31 May 2009


(publicity in the Paris metro in June 2007)

(photo by AFP, on NYTimes website)

Not even by Djokovic, Murray or Federer, but by a 22-seeded Swede?!
(photo by AFP, on NYTimes website)


I'm in official tennis mourning... :o(

I knew this day would come... our unvanquished champion would fall... but NOT THIS YEAR!!! After a couple of years chasing after and matching Bjorn Börg's records (4 consecutive Roland Garros titles, winning RG and Wimbledon the same year, etc.), THIS was the year in which he was going to create his own record for others to beat: 5 successive RG titles!


He played well, and yet not well enough. He wasn't 100% the Rafa we've admired so often on court -clay or otherwise-. I noticed something seemed off 2 weeks ago in the Madrid Master's and hoped he'd shake whatever it was off in time for Paris. But I guess not.

A -not so subtle- reminder that our champions are only human after all. As he himself admits, recognising his faults, in an interview he states that at during the whole the match he "didn't play with calm" (only found a Spanish transcript of bits of the interview on RTVE). He is his usual humble self, admitting his errors, and hoping Federer wins the tournament.

Ah! I've found two videos on YouTube (boy does he look miserable). The second seems to be the continuation of the first (different source). I love his answer in the first when asked how he's planning to prepare for Wimbledon! ;o)

And after all, full credit to Robin Soderling who's got to be in 7th heaven right now, and has earned -thanks to some amazing tennis, good lord what a serve and drive!- his place in the books as the guy who stopped Rafa's winning streak in Roland Garros.

I was soooo looking forward to watching a 100% Spanish, Nadal vs Verdasco 1/4 final match on Tuesday... but Verdasco couldn't make it either, never managing to threaten Davydenko who beat him quite easily in 3 sets...

So, what's left for Roland Garros this week? After the intial shock of Djokovic getting knocked out yesterday, and the MAJOR shock of losing Nadal today... all I can say is that Federer had better take FULL advantage of his opportunity to complete his career Grand Slam and equal Sampras' record of Grand Slam titles (14 I believe). His two most dangerous rivals out of the way, if he plays the way he did in the Madrid Masters two weeks ago... he shouldn't have too much trouble. But better lock it in now 'cause next year Rafa will be back to continue chasing another of Björg's records: the most Roland Garros titles (6). :o) VAMOS RAFA!!!

Hmmm... can you tell I'm a big tennis fan? This is nothing... you should check out my attempt at live-blogging this year's Australian Open final between Nadal and Federer here. ;o) And to think once upon a time I really disliked the sport... all that changed when I learnt to play properly. And learnt to appreciate watching good matches on TV with my dad. And then living in Belgium for 8 years where it's a big deal helped. Not to mention the awesome opportunity to watch a couple of men's 1/4f matches two years ago (one with Djokovic, the other Nadal vs Moya, such fun!) live in Paris. The energy in the Philippe Chatrier stadium is just... amazing!

Oh well, I now really hope Federer gets his name etched into the Coupe des Mousqutaires this year! But it will be a strange final... no Federer vs Nadal. But I'll be watching it whoever he's playing against!


  1. Continuing with an astonishing edition of Roland Garros...

    Roger Federer is currently having a hell of a time against Tommy Haas! :s

    He played a lackluster first 2 sets, lost the first in the tie-break (in spite of having won all his serves with love games), then lost the second thanks to a last minute break by Haas when they were 6-5. He's now fighting to stay in the 3rd set.

    First Djokovic, then Nadal, now Federer??? What the hell have they put in the Parisian water this year?!

  2. ahhh, now that's more like it! Federer rallies in the 3rd set and gets the break; then whips his opponent 6-0 in the fourth, and then goes on to fight for and win the fifth set! :o)

    and a light shining for Spanish tennis, Tommy Robredo made it to the 1/4 finals and the girls Vivi Ruano and Anabel Medina to the 1/2 finals! :o)

  3. Crazy Cris - writing your own comments!

    It was really sad but I think Nadal dropped it - he really wasn't playing his usual game. It's sad because I shall have to lend my support to Federer now (heaven forbid murray actually turns into the next Button!).

    Is that you and your home made poster in the picture? Surely it was big enough to get some TV coverage!

  4. yup, writing my own comments... instead of an addendum or a whole other post (which I would have done if the shocker of Federer losing had taken place).

    I actually wouldn't mind Murray winning that much as opposed to some others (i.e. Soderling... not just 'cause of yesterday's match, but because the guy's been dropping some pretty unpleasant comments aimed at Rafa in the press since then. The dude doesn't seem to be aware that tennis is the last "gentleman's sport"!)

    But I'm really rooting for Federer now... let him complete the Grand Slam (I heard today that only 5 people have done it!), equal Sampras in number of Grand Slam titles (in a few years Nadal which catch up and surpass them both!), and then I can stop feeling sorry for him each time he loses to Rafa! :p

    Yup, that's me in the middle! With my parents. My sisters and I got their tickets as a 35th wedding anniversary present and 60th b-day present for my Dad (they spent the week in Paris, 2 days of which in Roland Garros; I joined them for that as I was a few hours away in Belgium at the time). And yeah I thought that sign (that my mom had promised the people in her office she'd make... guess who actually made it? :p) would be big enough to get us noticed (along with our Spanish flag). Unfortunately we were in the one corner of the stadium that doesn't get decent coverage by the cameras!!! :o( and in the middle of people as opposed to right behind a barrier, so we could only open up and wave the banner when they changed sides... Was still boatloads of fun! ;o)

  5. and yeah, Nadal wasn't playing his usual game for some reason... hopefully his birthday celebrations at home (first time in 5 years I believe) will help him get centered again and grant us another smashing Wimbledon final like last year (just not so many rain breaks please!)!


Hey there! Yes you! The quiet one in the back... I'd love it if you hung out for a bit and shared your thoughts!

I might stop by your place with an answer, but I'm more likely to reply right here so click on "email follow up comments" if you'd like to see what I and others have to say and come continue the conversation! ;o)