Bonjour from Roland Garros.
Today was my first day at the French Open 2012 and I had a great time. The day got off to a typical start i.e. there was drama. I had completely forgotton that today was a holiday so the bus I needed to catch to the tennis only ran once an hour and of course I had just missed one.
I finally arrived at Roland Garros in time to join a long queue to enter the grounds. I had planned to go and collect my Accreditation before play but I was too late. I headed to Court 7 hoping to catch some of Kavcic v Hewitt but that was a no-go due to the queue. I moved across the road to Court 10 and started to watch Jaziri v Petzschner. To be honest it was not very interesting so I left and queued to get a seat on Court 6.
This was my first real look at Laura Robson and you can certainly see the potential. I started to watch with Laura 4-1 down in the first set but way too many easy errors on her part meant that the match was quickly over 6-2 6-1. If she can cut down on the basic errors she would move up the rankings but giving away cheap points is not helping her right now.
With the ladies match over I stayed on Court 6 to watch David Nalbandian. The crowd was certainly on the Argentines side with football shirts and flags on show. Unfortunately for those fans, it seemed that David did not read the script. That said there was some lovely play from Ungur who incidentally has a very lovely single-handed backhand. He used that shot to great effect and deservedly took the first set with a lovely backhand.
As you will read in all my reports queuing is something that you have to do if you wish to court hop and catch as many matches as possible. I was keeping an eye on Court 2 whilst the 2nd set got underway in the Ungur v Nalbandian match and when the second ladies match started I decided to leave. I am glad I did as David was not his best and I had to queue for over an hour to get onto court to see Isner.
I have been following Big John for a few years now and always try to watch his matches when I am at tournaments. Today he did not disappoint me. For such a tall guy, and believe me you do not want to stand next to him if you are touchy about your height, he can move around the court and he sure gives the ball a fair whack. The good thing about my seat was that I was right at the courtside. I used this opportunity to watch his footwork (something I have to improve with my game) and this is when I noticed just how much he does move his feet. Of course he has the advantage of long legs so he has a longer stride but still, he was nimble on his toes. I also noticed that he likes to bounce the ball through his legs when serving, look out for that the next time you watch him play.
The next match on Court 2 was Mathieu v Phau. The crowd was pumped to see Paul-Henri play at Roland Garros and the match started ok for him. It all went a little downhill at 2-2 when Phau got the first break. He consolidated this break then carried off the set 6-2. I will now hold my hands up and admit that I was wrong, I thought Mathieu was in for a straight sets defeat so I headed off. Maybe Paul-Henri did not like me watching as he turned the match around from 2 sets down to win in 5 (including a final set bagel) so hat off to Paulo.
Final court hop of the day took me to Court 17 and Milos Raonic. Only a short wait this time, 20 minutes or so and I got in at 4-3. Milos broke the next game and served the set out for 6-4. Like with John Isner I was impressed today with how well Milos can get about the court, he was taking full advantage of the sliding surface. The 2nd set was more one-way and Milos was in control to take the set 6-2. He started the 3rd set with a break and I took this as my cue to go and find my Press Accreditation.
Unfortunately I only found the press office after they had closed, doh. They open at 08.00 tomorrow so I shall leave a little earlier and collect it in the morning. In the many queues today I could not fail to notice that if you have a credential you don’t have to wait in line, you are allowed straight in. I have not yet decided which matches I will watch tomorrow on the outside courts but I am thankful that I will not have to wait for so long.
Until then, I hope you have enjoyed my report and the pictures. If you have any comments or queries please leave them here.