Check out Get behind the scenes at Roland Garros – part 1

Ladies locker room:

The highlight of the tour is when you get to go inside the ladies dressing room. But you might be surprised at how small the locker rooms are:

Roland Garros

Roland Garros

Roland Garros

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Only 20 sentences dedicated by Andre Agassi to his 2001 Australian Open win in his autobiography Open? The Australian Open, a tournament he “loves some much”…… as much as he loves tennis, or not.

Sure, there’s not much to say about his 6-4 6-2 6-2 routine win over the surprising Arnaud Clément.

Agassi-Clément

Extract from Agassi’s biography:

“In January we fly to Australia. I feel good when we land. I do love this place. I must have been an aborigine in another life. I always feel at home here. I always enjoy walking into Rod Laver Arena, playing under Laver’s name.

I bet Brad that I’m going to win the whole thing. I can feel it. And when I do, he will have to jump the Yarra River.
I batter my way to the semis and face Rafter again. We play three hours of hammer-and-tong tennis, filled with endless I-grunt-you-grunt rallies.
He’s ahead, two sets to one. Then he withers. The Australian heat. We’re both drenched with sweat, but he’s cramping. I win the next two sets.

In the final I face Clément, a grudge match four months after he knocked me out of the US Open. I rarely leave the baseline. I make few mistakes, and those I do make, I put quickly behind me.
Clément is muttering to himself in French, I feel a serene calm. My mother’s son. I beat him in straight sets.

Agassi-Clément

Andre Agassi

It’s my seventh Slam, putting me tenth on the all-time list. I’m tied with McEnroe, Wilander, and others – one ahead of Becker and Edberg.
Wilander and I are the only ones to win three Australian Opens in the Open era. At the moment, however, all I care is seeing Brad do the backstroke in the Yarra, then getting home to Stefanie.”

Steffi Graf and Brad Gilbert

Steffi’s last Grand Slam win: Graf defeats Hingis 4-6 7-5 6-2

A must see match, not really for the quality of the match, but for all the drama. I remember watching this match on TV way back in 99. Never seen such a crazy match before.
Hingis, was the clear favorite to win the title: at only 19, the then world number 1 was seeking the only Grand Slam still missing to her collection. Graf, 29, was playing her first Grand Slam final since her victory against rival Monica Seles at the 96 US Open.

Everything started well for the Swiss Miss, leading 6-4 2-0, but the drama started and a single point completely changed the course of the match. Hingis disputed a line call and went round the net to Steffi’s side to show the ball mark.

Martina Hingis

Steffi Graf - Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis

From then on, the crowd was rooting for Graf, booing Hingis. Hingis served for the match at 5-4 but Steffi broke and won the set 7-5. Graf took the control of the match.

Steffi Graf - Martina Hingis

Steffi Graf

Martina Hingis

Trailing 5-2 in the third and serving to stay in the match, Hingis faced double match point. She hit an underarmed serve, argued again with the umpire. Graf finally converted her third match point.

Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis

Steffi Graf - Martina Hingis

But the drama wasn’t over: Hingis left the court at the end of the match, but came back, crying in the arms of her mother.

Martina Hingis

Martina Hingis

No question, the chair umpire was bad, but Hingis behaviour was really disrespectful as she acted like a spoiled kid. I really wonder how Graf could remain so calm and focused after all that Hingis’ whining and arguing.

Steffi Graf

Steffi Graf

Graf reached the finals at Wimbledon a month later (lost to Lindsay Davenport), and retired a few weeks later:

I have done everything I wanted to do in tennis. I feel I have nothing left to accomplish. The weeks following Wimbledon weren’t easy for me. I was not having fun anymore. After Wimbledon, for the first time in my career, I didn’t feel like going to a tournament. My motivation wasn’t what it was in the past.

Graf turned professional in 1982, when she was 13 years and four months old. She won her first tournament in April 1986, beating Chris Evert in Hilton Head. She won 107 singles titles, 22 Grand Slams (7 Wimbledon, 6 French Open, 5 US Open, and four singles titles at the Australian Open).
She was ranked World No. 1 for 186 consecutive weeks (from August 1987 to March 1991, still the record in the women’s game) and a record total 377 weeks overall.

This French Open final was also the beginning of the end for Hingis: she was ousted by Jelena Dokic in the first round at Wimbledon in one of the biggest upsets in tennis history. She bounced back to reach the finals at the 99 US Open and at the 2000, 2001 and 2002 Australian Open but didn’t win any other major. In 2003 she announced her retirement from tennis, she returned to the tour in 2006 and retired definitely after testing positive for cocaine during Wimbledon in 2007.

Wimbledon Centre Court

Men’s Wimbledon tennis statistics:

Open era records (since 1968):
Most titles, singles: Pete Sampras, 7 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000) and Roger Federer, 5 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012)
Most titles in a row, singles: Bjorn Borg, 5 (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980) and Roger Federer, 5 (2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Most titles, doubles: Todd Woodbridge, 9 (1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000 (with Mark Woodforde), 2002, 2003, 2004 (with Jonas Björkman))
Most titles, mixed doubles: Owen Davidson, 3 (1971, 1973, 1974 (with Billie Jean King))
Most titles, all events: Todd Woodbridge, 9
Youngest winner, singles: Boris Becker, 17
Longest men’s final by time: Rafael Nadal d Roger Federer, 2008, 4 hours and 48 mins
Longest men’s final by games: Roger Federer d Andy Roddick, 2009, 77 games
Longest men’s match by time: John Isner d Nicolas Mahut, 2010, 11 hours and 5 mins
Longest men’s match by games: John Isner d Nicolas Mahut, 2010, 183 games

Court 18

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A really good 30 minutes report about Steffi Graf and Agassi and their respective Roland Garros win in 1999. Interviews are in english, commentary in french, if you need translation just ask me. Enjoy!

– Andre Agassi reached the French Open final 3 times for 2 losses and 1 win

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Runner-up 1990 French Open Clay Andres Gomez 6–3, 2–6, 6–4, 6–4
Runner-up 1991 French Open (2) Clay Jim Courier 3–6, 6–4, 2–6, 6–1, 6–4
Winner 1999 French Open Clay Andrei Medvedev 1–6, 2–6, 6–4, 6–3, 6–4

– Steffi reached 9 Roland Garros, for 3 losses and 6 wins:

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent in the final Score in the final
Winner 1987 French Open Clay Martina Navrátilová 6–4, 4–6, 8–6
Winner 1988 French Open (2) Clay Natalia Zvereva 6–0, 6–0
Runner-up 1989 French Open Clay Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 7–6(6), 3–6, 7–5
Runner-up 1990 French Open (2) Clay Monica Seles 7–6(6), 6–4
Runner-up 1992 French Open (3) Clay Monica Seles 6–2, 3–6, 10–8
Winner 1993 French Open (3) Clay Mary Joe Fernandez 4–6, 6–2, 6–4
Winner 1995 French Open (4) Clay Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 7–5, 4–6, 6–0
Winner 1996 French Open (5) Clay Arantxa Sánchez Vicario 6–3, 6–7(4), 10–8
Winner 1999 French Open (6) Clay Martina Hingis 4–6, 7–5, 6–2