What do the French Open 2011 matches listed below have in common?
- Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin Del Potro
- Gael Monfils v David Ferrer
- Andy Murray v Victor Troicki
If you’re thinking that
a) They all involve Top 10 players
b) They have all gone to at least 4 sets
c) Only one of them involves a player wearing purple
Then you are correct on all counts.
These end of day matches have also all been stopped due to bad light
Which means that the players have to play for at least 2 consecutive days and the winner play for 3 consecutive days. And there is also the loss of momentum, or potential gain of momentum by the losing player after having time to regroup.
Not good for the players or fans
Not ideal for the fans who had tickets expecting to see the match through until completion.
Not ideal for the players either.
I was at a match between Monfils and Fognini in 2010 when they had ongoing “discussions” with the umpire over whether or not to continue. After six minutes of delays because he didn’t want to play on Fognini received a point penalty.
As a spectator I found it really hard to see the ball so I can understand the players wanting to stop. That match was eventually stopped and continued the next day but surely the indecisiveness over whether or not to continue could have been avoided.
After his Round 2 match against Chardy which finished during the twilight hours, Simon said
“It’s a simple question I keep on asking and nobody has found an answer, which is until which time can we play?” Simon asked. “Because, people say, ‘Okay, we can finish the set or not; but if it’s night, we should stop.’
This is what I think, and each time I asked the question and the answer given to me is, ‘We will see.’ Like if you could end this set quickly, this would be better. It’s a pain in the neck.
I would like someone to tell me that, ‘Okay, we’ll end at this time. We can’t see anything any longer. We’ll stop.’”
Plans are afoot to let the light shine
There are plans in the works to redevelop Roland Garros by 2016, which I’ve read include a retractable roof being added to the centre court Philippe Chatrier.
According to tennis.com when Roland Garros expansion plans go ahead:
Roland Garros will still be the smallest Grand Slam venue, but Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoe said that a construction of a new 5,000-seat arena would give the site 60 percent more space…
There has also been talk of building a retractable roof over court Philippe Chatrier (center court) and possibly adding lights in order to play night matches.
Hopefully these updates all go ahead with no delays and that lights for every court are included as a must have.
There has even been mention of night sessions being scheduled. Which then leads to the issues of splitting the sessions into Day and Night, and Night matches that run until after public transport stops making it hard for the spectators to get home (or having to leave before the end).
But at least the matches will get finished the same day.
If you have any good intel on plans for the Roland Garros redevelopment, especially relating to a roof and lights, please leave a comment and let us know.
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal
31 May 2011