Final day of press accreditation and I used it to once again catch as many matches as possible.
I started with Tomic v Giraldo on Court 7 and stayed for a while. Before the match started I could see Paul-Henri Mathieu and Fabio Fognini starting their practice session on the court behind me so I took a few pictures and videos. Back to the match on Court 7 and I can’t say I found it very interesting. I moved across the way to Court 6 to part of Monaco v Rosol and caught the match from 4-4. Enjoyable tie break which Monaco took, certainly had the crowd on his side.
Court 1 was the next port of call via the Adidas store (going to treat myself tomorrow) It can be so frustrating watching Benoit Paire, he is so laid back. Most players bend when they are to receive serve, not Benoit, he just stands there waiting for the ball. And when he serves he strolls up to the line, hardly checks if he is near the line then throws the ball up. Anyway, he got his bums kicked by Ferrer so no more Paire.
Murray looks to be in a bit of trouble on Chatrier so I went to watch a few games there. He managed to drag his back over the finishing line in 4.
Speaking of Rafa, Lenglen was my next court for the start of Rafa’s match against Istomin. I must say I was rather distracted during the games I watched. The press seating is at the end of the court so when Rafa was receiving my eyes were drawn someplace other than the ball J I had to leave after only a few games due to Milos Raonic’s press conference
I got a few questions answered which was great. I asked the first questions and the one about the Olympics.
He seems to be a rally nice young man and I like his game. Hopefully he can get through his next match and hopefully play Rafa.
I next wanted to see if I could finally see Fognini win a match. Like Paire he is frustrating to watch. I arrived in time to see Fognini take it to a final set, which of course was not straight forward. He got a break but it didn’t last long. The longer the match went on the more I thought he would lose, Victor even had 2 match points. But somehow, the Gods were smiling on me today and Fabio got the crucial break and served out the match 8-6 in the 5th.
Wandered around the grounds for a while and bought myself a lovely, though expensive ice cream. I was eating it when they announced the time for Rafa’s press conference. I had 5 minutes to eat it as fast as I could in order to get there on time. Of course after rushing about trying to find my audio recorder and eat my ice cream Rafa was 10 minutes late. You would think by now I would know that he is never on time.
I managed to get hold of the microphone first and ask 2 questions. I got hold of the microphone again and asked Rafa about his birthday. Poor Rafa did not know what day his birthday is on.
I went back to the press seating to watch Paul-Henri Mathieu level at a set all against John Isner before deciding to go and watch the “Baby Fed” of old i.e Gasquet against the new “Baby Fed” i.e Dimitrov.
I was trying to think if I have ever seen him play before, I don’t think I have, but what I saw today I liked. He hit a beautiful forehand down the line to break, lovely shot. He got better and took the first set 7-5. I did not see the rest of the match but I understand that he slipped and injured himself in the 2nd set, that really is unlucky, Gasquet was there for the taking today. Back once again to Chatrier to see if the dream can continue for Paul-Henri.
Has it really finished?
I thought for a while that we may be in for Part II of the “Isner Marathon”. It was very tense, lots of drama (those smashes into the net from Paul-Henri, oh deary me). You could clearly see that both players were running on fumes and that it would take just one little mistake to turn the match. And the mistakes came from Isner, in Game 34 of the 5th set.
A shame for Isner as his has certainly taken a step forward this year, especially on clay (remember he beat Federer in the Davis Cup), but now he has a little idea about how Mahut felt at Wimbledon and France have a little revenge.
And that brings to a close my press accreditation days at Roland Garros. Whilst it has been interesting to see behind the scenes at a Slam I much preferred the access in Bercy. A little bit too restrictive on photographic use at Roland Garros but I guess the benefit of not having to queue to get onto courts and having access all over the grounds made up for it.
I am on Court Lenglen tomorrow so I shall be bringing you pics etc from there along with anything else I can find.