THE lights could go out on the French Open next month as striking electricity workers in France threaten a major disruption as the battle to overturn recent pension reform in the country.
The National Federation of Mines and Energy of the CGT (FNME- CGT) have promised ‘100 days of anger’ as they seek to overturn the new laws that will see French workers fall into line with most of the rest of Europe’s retirement age.
“The Cannes Film Festival, the Monaco Grand Prix, the Roland-Garros tournament could end up in the dark! We will not let go,” hammer the CGT union said.
Only ion France could you have a “National day of Rage”, but that is what has been proposed as workers across the country look to impose “energy disturbances”.
Protests have steadily grown since French President Emmanuel Macron announced his plans last month.
And evening sessions under lights at Roland Garros are potential targets.
French Open organisers have scheduled 10 night sessions for the 2023 event, all starting at 8.30pm on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Last year, play didn’t start until 9pm at the earliest and it drew a lot of criticism because of the lack of late night public transport to allow fans to get home.
It is unknown what, if any, plans have been made in the event of sudden power blackouts.
JUDY Murray said her £14.99 budget flight to the south of France to watch son Andy win in Aix-en-Provence was “worth every penny”.
Judy took great delight on Twitter as she shared the price of her plane ticket to Marseille for the final.
“So lucky that @ryanair had a direct flight to Marseille this morning and I could make it to @ATPChallenger Aix en Provence for the final. And it was only £14.99 🤣… worth every penny!!”
Murray defeated Gael Monfils and Harold Mayot in the earlier rounds of tube vent as he came back from a set down to defeat Tommy Paul in the final.
BORIS Becker has ditched prison blues for a black suit as he was pictured with partner Lilian at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Paris last Monday.
The three-time Wimbledon champion, no longer welcome in Britain after a stint in prison for insolvency fraud, told the BBC incarceration was a ‘real punishment’ but that he had discovered that he is a ‘survivor’.
Addressing questions about whether he will return to punditry roles on the BBC in the near future, Becker said he was still looking at his options.
His deportation and subsequent ban from the UK will not end until mid-2024.
ROLAND Garros officials are still optimistic major drawcard Nick Kyrgios will make a surprise comeback at the French Open.
Australian Kyrgios hasn’t played a tour match since the Japan Open seven months ago and has since undergone knee surgery.
Kyrgios though is not a big fan of Roland Garros.
His last match on the European clay-court circuit ended with him throwing a chair on the court in Rome, in one of his classic tantrums.
He has previously dismissed Roland Garros as being the worst grand slam of all.
He even suggested the event should be removed from the calendar.
“I think he will play Roland Garros,” an unnamed official told Australian media last week.
Kyrgios is still on the French Open entry list and with a ranking of No.26 in the world would be seeded.
Back in December Kyrgios told reporters in Saudi Arabia that would be playing the French Open.
“My girlfriend (Costeen Hatzi) wants to see Paris, so why not?” he said.
SO the ATP are to ditch line judges. Some Slams have already done that – New York and Melbourne.
But is there another reason, other than just the ‘digital age’ excuse?
Some think so.
In a thought provoking column pice in the London Daily Mail, tennis writer Mike Dickson suggested the decision had been made with the idea to set up a new data stream that would play into the hands of the betting industry.
“One day it is likely that courts on tour going fully electric will open up a whole new seam of data to add to that which is already being sold to gambling companies,” he wrote.
A sad fact if true, with gambling being one of the digital diseases of the 21st century.
FORMER World No. 1 Venus Williams took over from younger sister Serena for cover shots last week when she graced the cover of Paper Magazine’s May edition.
Inside, Venus talked about her latest project – co-curating the childhood home of late Blues singer, Nina Simone with conceptual artist Adam Pendleton.
Williams is leading a fundraising campaign to restore and safeguard Simone’s childhood home.
QUOTE of the week…
“Stadium full of Italians booing and whistling, thinking I’m trying to cheat Fabio out of point. All because Mo couldn’t read a mark properly. Cheers mate.” – Andy Murray responds on Instagram after a dodgy line call during his match against local Fabio Fognini in Rome.
And brother Jamie then waded in:
“How do you get this so wrong when you can get off your chair and look at the mark?! Where’s ELC?”
ELC refers to the Electronic Line Calling system which is due to be rolled out in all ATP tournaments from 2025.