Attending the French Open has been on my bucket list ever since my schooldays when we would keep score in French on the tennis courts for weeks after watching the Open on TV. (Or at least until Wimbledon starts four weeks later! :-) So, not to miss the opportunity to tick off an item on the list, the timing of our trip to France was scheduled around the dates of the tennis tournament. We planned to be in Paris on the first Friday of the tournament, which this year just happened to be in time to see some of the women’s 3rd round matches.
The grounds of Roland Garros are very impressive – really well set up for the thousands of fans whilst at the same time remaining completely focused on tennis. I was especially impressed by two things: the kiddies tennis court (actually, it looked like a kind of clay court vacation club), and the fact that the two most popular stands at the food court were for Haagen Dazs and Nespresso. There are 22 courts, including Court Philippe Chatrier with a capacity of 15 000, Court Suzanne Lenglen that seats 10 000 and Court 1, the bullring with a capacity of 3 800.
We ended up on court 2 watching two games, the first between Petra Martic (she is the one in pink below and for some reason most of the men in the crowd cheered for her!) and Anabel Garrigues. The second game was between Fernando Verdasco and Andreas Seppi, but I was more interested in the umpire, a splendidly cool guy with this deep voice and all these charming French mannerisms and who wears the mandatory umpire’s uniform as if it is the height of couture. I see there is even a Facebook page called “Kader Nouni is the grooviest man in tennis”! I agree.