I took a later bus today and as I was on my way to the tennis it started to lightly rain. Thankfully it stayed away but oh my way it cold. There was a queue to get onto Lenglen when I arrived so I did not actually start watching until 3-2 in the first set. My seat today was right at the end of the row next to a wall so I was kinda sheltered from the wind. There were also no tall people around so my view was pretty good all day. There was no missing Almagro in his nice highlighter yellow shirt. His day certainly was bright as he took a break for 5-4 then served out the 1st set. At the start of the 2nd the weather got worse, it was then that my umbrella finally met Roland Garros. If you have ever been in a similar situation at a tennis match you will know just how unpleasant it can be to sit there when it is raining and you are cold. Unfortunately every outdoor tournament I have attended has, at some point, experienced rain. Maybe it is the British in me! Back to the match and two more similarly impressive sets were played by Nico and he ran out the winner 6-4 6-4 6-4. I was very impressed with Nico’s backhand today; it certainly is a very solid and consistent shot, which he used to great effect today.
Next up was the conclusion to a match held over from yesterday, Del Potro v Berdych. I would not have minded watching this from the start but I got a set. Once again Delpo had his left knee strapped like when I watched him against Roger-Vasselin early in the tournament. It did not seem to do him any harm as he wrapped up the match and will now play Federer. It will be interesting to see how Delpo gets on in that match, remember 2009 when he pushed Roger all the way here and came so close to making the final? Then of course there was the US Open final 3 months later.
The ladies were next up, Na Li v Yaroslava Shvedova. I have only ever seen Shvedova play Doubles, here last year with Vania King. I believe this may be her best ever run in Singles so I was interested to see what she could do. I was hoping that they would not be wanting to spend too long on court so I could have myself so Rafa before I got too cold. 39 minutes for the 1st set so I thought “yes, nearly Rafatime” but Yaroslava had other ideas and great play saw her take the 2nd set. By this time I had gone in search of hot food to try and warm up (€3 for some fries) but I made it back in time to watch Shvedova knock out the defending champion with a bagel.
I had a quick look at the clothes on sale from Roland Garros, €55 for a jacket was a little too pricey, no matter how cold I was.
It is time for a little rant now. The start of this match was just ridiculous. Pascal Maria had called time yet both players continued to hit serves. He then called “ready for play” and still they continued. He should have made an example out of the both and called a violation, that would have stopped them. This really annoys me when they continue after time has been called. A simple way to stop this from happening is for all the ball kids, when the umpire calls time, to pick up any balls on the court then go and line up along side the net. If the players don’t have any balls they can’t hit. A simple solution to an annoying trait.
Anyway the match was so one-sided, poor Pico, no matter what he did the ball would just not help him today. Even the net was against him. Normally a netcord will land in, not for Pico today, they would go out. We had a few laps of the Mexican wave during the match to try and entertain ourselves (and in my case keep warm). Rafa was in a hurry in sets 2 and 3 and served 2 bagels in a row to poor Pico. He was well and truly beaten today but it was good to see Rafa keep his foot on the gas throughout the match and he is playing himself nicely into the latter half of the tournament now.
I took the end of this match as my cue to go home and find some warmth. On the trip home I checked tomorrow’s schedule and I have Cibulkova v Stosur, Nole v Jo then an interesting Doubles match. Until then, au revoir.