Court Philippe Chatrier with Federer/Mahut.
Roland Garros (The French Open) has a much different feel than the US Open or Wimbledon. It has a much slower, relaxed atmosphere. Everyone seems at home and the fact that they are at one of the slams doesn’t over take the moment. Lines to get into courts or purchase food are longer, but nobody cares. This causes less tennis watching and more socializing. That can be a good thing or not depending on what you like.
If you are there to just watch all the tennis you can, I suggest you spend the money to get tickets to a stadium. Getting onto one of the side courts takes time. The US Open and Wimbledon get the waiting lines off and on to the courts quickly and efficiently. At Roland Garros, they take their time, so less people get into seats at each change over. We waited almost an hour to get on to a court, and we just couldn’t figure out why only a couple of people were let in each time even though you could see empty spots in the seats. They just take their time, and we had to adjust.
But if you are there to soak up all the French culture as well, this can be a good thing. It causes you to stop and see what is going on around you. We waited in line for coffee that had to have 30 people in it. But while we waited we were entertained by street performers and had some interesting people watching.
Just remember, this is in France, so you will need to have to learn some French. They really don’t speak English at Roland Garros, so learn some phrases and have a dictionary or small language book with you. By the end of the second day, I was able to come up with a few words on my own to get around quicker, or at least know better what was going around me.
The first day we had tickets to Suzanne Lenglen. The women were up that day and we were treated to Maria Sharapova and another match with Victoria Azarenka. My wonderful husband got up in the middle of the night and somehow got tickets to this court through the regular French site the way the rest of France was buying their tickets. I’m not sure how he did it with the language and time difference. Great start…
The second day we spent the money to go with a tour group. We were on Philippe Chatrier and first up was Roger Federer vs Nicolas Mahut the hometown Frenchman. You may remember him from the marathon 3 day match against John Isner at Wimbledon. I will never forget seeing Roger Federal play on a main court at a slam, very special. Next up was the Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, a HUGE French favorite – and a favorite in general. I love watching him play, and his celebration. Since we were with the tour group, we had access to a buffet with Champagne in a room below the stadium. We headed down there after the first set with plans to eat during the second and come back up to see the end at the third. Well, we got a little preoccupied with all of the wonderful canapés and wine that next thing we saw was Jo on the TV doing his celebration. I would have to wait to see his celebration in person to a later date at the US Open.
And so ended our tennis at Roland Garros.
Notre Dame, The War Room where the end
of WWII peace Treaty was signed, Veuve Cliquot, and Brussels.