An article from a fan-on-the-ground at Roland Garros during Day 1 to 3.
This is a guest article by Liz Curran who is currently attending Roland Garros 2013. Follow her on Twitter @lizcurran
It’s the end of Day 3 of Roland Garros so normally all the first round matches would be completed. However the weather had a say in this and we have a bunch of first round matches that have overflowed over into Day 4, while other players are already looking forward to the second round tomorrow.
But such is life in an outdoor tournament held late Spring in an unsettled northern hemisphere. You just have to trust that it will all come good by a week from Sunday when we get to Men’s Final day.
Here are some reflections from my last three days at Roland Garros on a 24 Euro grounds pass.
On Tuesday I was courtside for the end of a lot of matches – 7 in fact. (Due to there being no wifi it’s quite difficult to be in the right place at the right time to catch the start of matches).
I did however manage to see the whole of Ryan Harrison’s match versus Kuznetsov.
I prioritised this because I am a fan of Ryan. I really enjoyed seeing him play in 2012: in Australia (losing to Andy Murray in R1 in 4 sets and giving me a heart attack by taking the first set!), on the grass in the UK and then at the USO in 2012 where he won three fabulous doubles matches against the odds with his 18yo (at the time) brother Christian. It was lovely to see him play live again and to see him get his first ever Roland Garros win 6-3, 6-4, 7-6.
One of the fun things about being on a grounds pass is that you can dip in an out of matches and if you sit in the right place – like at the back of court – you can keep an eye on two matches at once. This is perfectly acceptable (I think!). So while the Harrison match (3rd on court 10) was in its early stages the first scheduled match on the next court– a long five setter between Kamke (GER) and Lorenzi (ITA) – was still in play and reaching an exciting conclusion. I even spotted Lisicki doing what I was doing – peering over the fence between the courts and cheering on her countryman.
Kamke won and he was clearly very very happy and did a nice long celebration which I was able to capture on film (well memory stick; ). As an aside I couldn’t help but compare Lorenzi’s general appearance with Kamke’s. I then had a look at their kit bags and detected something of a correlation…..
Other winners that I witnessed yesterday included:
- Nick Kyrgios (I couldn’t get into the court so had to peer from the entrance) beating 34 yo Stepanek in three tie break sets. How awesome is that? I felt very proud as a good friend of Australia. He’s going to be a very tough draw in juniors next week.
- Genie Bouchard – another player who was playing Juniors last year – she beat Pironkova
- Jerzy Janowicz – who really has got a lot of stage presence and charisma on the court. I loved that he bowed deeply to both sides of the court TWICE after he won his match against Albert Ramos – they both played some great tennis but Jerzy really is box office
- The last game of the match between Flipkins and Pennetta on Court 7 (which seems to get some great atmosphere matches) – the Belgians really get my respect.
No longer in the draw
Losing is obviously the other side of the coin, and these emotions in sport are one of the reasons we love it. So on Tuesday after the fun of the day before it felt like all my favourites lost so my day had a different flavour.
I was sad to see Bernie Tomic retire – he apparently slipped on the second point of the match and despite playing on for 2 ½ sets was never right after that. Bernie’s retirement left me feeling sad.
Then another of my non GB favourites, gorgeous David Goffin of Belgium fought valiantly against world No 1 Novak Djokovic. I only caught the action and the scores on the big screen but he demonstrated flashes of brilliance and huge potential in a courageous and tough defeat to Novak in three tight sets. I loved the fact that Novak generously clapped David off the court. I have no pictures – I was too sad to photograph the big screen.
There was so much else going on that my head is spinning – such is the overwhelming nature of the first few days of a grand slam – but these are the things that stand out for me. Plus the fact that we Brits have only one person left in the singles draw.
After Laura Robson and Elena Baltacha’s losses all British eyes will be on the adorable Heather Watson who plays first on Court 6 on Day 4. I was pleased to catch her practising on Court 12 late this afternoon. She was hitting well and was as smiley as ever. I chatted to her and some of her friends from Guernsey after the practice session. Heather said she was going to get an early night. I trust you are currently sleeping well Hev. Getting to site in less than 10 hours from the time I finished writing this article will be a challenge for me but hopefully worth it.
Finally I have two ‘around site’ observations to finish. Firstly I was delighted to find another water fountain at the very far end of site opposite court 18 by one of the only handkerchiefs of grass at Roland Garros (please give us more in the redevelopment!). Small things please me!
And secondly this Emirates sponsored spycam makes me smile every time I see it. It’s so cute, well I think so 🙂
A note from GSG: I’m so grateful to Liz for providing this article and the previous ones. For me, reading her thoughts and looking at the pics gives me a strong reminder of what it’s like to be at Roland Garros.
Hope you’re enjoying the articles too.