Crocodile rock – Local Artist “Greg” has been commissioned by Sponsor Lacoste of the iconic Crocodile logo to produce a 15 metre long piece of wall art “The Art Live Crocodile” at a rate of one metre a day by the men’s final. It will feature 45 legendary players.
Twelve time French open Champion on the Phillppe Chatrier Court Rafa Nadal usually plies his trade to a full house, but due to Covid protocols this year, a mere handful of spectators witnessed another masterclass from King Rafa today.
The persistent rain mercifully stopped in late afternoon and the view from Court 10 showed a dramatic sunset.
I pay special attention to the highly trained ball kids as they scamper around the courts delivering balls on demand to the world best players.
Gardeners Delight – the traditional geraniums on Chatrier Court in May, the pride and joy of and pride of head gardener Laurent Villalonga, who has tended the trees, plant walls, hedges, and vegetation at Roland Garros since 1994 would have long since passed their prime with the Autumn re-scheduling of The French open and have been replaced by the much hardier Kalanchoe.
Talking of blooms, the svelte 2013 Wimbledon Grand Slam winner now post match on court interviewer Marion Bartoli seems to have blossomed herself in her new less energetic role?
Marion Bartoli lifting the Venus Rosewater Dish at Wimbledon 2013
No.3 seed Dominic Thiem impressed as he glided past Marin Cilic with a Rafa-like display.
And finally … one to watch.
18 year old Leylah “Annie” Fernandez won the girls singles title here at Roland Garros last year and is already building a reputation as the “Canadian Coco Gauff”
Coached by her father Jorge, a former Ecuador international soccer player, her chances of progressing to the second round in her maiden main draw Grand Slam looked slim after losing the first set 1-6 to #31 seed Magda Linette from Poland.
Leylah started the match wearing a black top and leggings under her skirt, just as Coco Gauff did yesterday when beating #9 seed Johanna Konta, and was clearly uncomfortable in the outfit.
She dashed off court at the end of the set with permission of highly experienced British Umpire Alison Hughes, and returned five minutes later wearing a sleeveless singlet top and proceeded to storm her way to victory taking the next two sets 6-2 6-3.
Even in a globalised sport like tennis, where the backgrounds of players vary and the paths to becoming a professional differ, Fernandez boasts a coach with a background like no other.
Her father Jorge is a former football player and coach for a string of clubs in his native Ecuador, but has managed to successfully guide his daughter to join Coco Gauff, 16, as only the second player aged 18 and under in the world’s top-100, at No 100.
In the coming days she will make her first appearance in the main draw of the French Open, 15 months after she served notice of her potential by winning the junior title at Roland Garros.
Other former soccer players turned tennis coaches include Stefano Capriati, father of Jennifer and Piotr Wozniacki father of former World No.1 Caroline.
Fernandez will face world No. 47 Polona Hercog of Slovenia in the second round of the French Open.