Another day, another merry-go-round with the press accreditation. My confirmation told me Gate B, they sent me to Gate A who in turn sent me to Gate W. Finally found someone who knew where I was to go and I found the press centre. I had a little look around and found myself a desk and got a much needed drink.
My first port of call was Court 1 were I watched Tipsarevic v Querrey. Not sure who designed Janko’s kit but those shorts were awful, they reminded me of the old pipe screen saver in the early editions of Windows. As for the match itself I only stayed for the first set. Janko had the first chances to get ahead but was not able to take advantage. Sam on the other hand took the first of his two break points. A hold and 2nd break gave Sam the set 6-2.
I moved to Court 14 next to get myself set for the conclusion to Dolgopolov v Stakhovsky. Before that match I watched Ladies Doubles, Dulko/Suarez v Kustova/Tatishvili. I do enjoy watching the odd game of Doubles. My seat overlooked Court 12 and I caught sight of Sam Stosur practicing so I turned round and watched Sam for a while. She was followed by Anne Keothavong along with Jeremy Bates and it looked like she was making it hard work for him!
By this time the Ladies Doubles was over, straight sets win for the Argentine ladies and it was time for the Dolgopolov v Stakhovsky match to resume. I have seen both players a few times before but quite enjoy both players. You never quite know what you are going to get with Alex and that adds to the appeal. Stakhovsky, like Ungur yesterday, has a nice one-handed backhand to admire. Sadly the final set was not much of a contest and Sergiy ran out the easy winner.
Once again my attention turned to Court 12 behind me as Andy Murray and Marcos Baghdatis made their way on for their practice session. I did not see many “full on” serves from Andy so I wondered if he was hold back until his match. After watching for a while I decided to head for the Press Centre to start this report.
Firstly, it was nice to get out of the sunshine and into an air-conditioned room. The information TV’s dotted around the centre told me that David Ferrer was due into the press room so I decided to pay that a visit. Unfortunately the interview was in Spanish only but David looked relaxed and smiley as he answered the questions from the Spanish journalists in the room.
I moved onto the press seating on Chatrier and watched a few games of Gasquet v Zopp then went back out to watch some more tennis. First stop was Court 3 and the mammoth match between Chardy & Lu. I caught it from 5-4 and was sat next to Jeremy’s Mum. His parents, girlfriend and others in his team were very vocal in their support. They needed to be at their best as it took until his 5th match point before the match was over. 4 hours and 10 minutes the match took and there was much cheek kissing and hugs all around when Jeremy came over to greet his family.
I stayed on Court 3 to watch the match held over from last night between Volandri and Haas. Tommy is another player I like to watch and given his age I may not have many chances. The match resumed with Haas up a break 4-2 and there were no further breaks and Tommy held out for 6-4 in the 5th set. There is still life in the old man yet !
Made my way to Court 2 via the water fountain. Word of advice, no matter how much water you think you will need during a day out at the tennis double it! Especially in the hot weather we are currently enjoying in Paris, it really makes you thirsty. Once my water bottles were filled I got onto Court 2 to watch Paire v Ramos. One thing for sure with Benoit is the fact that he loves the drop shot. No matter how the point is playing out he will go for a dropper. He is a frustrating player to watch as he leaves the door open so many times for his opponent and today, at least in the 1st set I watched and he lost the tie break 7-5. Of course this all matters not as he won in 4 J
I headed back to the Press Centre to write some more of this report and also to go and watch Rafa. I joined the match at 3-0 to Rafa in the first set but Simone mounted a mini fight back. He got a break back and only after 4 deuces in game 7 did Rafa gain control. It was at this point that I left and headed back out to watch some more.
Only caught a few games of Andy Murray on Lenglen but those games I did watch must have been his worst of the match. He hit two double-faults and just got away with making it a hat-trick. Once again I had one eye on the scoreboard and noticed that Blake v Youzhny had been moved from Court 3 to Court 6. Like with Tommy Haas earlier in the day I am not sure if I will ever watch Jimbo live again so I made my way to that court.
I must admit watching the match you can clearly see the James is not the same player. I know clay is not his surface but today he really struggled. He managed to hang in there until the 6th game when Youzhny broke to love and from there on in it was all one-way traffic. Things got worse, or better if you are a fan of Mikhail, something I am as you never quite know what you are going to get – tennis player or crazy man who hits himself in the face with a racquet until he bleeds? Anyway the 2nd set had James screaming out “what is wrong with you” The slump continued and I left the match at 6-2 5-0 to the Russian.
I hope you enjoy the report, photos and videos from today at Roland Garros.