For those of you that enjoy a good light show and funky music then Bercy is the place for you. This year a robot introduces the players whilst the court is lit up with lights to the beat of the music. I’ll take a video later to show you all.
I started my day on Centre Court to watch Youzhny against Kohlschreiber. I was half expecting a Youzhny special, i.e. meltdown but alas all I got was a defeat. At least he managed to avoid a bagel in the 2nd set but he started to play a little too late to change the match around.
I went to the Media Centre to see what time Philipp was having his press conference but the wait was too long. I watched the first 3 games of Cilic v Verdasco on the TV screen before going back to my seat. It looked like Nando was going to carry on where Youzhny had left off, handing a break to Cilic with a DF. Muller v Anderson was about to start on Court 1 so I moved over there. Muller was having a bad start and was quickly 0-3. Court hopped once again as, checking the score on my phone, I saw that Nando was playing a bit better; anyone would think he didn’t want to play well in front of me. But play well he did and so confident was I in him wrapping up at the match whilst 3-0 up in the 3rd I once again made my way to the Press Bar to grab myself a croissant, seriously, they do taste better when they are free!
Back to Centre court for Raonic v Benneteau. As will previous occasions whenever a French player is on Centre court you are guaranteed someone will bring the bongos J It all adds to the unique atmosphere that is Bercy. On my way to my seat for this match I had found out the time of Nando’s press conference, 16.15 so I made am mental note to go to that. Until then I stayed and watched young Milos take the 1st set.
Off to Nando’s presser I went and whilst this time I asked no questions it was still an experience to be there. He was asked about the Davis Cup, why he visited California recently (a close friend had undergone heart surgery so he stayed there for 10 days), and his opinion on the court speed “ Well I think that it’s slower than last year is what I can say, but also because last year was so fast. It’s not like it’s unbelievable slow, it’s just indoor hardcourt”.
After the press conference I made my way to Court 1 for Mayer v Stepanek (past Gillou Simon who was eating a choc chip cookie. Don’t say I don’t give you the backstage gossip J). I will admit to being rather disappointed with Radek’s kit, I wanted something a little more colourful. Unfortunately his tennis matched his kit and he lost in straight sets. Stayed on Court 1 to catch Bellucci v Bogomolov Jr. My, the American can’t half sweat, we was only 6 games in and his shirt looked like he had taken a shower in it. By this time I had once again checked my phone and Milos had lost in 3 sets. To console myself I quickly left the arena to pop across the road for the best panini’s in the world. After my food and a diet coke I made my way back for the night session.
As I sat down Monfils was just finishing up his practice session. As earlier promised I recorded the light & music show before the Mahut v Ferrero match that I will upload to my Youtube account. This match was a privilege to watch. Net play, drop shots, volleys, passing shots and rallies that ended with a winner. It was an absolute joy to watch. A shame that Ferrero could not take the match to a deciding set but you cannot have everything.
As I wanted to try and get an early night I decided to go to the Media Centre and start writing up this report whilst waiting for Mahut’s press conference. I got most of it written before he arrived at 21.25. I have no idea what was said as it was all in French, though I did pick up a translated copy of the press conference on my way out. Here are a few quotes:
Q – Are you playing your best tennis?
A – Maybe. I’m playing very good tennis, but also, I’m able to play quite relaxed on the court.
Q – Next match is another Spaniard, Ferrer
A – I played him when we were younger because we are the same age. In team competitions we played each other very often, but at this level I have never met him on the court.
After the press conference it was time for a few more games of tennis and I joined the Tursunov v Mannarino match right at the end of the 1st set, which Mannarino won 6-2. I stayed for the first 3 games of the 2nd set then called it a day.
*PHOTOS ADDED – http://www.flickr.com/photos/clare2904/