Send her a terre battu pie because she says she likes taking bites out of a clay court, as she did after her French Open triumphs. She, of course, is the bandit from Milan, Francesca Schiavone, who stole the show at Roland Garros this year. Her shotmaking made her the all-time long-shot among women who have won the French, and we enjoyed her joy as she did it. Lots of smiles and volleys. continue reading »
Living wall on Quay de Branly Museum...the vertical garden was designed by Patrick Blanc
June 12 2010 | French Open | 1 Comment »
PARIS – Rafael Nadal sat in his courtside chair, contentedly munching a banana while 14,845 aficionados surrounded him, checking his banana-eating form. It was neat, but overpowering, the way he treats opponents.
Charming little handmade sailboats in the Tuileries
In a couple of minutes, one more game, he would smack the last tennis ball of the French Open, and became the planetary top banana, regaining No. 1 status. continue reading »
June 06 2010 | French Open | 1 Comment »
Paris – Don’t stand too close to a lion. You might get bit.
Reveling in historic victory
A nice young woman a long way from home, Aussie Samantha Stosur, found that out Saturday as 14,845 tennis devotees shrieked, clapped, howled and flapped the flags of Italy and Australia in wild disbelief while the new champion of France was sharpening her teeth, both participants playing in their first major final. continue reading »
June 05 2010 | French Open | 2 Comments »
PARIS – Somebody should bring back “The Who” to serenade Samantha Stosur and Francesca Schiavone. These two improbables have turned the French Open women’s final into a Who They? contest.
Horse atop Eiffel Tower Carrousel
This is a fun year at Roland Garros where two babes from opposite ends of the globe tore up whatever script there may have been, and set up an historic clash for Saturday. What seer could have picked this title bout for the Who They? gals, products of downtrodden tennis environs. Did these long shots fall from a star that should be named for them? continue reading »
June 03 2010 | French Open | No Comments »
PARIS – Dangerous territory, the old brick yard, Roland Garros, if you’re somebody wearing a number – 1 – on your back. It could be a headache such as the old mixed doubles player, Hester Prynne, suffered wearing her Scarlet letter. continue reading »
Bud asking Sam Stosur a question in the press conference
June 03 2010 | French Open | No Comments »
PARIS – A year ago a tall, slim Swede named Robin Soderling did a huge favor for Roger Federer. But that is all but forgotten because Soderling unexpectedly turned on Federer last night, banging his way through the gloom and slop of the French Open to puncture Roger’s near-invincibility in the majors. continue reading »
Bud with long time friend, opera singer, Madelyn Renee
June 02 2010 | French Open | 2 Comments »
PARIS – The little Pink Lady is the darling of Paris where she has won a tennis tournament called the French Open four times. But she will have to go home without a fifth. Another kind of fifth would have been comforting at this second major championship of the year, an event that is usually staged in summer but has been struck by downpours, dust storms, piercing winds and temperatures that flirted with the 40s and 50s. continue reading »
Solly, Bud, Joel and Troy filming for Tennis Channel
June 01 2010 | French Open | 2 Comments »
PARIS - Where was Gene Kelly when we needed him?
Canvas covered Court Central during a rain delay
As persistent rain gushed onto Roland Garros, delaying Thursday’s start by almost four hours, I wondered how the star of “An American in Paris” would dance in sneakers with soggy clay as his stage. Roger Federer, the master of movement, has done it pretty handsomely over a decade. continue reading »
May 27 2010 | French Open | 3 Comments »
Never fall for a left-handed Spaniard with a name longer than the Nile. No, I’m not talking about Rafael Nadal, the other Italian Open champion. Everybody knew the dynamic southpaw would conquer Rome.
Suzanne Lenglen sculpture near the court named in her honor
But the big surprise was Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez whose name caused me vocal misery for a week until I finally got it straight. To save space I’ll call her MJMS. Anyway, watching her beat the favored Jelly Jankovic 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, for the title made my heart flutter. MJMS was doing naughty things, unnatural acts in the women’s game. She was violating the WTA Commandment: thou shalt not volley; you must never leave the safety of the baseline. But there was MJMS serving-and-volleying on the slow clay, mixing up her strokes, throwing in deadly drop shots. Volleying? A no-no for most of the tour nowadays. continue reading »
May 27 2010 | French Open | No Comments »
PARIS – When Roger Federer walked onto the umber-toned earthen tennis court at Roland Garros yesterday, he looked at the man accompanying him to the final and was pleased. The guy was not Rafael Nadal, who had beaten him here the last four years.
Roger Federer receiving his French Open, Coupe de Mousquetaires, at long last!
Instead he was Roger’s benefactor, the man who had removed Nadal from Federer’s path a week ago: Robin Soderling. This was something neither man had imagined when the French Open got under way. After all Soderling, a lanky, limber Swede with a scruffy mini-beard and a No. 23 ranking, had never progressed beyond the third round of a major. His first round on the outback Court 6 was, Soderling said, attended by two people: “my coach and my girlfriend.” continue reading »
June 07 2009 | French Open | 20 Comments »