I HATE RAIN!
I knew that the weather forecast was not good and there was a strong possibility that the match would not be finished today but why the start time was not brought forward I’ll never understand. No doubt TV played a big part in deciding the start and I for one hope that tomorrow their viewing figures suck big ones! The players and paying fans should be the main concern, not those sat at home. Sorry if that offends anyone but it’s how I feel.
Anyway I saw what was played today and here is what I thought.
The day started with the handing over of the French flag to the Fencer Laura Flessel who will carry it during the opening ceremony at London 2012 Olympic Games.
Then the tennis began.
Most of the 1st set was spent with me muttering under my breath “come in Nole” Trading with Rafa behind the baseline was not the way to play this match. The times when he came in and was more attacking he was, more often than not, rewarded with the point. He lost the first set partly due to the bad start but also due to the pressure Rafa put on him so it was a fair result.
It started to rain in the 1st set and continued for most of the match but play was only stopped in the 2nd. It was a short delay, around 30-35 minutes and then we were underway again. I was now wondering if the break would have helped or hindered Novak. Going by what happened at the restart I think it was the latter. Rafa was now 2 sets to the good and looking well on course for Roland Garros title #7 and the outright record.
I know I keep harping on about Novak’s play but for me he was the one that was going to decide this match. If he played well he had a fighting chance, if not then Rafa would walk the match. For me he was not making Rafa run enough and by that I mean side-to-side, creating angles and painting the lines. I guess it is easy for me to say all this. When your back is against the wall and more importantly your head is done you are just happy to get the ball over the net.
But wait a minute, what is this! The roles have been reversed and Novak is on the attack now breaking Rafa twice then holding out to take us into a 4th set. And just as I was having fun the rain got too much and play was stopped once again. This time the court was covered (I’ll rant about that a bit more at the end) and we waited. And waited. And waited. An announcement was made to say that they would try again at 20.00.
Well you all know what happened at 20.00, the match was cancelled until 13.00 tomorrow (Monday). As with my introduction play should have started earlier and for those of you interested here is what the organisers had to say in their press conference.
I would say what I think of the answer to the first question as my Mother reads these reports; lets just say I think it is a load of public BS. Would covering the court during the 1st stoppage have made a difference? For me they should always cover the courts, even clay and even if only for 10 minutes. You could clearly see that the court was damp during the 2nd session of play and it was clumping. This all makes for tricky playing conditions and you could see that both were not willing to slide properly.
All in all I think the FFT got today horribly wrong.
Wrong start time. Should have been 13.00.
Wrong decision not to cover the court. Made it difficult when they came back out.
I will not be here tomorrow to cover the remainder of the match; I shall be on a train for Halle where I am covering the tournament for The Tennis Times. Thankfully I have sold my ticket so all is not lost but I so wanted to be there when either Rafa broke the record for Roland Garros wins or Novak completed the career slam. But we can’t help the weather; still I’m mad at the FFT.
Until Halle, au revoir
Photos will follow once the match is complete.