This morning, like every tournament’s morning, a group of men uncovered the annex courts and swept them to even the clay. After every game, they sweep, brush and water the fields, and finally at night, they water it thoroughly!
Since the weather in Paris is pretty moody, they always keep a red Tarpaulin in some accessible area of the court, to protect the red velvet ground in case of rain. The state of the field affects strongly the game, defensive players can take advantage from a humid clay soil, as for the attackers, they would in a weak position.
Playing on clay is slower and more tactical then competing on grass or synthetic surfaces. It’s full of subtleties, sliding on clay have to be learned!
Clay is demanding, and the question remains, who will be the queen and king of clay at the end of the tournament?
The other question this morning was concerning the bad weather: will the cloudy grey sky get rainy, and prevent scheduled games from happening?
Organizers and athletes are always put in a suspenseful position when it comes to Parisian weather conditions. This afternoon, two big games got suspended due to
darkness and storm risk. Indeed, the men's quarterfinals Nadal- Nishikori and Federer- Wawrinka were interrupted at Roland Garros.
Earlier today, while I was walking around the stadium, I felt like a peaceful vibe spreading in the alleys, reminded me of a stroll through a village. Selfies and photos are still being taken in front of the new photocall wall, careless of the smooth constant drizzle. People seem to prioritize style to umbrellas and raincoats, though we can still spot colorful and funny ones here and there. Chillers on the RG orange lounge chairs were counting less than usual.
One of the things I like to do most on Rainy RG days, is obviously pairing Brut Imperial Champagne and bites at the Moët Hennessy Lounge. Afterwards, I would find shelter under the concrete soffit of the majestic Suzanne Lenglen stands. Taking photographs of Lenglen’s brutalist, yet harmonious shapes is a daily exercise for me during the tournament. The concrete forms and textures of this Didier Girardet’s architecture are photogenic from every angle, under different lightings. No wonder I’m always running late for matches that are taking place at Court Suzanne Lenglen!