10 Things We Learned From… Roland Garros
Once again, it is tough to do anything but stand in awe. 6 Roland Garros titles ties him with Bjorn Borg, and I don’t think many people would put money down on him not passing that record. After losing 4 straight finals to Nole, 2 on clay and 2 in America, his confidence is back at another crucial time of the season with Wimbledon only 2 (?!) weeks away.
I think we can stop counting this guy out until the day we stop seeing his name on grand slam draw sheets. I’ll be the first to admit that, while I didn’t quite count him out against Nole in his semifinal, I thought it was going to be another convincing win for the Serbian. Not so. Fed is in prime form for Wimbledon, and in my eye, is probably the very close second favourite behind Rafa.
Remember that time when that one guy never lost and we thought he was going to win every damn tournament he entered? It’s been an insane 6 months for Nole, going back to the Davis Cup and all the way to his Roland Garros semi-final run (still his best result at the tournament). No, grass is not his best surface. I don’t think he really has a realistic shot at the tournament. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he leaves our general tennis consciousness due to the Fedal hype and Muzz expectations, and comes back for the hard court swing and emerges as the favourite for the US Open. You’ve been warned.
Love her or hate her, The Return of The Mash couldn’t have been better timed with Kim injured and the Sisters missing. The cow on ice has managed to survive despite her serve and is looking like the feared figure she once was. Great timing for Wimbledon, where she might just be the favourite going in.
The WTA is wide open these days… and it’s awesome. Even without some of the big names as far as the fourth round or quarterfinals, there was a heaping pile of exciting young talent and veteran fight, and a ton of high quality tennis. Personally, I can’t wait to see what great early round matches we get at Wimbledon.
6. Asia Cares
Over 110 million in China saw the women’s final. They’re taking note, and this is fantastic news. Here’s hoping the tournaments out there get a boost this fall, and the sport continues to grow at a grass roots level.
7. Youngins Promise, Veterans Rule
There were some significant young ladies in the running for this year’s title, including Caro, Vika, Kvitova, and a great showing by Pavs. But in the end, the final four was entirely what we would consider veterans. Along with it, all four are fantastic fighters. And that’s ok. If these two past two Roland Garros champions can tell us anything, it’s that your next years might be the best to come.
8. Fran No Fluke
There’s something about the clay in Paris that makes Fran come to life. You can see it in her game, you can see it in her eyes, and you can see it in her fight. It’s a magical thing indeed. A round of applause for the two times finalist.
9. French Crowd Still… French
Love em or hate em, this ain’t Wimbledon. Mad cheering for their Frenchies, booing line checking, starting riots outside Lenglen and creating one of the most biased atmospheres in a slam final for a non-home country player we’ve ever seen. Big ups, Frenchies, you’ve outdone yourselves once again.
10. Uh, Grass?
Is Fed in prime form? Can John Isner upset Rafa this time? Kim? Bepa? Vika? Serena’s return? What about Novak? How could Milos do? The grass season is already upon us. I have whiplash.