’s surrender in June 1940, she joined General de Gaulle in London, and offered him her services. She set up the Corps Féminin Français, a group of women volunteers serving in the Free French Forces.

She ended the war with a grade of Captain and marched down the Champs Elysées alongside de Gaulle when Paris was liberated in August 1944. She was finally reunited with her family, and with tennis.
She served as umpire for the “liberation match” between Henri Cochet and Yvon Petra at Roland Garros on September 17 1944 wearing her uniform as an officer in the French forces.

From 1949 to 1960 she was captain of the French womens team. She died in 1980, aged 72.
She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006… the year Amélie Mauresmo won two Grand Slams.

Notes:
[1]: Nelly Landry won the title in 1948, but she was Belgian-born and became a French citizen after marriage
[2]: Read more info on The War Illustrated

Pictures:
1: Simonne Mathieu, 1926
2: Simonne Mathieu and Suzanne Lenglen, 1926
3: Picture taken before the Roland Garros 1938 singles final. From left to right: Simonne Mathieu, Nelly Landry and Marlene Dietrich.
4: Mathieu playing with Mousquetaire Toto Brugnon
5: Henri Cochet, Simonne Mathieu, Yvon Pétra

Sources:
Wikipedia, International Tennis Hall of Fame, The golden days of tennis on the French Riviera by Alan Little, Roland Garros website

Novak Djokovic signs with Lacoste

There were rumours since January that Novak Djokovic would sign with French brand Lacoste once his contract with Uniqlo over, it is now official: Djokovic is the newest member of the Croc family.

Lacoste has developed for Novak Djokovic an eponymous clothing line to be worn on the court. These outfits have been specially designed to kit out the champion during the Grand Slam’s tournaments as well as dress him for the other tournaments of the season. The Novak Djokovic collection will be available in Lacoste boutiques, starting May 2017.

Novak Djokovic outfit for Roland Garros

Let’s have a look at Novak’s outfits for the upcoming tournaments.

Roland Garros:

Novak Djokovic outfit for Roland Garros 2017

Novak Djokovic outfit for Roland Garros 2017
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How to buy US Open tickets

Roland Garros is fast approaching, but it’s nearly time to book your tickets for the US Open! Here’s my guide to help you buy tickets. If you have any question, feel free to leave a comment below, I’ll do my best to answer.

The events

Roger Federer, US Open 2017
Qualifyings – 19 to 23 August 2019

Access to the qualifying tournament, the week before the main tournament starts, is free. It is also the best time to watch top players practicing.

Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day – 24 August 2019

Kids and their families can enjoy free tennis games, live music and attractions taking place throughout the grounds. Inside Arthur Ashe Stadium, the live tennis and music show features exhibition matches and skills competitions with top players, as well as musical performances.
Learn more at http://www.arthurashekidsday.com/.

US Open – 26 August to 8 September 2019

Hot, loud, electric, the US Open is a tournament like no other, and has been the scene of some of the craziest tennis matches, like the infamous McEnroe-Nastase in 1979, or Jimmy Connors’ run to the semifinals in 1991.
The Billie Jean King center, home of the US Open, has transformed a lot in the recent years: Arthur Ashe Stadium now has an amazing retractable roof, a new 14,000-seat Louis Armstrong Stadium (also with a retractable roof) was completed in time for the 2018 US Open, the new Grandstand debuted in 2016, and 10 outside courts were renovated.

The courts

US Open
Arthur Ashe Stadium

With a capacity of 23,771 seats, the Arthur Ashe Stadium is the largest tennis facility in the world. With the retractable roof added in 2016, there’s no risk anymore to have to play the men’s final on a Monday or Tuesday! Check out Arthur Ashe’s seating chart and interactive seat viewer.

Louis Armstrong Stadium

The new Louis Armstrong Stadium debuted in 2018 with 14,061 seats and a retractable roof. Check out Louis Armstrong’s seating chart and interactive seat viewer.

Grandstand

The new Grandstand, a 8,125 seat stadium which opened in 2016, is the third largest stadium in the Center, and replaces the Old Grandstand, torn down in 2018. Check out Grandstand’s seating chart and interactive seat viewer.

Outer courts

Outer courts allow you to see the players up close and personal.
Read more:
Finding the right court at the US Open requires a strategy
A day in the life of court 15

The tickets

Nadal, US Open 2017

Individual tickets

Individual tickets will go on sale to the general public on Monday, June 3. American Express Card Members will have access to an early on-sale starting Monday, May 28, and running through Saturday, June 1.

The US Open sells separate tickets for day matches and night matches.
A day session ticket allows you to enter the grounds from 9.30 am (11 am on Finals weekend) and stay as long as you like. The first match starts at 11am.
A night session ticket allows you to enter the grounds from 6pm. Night matches start at 7pm.

There are 4 different types of day session tickets:
Arthur Ashe Stadium: provides an assigned seat in Arthur Ashe Stadium along with first-come, first-served access to Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Grandstand and all the outer courts.
Louis Armstrong Stadium: assigned seat in Louis Armstrong Stadium, along with first-come, first-served access to the Grandstand and all the outer courts. Louis Armstrong tickets are only sold for the first nine days of the tournament.
Grandstand Stadium: assigned seat in the Grandstand Stadium, along with first-come, first-served access to all the outer courts. Grandstand tickets are only sold for the first eight days of the tournament.
Grounds Admission: provides first-come, first-served access to Louis Armstrong Stadium, the Grandstand and all the outer courts. Grounds Admissions are only sold for the first eight days of the tournament.

and two types of evening session tickets:
Arthur Ashe Stadium: provides an assigned seat in Arthur Ashe Stadium on a given evening.
Louis Armstrong Stadium: provides an assigned seat in Louis Armstrong Stadium on a given evening. Louis Armstrong tickets are only sold for the first nine days of the tournament.

Ticket plans

Each plan is different in that they each cover a different number of day and/or evening sessions. You will be automatically invoiced for the same seat(s) the following year and opt to keep the same seat(s) for the duration of your plan or even request an opportunity to upgrade.

Arthur Ashe plans:
full series: all sessions, Monday 26 August to Sunday 8 September. From $2,200.
first week: 9 sessions, Monday 26 August to Friday 30 August. From $550.
opening sessions: 5 sessions, every first-round session, Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 August. From $360.
evening sessions: 14 sessions, all evening sessions plus Finals weekend. From $1,100.
pre-holiday: 4 sessions, Wednesday 28 August to Friday 30 September. From $270.
holiday weekend: 7 sessions, Friday 30 August to Monday 2 September. From $550.
holiday evening: 4 sessions, Friday 30 August to Monday 2 September. From $330.
championship week: 8 sessions, Tuesday 3 to Sunday 8 September. From $750.

Ashe plans include first-come, first-serve access to Louis Armstrong Stadium, Grandstand and all outer courts.

Louis Armstrong plans:
full series: 15 sessions, including 6 evening sessions, Monday 26 August to Tuesday 3 September.
day sessions: 9 sessions, Monday 26 August to Tuesday 3 September.

Armstrong plans include first-come, first-served access to Grandstand and all outer courts.

Grandstand plan:
– 8 sessions, Monday 26 August to Monday 2 September. It includes first-come, first-served access to Grandstand and all outer courts. $675.

Pricing shown is for reference only from 2016.

Official travel packages

Learn more at www.tours4tennis.com or call 1-800-258-3664 or 1-858-675-3555.

Booking limits

For individual tickets, there is a limit of:
– 8 Arthur Ashe Stadium tickets for any individual day session
– 16 Arthur Ashe Stadium day session tickets in total
– 8 Arthur Ashe Stadium tickets for any individual night session
– 16 Arthur Ashe Stadium night session tickets in total
– 8 Louis Armstrong Stadium tickets per session
– 16 Louis Armstrong Stadium tickets in total
– 8 Grounds Admission tickets per session
– 16 Grounds Admission tickets in total

There is an 8 ticket limit per account for ticket plans, with the exception of Grandstand where there is a 4 ticket limit per account.

How to order tickets

Crowd at the US Open

Billie Jean King National Tennis Center box office

You can buy tickets directly on site. Starting July 12, the Box Office will be open every Friday from 9 am to 5 pm and every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm until the start of the tournament.

Ticketmaster

Ticketmaster  is the only authorized seller for US Open tickets online. Tickets are on sale here.

Resale

The USTA has partnered with the US Open Ticket Exchange by Ticketmaster, to serve as the exclusive resale partner for the US Open. Ticket holders now have the opportunity to resell their unused tickets in a secured fan-to-fan environment.

Photo credit: Chih-Yao Hsu (1), Shinya Suzuki (2,5), Faberg Tour Experience (3), Marianne Bevis (4)

2016 US Open Angie Kerber

“When I was a kid I was always dreaming to one day be the No. 1 player in the world, to win Grand Slams. And today is the day. All the dreams came true this year.” — Angelique Kerber

What a year indeed for Angie Kerber: 3 Grand Slam finals, silver at the Olympics and the number one spot. Here’s a look at Kerber’s career by the numbers:

2003: Kerber turned pro in 2003, aged 15

2012: she wins her first WTA tournament, the Open GDF in Paris, defeating Marion Bartoli in the final

10: Kerber has won 10 tournaments in her career so far

0: she has never won a Premier tournament (the WTA’s equivalent to the ATP Masters 1000)

10: her rankings at the start of the season

8730: her number of WTA points

22: Kerber became the 22nd player to reach the number one spot since the WTA ranking was introduced in November 1975.

1: at 28 years old, she became the oldest female player to debut at the top spot.

2: she’s the second German player to reach number one, 21 years after her idol Steffi Graf.

3: she’s only the third left-handed player, after Martina Navratilova and Monica Seles.

Video credit: C Yorkie

Angelique Kerber, winner of the 2016 US Open
The good

Stan Wawrinka: there’s a new champ in New York. The Swiss struggled to get past the first rounds, losing a few sets here and there and saving a match point in the third round. But he stepped up in the semifinals against Nishikori and outplayed Djokovic in the final. 3 Grand Slam finals, 3 titles.

Stan ✅ Stanimal ✅ Stan the Man ✅ And now #usopen Champion ✅ (?: @dcarrollphoto)

Une photo publiée par @usopen le

Karolina Pliskova: before this tournament, she had not passed the third round in her 17 previous Grand Slams appearances. She took down Venus Williams and top-seeded Serena Williams to reach her first Grand Slam final.

Caroline Wozniacki: she’s two years younger than Kerber but it seems she’s been on the circuit for ever. She beat Svetlana Kuznetsova and Madison Keys en route to the semifinals.

“I came into this tournament ranked No. 74 in the world and probably people ruled me out, but it’s nice to prove people wrong once again.”

Lucas Pouille: he reached the quarterfinals after 5-sets marathon wins over Chiudinelli, Bautista Agut and Rafael Nadal. He seems to be the only French player to have both the game and the attitude. A player to watch out next year.

Laura Siegemund and Mate Pavic: they had never met before this tournament. They teamed up to win the mixed doubles title defeating CoCo Vandeweghe and Rajeev Ram in the final.

“It’s really kind of a blind date.”

Jamie Murray and Bruno Soares: they joined forces at the beginning of the season and won 2 Slam titles (the Australian and US Opens) since then.

The bad

Garbine Muguruza: the French Open champion was knocked out of the tournament by Anastasija Sevastova in the second round.

“Today was just very difficult. Everything I was trying to do she was coming back and doing incredible shots.”

Aga Radwanska: overpowered by 18-year old Ana Konjuh in the quarterfinals. The question is no more “when will she win her maiden Slam” but rather “will she ever win a Slam”.

Andy Murray: beaten by Nishikori in a bizarre match, he seemed mentally tired. He’ll now focus on the Davis Cup semifinals against Argentina.

“I tried my best. I fought as hard as I could with what I had. I didn’t let anyone down — certainly not myself. I pushed myself as hard as I could over the last few months, and I’m very proud of how I have done.”

Milos Raonic: a shock defeat to qualifier Ryan Harrison in the second round. His explanation: cramps due to nervousness, (nervous to play Ryan Harrison?).

Marin Cilic: the 2014 champion looked like a title contender again but surprisingly fell to Jack Sock in the third round.

Gaël Monfils: what on earth was he doing against Novak Djokovic? Not sure he knows it himself. What a waste of talent.

Bernard Tomic: nothing to add.

The queen

She started the year ranked number 10 with a large defeat to Victoria Azarenka in the final of the Brisbane tournament. A couple weeks later she stunned Azarenka and Serena to win the Australian Open.
Fast forward 8 months Angelique Kerber is now the new number one and took home a second Slam trophy.
Is it the beginning of a new era for women’s tennis?

First selfie + ??! Thank you for your overwhelming support ❤#teamangie #nyc? #usopen2016

Une photo publiée par Angelique Kerber (@angie.kerber) le

Photo credit: Satoshi Tsuboi