Roland Garros: ‘Thinking Of Our Mates’ In Paris

WASHINGTON, May 25, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

On Sunday, the day this year’s Roland Garros was originally due to begin, there were a variety of tributes offered across social media channels. For instance, Tennis.com published an enjoyable and informative feature article by tennis journalist and historian Joel Drucker celebrating the birthday of Suzanne Lenglen, tennis’s original star attraction – and the namesake of Court Suzanne Lenglen at Roland Garros. She was born in Paris in 1899 and died in the same city at age 39. Also, there was plenty of inspiration provided by 12-time men’s champion Rafael Nadal through a tribute video courtesy of the French Open website. Even other Grand Slams, like the Australian Open, were “thinking of our mates in Paris.”

As film and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn once suggested, “Paris is always a good idea.” Now, with tennis grounded indefinitely by the global Covid-19 pandemic, only time will tell if Roland Garros will be lucky enough to be played come September.

Roland Garros “Re-Lived” with The Tennis Podcast

The Tennis Podcast is re-living greatest French Open moments, “Tennis Re-Lived,” in a daily podcast during the fortnight. Co-hosts David Law (BBC Five Live), Catherine Whitaker (Amazon Prime) and Matt Roberts (freelance tennis writer and researcher), all based in Great Britain, began with the series a look back at Yannick Noah’s 1983 triumph over Mats Wilander.

“We will move chronologically through to the present day, starting with Yannick Noah tell us, in an enthralling, exclusive interview, about his triumph in 1983,” The Tennis Podcast wrote in a newsletter to its subscribers Saturday. “We will cover moments such as the pinnacle of Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova’s rivalry, agonizing losses for John McEnroe and Martina Hingis, Gustavo Kuerten’s rise, and the dominance of Justine Henin and Rafael Nadal.”

Twenty years ago … Mary Pierce’s dream came true

Twenty years ago, Mary Pierce‘s tennis dream came true: Seeded sixth, the Frenchwoman beat No. 5 seed Conchita Martinez of Spain, 6-2, 7-5, to win the women’s singles title at Roland Garros. She also won the women’s doubles title the same year with Martina Hingis of Switzerland. For the next two weeks, Pierce will relieve her run to the 2000 French Open singles crown on Twitter. “I hope you enjoy these throwbacks and share your favorite memories with me using hashtag #MaryRG20.”

From one Grand Slam to another …

Behind The Racquet – Jamie Murray

Jamie Murray of Great Britain is the older – but no less recognizable – brother of Andy Murray. Both received OBEs (Order of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for services to tennis and charity in 2016. While the younger Murray has crafted a remarkable future Hall of Fame career, which has included winning three Grand Slam singles title and an Olympic singles gold medal, Jamie, 34, has become an accomplished doubles players – one of the best in the world. He achieved a No. 1 ranking in 2016 and has won 23 titles – including two Grand Slam crowns in men’s doubles and five in mixed doubles.

In December, he penned a first-person essay for the Instagram series Behind The Racquet, in which he wrote: “For a long time, people would talk to me just because they wanted to ask Andy questions, which still happens today. People come up asking me where Andy is and how he is doing. People would do interviews with me in the hopes that they could get to him. The last five or six years, I feel like that’s changed quite a lot. People now want to talk to me because of my own achievements that I’ve had in my career, which to be honest feels pretty nice after all this time. I don’t mind talking about my brother, It really never bothered me, but if that’s the sole purpose for doing an interview, or a chat, it just doesn’t seem necessary. He’s been such a big star of the tennis world for the last 10 years or so and I am proud of him. I was always his number one supporter. It was never really an issue for me. I wouldn’t say that it was like a motivation for me to work harder in my career, trying to get out of his shadow, but I would say that his mentality, his work ethic and what he achieved on the court, has inspired me to dedicate myself more to my career.”

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“I guess it’s something that I was used to, starting around 16 or 17. Andy made his breakthrough into the big leagues around 18 when he played Queens and then made third round of Wimbledon. For a long time, people would talk to me just because they wanted to ask Andy questions, which still happens today. People come up asking me where Andy is and how he is doing. People would do interviews with me in the hopes that they could get to him. The last five or six years, I feel like that’s changed quite a lot. People now want to talk to me because of my own achievements that I’ve had in my career, which to be honest feels pretty nice after all this time. I don’t mind talking about my brother, It really never bothered me, but if that’s the sole purpose for doing an interview, or a chat, it just doesn’t seem necessary. He’s been such a big star of the tennis world for the last 10 years or so and I am proud of him. I was always his number one supporter. It was never really an issue for me. I wouldn’t say that it was like a motivation for me to work harder in my career, trying to get out of his shadow, but I would say that his mentality, his work ethic and what he achieved on the court, has inspired me to dedicate myself more to my career. I committed more time and did everything to master my skills. I have done everything necessary to have as successful of a career as possible. I’m sure I could have got better in singles than what I did, but it was never going to be at the same level as my doubles. There are moments when singles player talk down about doubles players or doubles game. The prize money will never be displayed accurately and doubles will always be on the back foot because singles is seen as the higher priority sport and the more premium discipline in tennis. It’s a totally different skill set and my skills have always been a lot more suited to playing doubles. Certainly in this current era of tennis the doubles game is in the best spot it has been in, since I started in 2007. It’s on TV far more often which is great for local market…” @jamie__murray Read full story at behindtheracquet.com (link in bio @behindtheracquet )

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What they’re sharing on social media

Alizé Cornet, France, currently ranked No. 59 / Feeling very nostalgic

Rod Laver, Hall of Fame great / Missing the rich red clay

Craig OShaughnessy @BrainGameTennis / A push-pull feeling