Posts Tagged french open

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!

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Some gloom in ol’ Paris

Remember Air India??? Yikes. If you ever can opt for a cheaper planet ticket, I don’t know. Work hard or something, but pay that extra $200 for the other airline. I’m not sure what went wrong but, the flight had lost all its normal meals… with fish. All vegetarian. The snacks? A bit spicy. I also don’t think there’s any restrictions with foods with peanuts in India or Hinduism is there? We had to throw out a lot of chocolates with nuts in them. Sad. Don’t even get me started on someone on the staff.

Fun part for me was that I sat next to two kids whose parents had a seating problem and were bumped into first class (boo). Hanush and Keshav were in 5th and 8th grade, studied at an English school in India, and have probably traveled to as many places as I have! We had a wonderful conversation about what we each were reading, what I did, and other delightful subjects. Went through the whole thing, you know,… viola, music student, summer travels, reading Alex RossThe Rest Is Noise (It’s fantastic, thanks Jameson!). He asked me if I was Christian. I’m still not sure what might’ve made him ask. Anywho, we found out a little more of each other as this inquisitive little junior higher got more interested in what I did. Much fun was had.

So Paris is set for rain for most of the week. I think we’re planning a trip into London for a few days after the wedding on the 7th… I’m excited for that. I can speak that language. I’m not too bad at picking up the language wherever I go luckily.

I can never really understand the romanticism associated with Paris anymore. Let’s say that it’s changed… since, say… 1934. Even my family, whom all lived here in the 80’s, has said it’s nothing like the nice Paris they knew. I believe it. There’s rather less ethnically French people here than one would expect to see. Oh yes, the European Union certainly has opened everything everywhere for everyone. Dabble on the less-careful and biased side of things, Mark Steyn’s book unapologetically has his own theories.

Of course, it’s nice to spend time with the fam here. Almost a mini-reunion, where practically all of us actually live in the States though. Peculiar. Other than that though, possibly the highlight of my week here? I didn’t even thinkabout it but my trip has unintentionally coincided with Roland-friggin- Garros! That’s right. I’m taking the metro. Line 9. To the French Open tennis grand slam! I’ll take that over EuroDisney, thanks. (Sorry, no pics on this post, I’m on a family computer)

To end with, if you’re in the APU community, you will know. I want to extend my deepest condolences after hearing news from APU of a tragic accident in the community. I was floored to hear what happened, and to that family, my greatest sympathy. It hurt hearing the news, especially knowing the older siblings of the person. God will certainly be with them.

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