Friday, November 05, 2010

Roland Garros

The starting point for my big trip this year was the desire to go to the French Open. In fact, several of us had been talking about it constantly for months (I am looking at you, Rooey!). So as the group grew for this little idea of meeting up with Jessie at Roland Garros, we played on the website for tickets, and booked our two days, almost entirely in French. They are quite particular with names and ID for the tickets, which is quite...well, French, isn't it!

We were up and rode the metro out to the Roland Garros complex for Day 1 (actually techncally Day 2, cos they play some matches on Sunday to get through the matches of Round 1), where we found our first Aussie at play. Here was where being at the French Open really hit me, and it was all I could do to contain the excitement of it all, as we watched Jelana Dokic for a set.

A ground pass for each of the 7 of us, we wondered around the complex, taking it all in. We sat courtside and watched Carson Ball struggle through a couple of sets, before making our way to see Marcos Baghdatis up close on one of the mini-big courts.

Meeting in the middle of the complex for a beer, we discovered that Ball was in the last throws of a 5 set match, and managed to squeeze in to hear (not see!) the last game, before I headed off to further courts to watch Chilian Gonzalos. The bigger group joined up again as we watch Sam Stoser win through the first round (attributing her later success in the tournament to our support!), and watching a bit of the Molik game.

After our very full first day at the tennis, we made our way to the foot of the Eiffel, and took a cruise along the Seine, to take in Paris at night. So pretty!

At it again the next day, but this time we had taken a punt on booking a couple of seats in each of the main courts for the day. Belinda, Jess, and I saw the end of the first men's match on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and then Safina coast along before having a tantrum and finding her older Japanese opponent beating her. We then watched Nadal make easy work of his first match to his eventual tournament win. This was the match the French fans filled the venue for, for the first set and a half....I don't actually know where they were for the rest of the day, apart from clogging every walkway around the courts!

Jessie, Heath, Rhys and Hemant had their seats on Court Philippe Chatrier for the day, but we did manage to do some creative ticket swaps and tag teams, to mean that we each got a set in each of the venues. I joined this court to see the first set of Hewitt, and soak up the French centre court feel, before Rooey and I returned to Suzanne Lenglen for Sharapova.

Hewitt completed match point just as the rains started, and we were all trapped somewhere around the complex as torrential rains hit Paris. Being here for these 2 days was such a great experience, adding to the Grand Slam collection, and taking in some great tennis.

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