I started my day by watching the world’s most dominant sportsperson, Esther Vergeer. For those of you that have never heard of Esther she is the world’s best wheelchair tennis player. She is on a crazy unbeaten run of over 450 matches and not only does she win but it is usually by serving a double bagel. I caught the end of today’s match and the level of tennis is actually quite remarkable, they hit the ball low and with some welly too. If you are ever at a Slam towards the end of the tournament I urge you to check out these remarkable athletes.
It was then time for something a little more light hearted, Mansoor Bahrami. This man is a nutcase, a very loveable nut. He is playing in the Perrier Tournament along with Thomas Muster and they were today playing the Aussie pairing of Mark Woodforde and Paul McNamara. Bahrami took exception to a line call so threw at ball at the lines person, that is the kind of points you get at these matches. All good humour but boy can these guys still play.
I headed off towards Chatrier via the food stand for some nice pasta and also the official store to buy myself a nice pin button to keep my wrap around my shoulders (something I was very thankful for later). My seat was right at the end of the row in the Jean Borotra stand behind the umpire, though I was so far to the left it did not interfere with my view. What did annoy me was that for people to reach Rows 1 & 2 they had to walk past my seat where there was literally a 12in gap. This meant I was up and down all the time and having to move my bag.
Anyway, tennis time and the first of the Men’s semi finals was a rather one-sided affair. David had his chances in the first set but did not take advantage. These were no problems for Rafa though and when given his chances he took them and took the first set 6-2.
An interesting point occurred in Game 3, I have never seen Rafa sit down on the court mid-point before to hit the ball. Of course this was not intentional and as with most other things today, the point went his way. Then the rain came, only lightly to start but then the heavens opened and play was suspended with everyone diving for cover under the stairwells etc. I wanted until it had stopped then went to treat myself to an ice cream then had a little walk around as the court was being prepared.
To be honest this was now just a routine match for Rafa with no real threat to him. David just did not have any answers to Rafa’s game today and it was a straight sets & easy win for Rafa. Final number 7 at Roland Garros awaits on Sunday.
Another downpour stopped the 2nd semi final before it even got started. The players had finished their warm-up when a dirty black cloud moved overhead so the players waited to see what would happy. Very quickly they were running for the locker room. The break was just over 30 minutes this time.
As per usual in Paris, the majority of the crowd was on the side of Roger (if you go by the cheer level and name chanting). But the crowd could not help Roger when Novak took the vital break in Game 10 of the 1st set and took it 6-4.
The 2nd set was one of breaks.
“Here Roger have a break, in fact have two”
“I can’t be that greedy Nole, have one back”
“Cheers Roger, I’ll have the other one too whilst I’m at it then we are even”
Another round of swaps was played out until it was 5-5 with Novak serving. He held his serve then once again broke Roger and it was 2 sets up for Novak. Could Roger be a Warrior again and come from the abyss?
The answer was no, Novak was too strong in the 3rd set and like Rafa before him booked his place in the final with a straight sets victory.
So on Sunday we will see either Rafa beat Borg’s long standing record of 6 Roland Garros titles or Novak will, like Rafa at the US Open 2010, complete the career Grand Slam. Which one will it be??