Strawberries but no queues at Roland Garros

May 25, 2011

My first visit to the French Open has so far been an eye-opener and not just because of Rafa Nadal’s first round struggles.

I’ve been to Wimbledon and all I remember is vast queues and too many people in a small area. I expected Roland Garros to be similar given it is the smallest grand slam venue but so far there have been no problems in that regard.

The sun has also been out in force as have the strawberries, a preserve most fans might think are reserved for the All England club.

Nadal certainly gave himself and his army of fans a real fright by going two sets to one down against American John Isner on Tuesday, two botched tiebreaks had him in real trouble but like the true champion he is, the Spaniard battled back to win and continue his quest for a sixth title here in seven years.

It was his first five-set match on the Paris clay and it might actually have done the top seed good given the chance of a five-setter against Novak Djokovic in the final can not be discounted. If both of them get to the final of course…but that’s not really in doubt is it?

Roland Garros risked losing the French Open to a venue in the capital’s suburbs from 2016 because of so-called crampt conditions and ageing facilities.

They won the battle to keep the only clay grand slam here and I’ve found the setup to be really impressive. The press facilities are superb and I’ve been wondering what all the fuss was about.

But I’ll wait and see how many try to cram their way in for Nadal v Djokovic first.

PHOTO: Rafael Nadal of Spain celebrates his victory against John Isner of the U.S. during the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris May 24, 2011. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

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It’s getting tough this year for Nadal, but I think he will succeed again. He now has enough experience to handle these situations, he’s a great champion.
For those who planned to come to the French Open, here is a good local site to find hotels Hotels Aeroport Roissy

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