Game, Set, Match!

I got in,… I really got in!” I kept muttering to myself. June 5, 2008. Day 12 of the French Open Tennis Championships at Roland Garros! Never thought I’d actually make it to a Grand Slam anytime soon, but after waiting in line from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. when the ticket office opened, I walked onto those oh-so-sacred grounds, full of history, rich in tradition, and decades upon decades of legends venerated all over the walls of the stadiums here.

My €14 ($US = $23.33) ticket got me on that fine day to any court I wanted, except the grand Philippe Chatrier Court. Good enough. My day wasn’t quite a big day for the event, it was mostly the quarterfinals of the doubles and juniors singles and doubles tournaments, and for women’s singles also.

Even just watching the juniors singles match was exciting! Tomic (Australia) vs. Pella (Argentina)… man these fellas are incredible. I also saw the junior boy’s doubles match. Moving on… so not unexpected, were the merchandise, food stands, program booklets,… and their prices. I got this sausage and fries combo… and for what I paid, I made sure I enjoyed it.

Surprisingly, the most fun I probably had all day was watching the ‘Legends Trophy Tournament’… basically, the seniors double matches. No ordinary seniors though, these were past champions, record holders, and world no. 1’s. That’s right. Guess who I saw today? Mr. John McEnroe himself.  He and his partner played Ilie Nastase and his partner, boy they were hilarious!

Hopping around a few more courts, I was compelled to check out the smaller courts, one with filled out bleacher, crowds by the fence, television cameras poking up from heads… turns out it was rising national star, French player Gael Monfils. Cool.

Another ‘Legends’ doubles match brought me to Court No. 1 where Todd Woodbridge and Richard Krajicek were playing each other. The were good, but I liked the old, old guys better. They gave me some good laughs. Of course, another big men’s doubles of the day had Daniel Knowles. Famous Canadian. Follow that up with a THIRD ‘Legends’ match, this time pitting legendary Boris Becker against Goran Ivanisevic! If you don’t know those names yet, Wikipedia them. Check out those numbers.

Probably the nicest surprise of my day? Towards the end, most of the crowds had left, so they opened up Chatrier Court to the anyone! The last match of the day: Mixed Doubles Semifinals with the lone American in Paris. Go Bob Bryan! (Point of Information: Roland Garros is known to be a brutal place to the American lineup as of the last decade or so. Not-so-good odds. Weird huh?)

So now that Nadal has won the final for the fourth year in a row, looking back, I got to see two teams that actually won the finals’ title: Mixed Doubles with Bob Bryan and his partner, and the Boys’ Doubles, a Finnish and Indonesian team. They were incredible too! Might’ve been the proximity of my seat’s view to the court. Small court, No. 10 I think. Those volleys go flying fast, and HARD. I need to start playing again in Colorado.

Check out the rest of the photos on the Flickr page!



  1. Pauline said

    Again should I say…Lucky!!!

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