Tuesday, June 04, 2013

15th Wedding Anniversary - Day 3

Today we went back for a 3rd day of Tennis. We started the day with a mixed doubles match. Mixed doubles is one of my favorite type of matches to watch. I always imagine I'm viewing a double date, and not some blood thirsty death match. Because it's doubles, it tends to move quickly and doesn't go for as many sets as a mens match.

After the doubles match we headed to the main stadium to settle in for about 7 hours of watching singles tennis play. We watched Serena crush her oppenent, and then to my surprise, she gave her match interview in French; very impressive. Then we watched a crowd favorite, the Frenchman Tsonga beat his oppenent. At one point, he actually raised his hand and asked for the crowd to quiet down so he could refocus. He swept his match as expected.

During the Serena match I snuck away from the stadium to explore the Roland-Garros musuem. The museum was the first I'd been to in France. It chronicles not only the history of tennis but also that of Roland Garros, the man. I had no idea that he was the first to do a solo air flight across the Mediterranean or that he invented the forward facing air plane machine gun, making him the first ever fighter pilot. It was well worth the 45 minutes to take it in.

Back on the court, we watched the legend, Roger Federer, take on Gilles Simon, a Frenchman ranked in the top 30. The match got off to the expected start, Federer crushed Simon in first set, 6-1 (or was it 6-2?). And then Simon started to come alive, taking the next two sets. The crowd was elated that their countryman looked like he might be victorious.

In the end, though, Federer took the match showing he had just that much more stamina. What a thrill it was to be watching a Frenchman getting cheered on by his countrymen. By the end, nearly every point earned him a standing ovation.

On our way back to the hotel, we detoured to explore what appeared to be a mini-version of the statue of liberty. Indeed it was, though whether it was a model or what purpose it served is beyond us, as the plaque describing it was in French.

My first few days of the French Open are behind me, and tomorrow we turn our attention to sight seeing. I've got to say, I enjoyed the tennis immensely. Though, I think I've probably had enough tennis for the next few years, at least.

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