Monday, June 05, 2006

Tennis, Anyone?

As I said last week, we went to Paris for a day at Roland Garros, the French Open. We had tickets for Thursday in Court Number One, the smallest of the three show courts. Unfortunatley, it was cold and there was a rain delay, but we did see two good matches and part of a third, so all was not lost.

The day started out sunny and Ken and I stopped on the way to the tennis grounds for some coffee and a croissant (above) near our hotel. Yum!

Court Number One (above) was built in 1980 as the second show court at Roland Garros. But later, in the early '90s, the Suzanne Lenglen court took second stage (after Center Court) and Court No. 1 became the third and smallest show court on the grounds. It's a very intimate court and this year was the first time that we had seats in this court.

A fan, a ball kid, a line judge, and Julien Benneteau.

The first match was a great 5-set match between Frenchman Julien Benneteau and Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis. Benneteau won it, finally, and the crowd loved it.

Julien Benneteau getting a treatment between games.

Next, we saw Frenchwoman Nathalie Dechy win a match against Columbian Catalina Castano. A three-set match, interrupted by rain, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Nathalie Dechy focusing before her match.

The rain delay lasted about an hour. We made our way, with thousands of other fans, to one of the food venues on the grounds and huddled under a tent with a bottle of rosé to pass the time. Our friend Cheryl said the rain delay lasted exactly "one bottle of wine."

Finally, we got to see the first three games of the James Blake (above)/Nicolas Almagro match before we needed to leave at 8:00 pm for our dinner reservation. The match didn't last much longer before it was called due to darkness, and it was finished the next day with Blake winning. He lost today, however, against Gaël Monfils, another French player who's very hot right now.

Our friends and tennis companions, Sue and Cheryl, striking a pose in the stands on Court Number One.

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