This year at Roland Garros, there was obviously Nadal's 8th victory and the crushing domination of Serena Williams, but also, and above all, Tipsarevic's irritation; the participation of a disabled player in the junior tournament; the overuse of smartphones on the courts and a host of unnoticed records. We look back at some action that you probably missed during the Paris fortnight.
Tipsarevic, the snitch
Swept aside in the third round by Youzhny, Janko Tipsarevic took out his frustrations on discourteous spectators. The man with the yellow glasses denounced the spoilsports to the referee who rushed to get them out of the court. His explanation: "There were these two guys in the corner that wouldn't stop laughing and taunting. They weren't there to watch tennis - they probably didn't even know who was playing - they were just here to pose. At one point, I was about to serve when one of them started to scream and call someone in the stands. I went to the referee and he had them thrown out. "
Garcia loves his mom
Sunday 26th of May was Mother's Day in France, and Caroline Garcia offered an exceptional gift to her mother. After winning her match against Yuliya Beygelzimer, the Frenchwoman pulled out a banner on the court with the inscription "Happy Mother's day. I love you Mom." Not that this cute gesture had any effect on Serena Williams. In the next round, the American atomized the Parisian (6-1, 6-2).
A record that will send shivers down your spine
Come wind, rain, snow or sunshine... This year, the organizers of the French Open came very close to the meteorological Grand Slam since, in addition to the rain and gusting winds, the players were 3 degrees away from watching the snow fall on the clay. On Friday the 24th of May, the final day of the qualifiers, the thermometer fell to 3.7 degrees, which is the lowest temperature ever recorded during Roland Garros. To get some gauge of the capricious weather; it was nearly 30 degrees, just fifteen days later, in the men’s semi-finals.
Williams, the oldest
This year was obviously the year for legends. 35-year-old Tommy Haas made the men’s quarter-finals, and what about Serena Williams? In winning her second Roland Garros, eleven years after her first victory in Paris, the American broke a record: at 31 years and 256 days she became the oldest winner of the tournament, beating Chris Evert, the winner in 1986, by a few months. She still has some way to go, though, to overhaul Martina Navratilova’s record as the oldest women’s Grand Slam champion; the Czech-American won Wimbledon in 1990 at almost 34 years old.
DSK in the stands
Dominique Strauss-Kahn seems to be on a personal Tour de France of the places to be seen. After creating a stir on the red carpet at Cannes, the former IMF chief was seen at the Philippe Chatrier central court during the ladies' final. Accompanied by his new partner, DSK looked quite laid back, in a white shirt and sunglasses on his nose.
Monfils filming the "Mexican wave"
The iPhone was out-and-about this year at Porte d'Auteuil. While images of the Ukrainian Stakhovsky unsheathing his smartphone to capture the imprint of a ball made the buzz, another player was seen phone-in-hand on the court: Gael Monfils. The Frenchman took advantage of a change of side to grab his phone and film the crowd doing a "Mexican wave" on the central court, during the third set of his match against Gulbis. Showing more caution than Stakhovsky, who was fined for his actions, Monfils asked the permission of the referee beforehand.
Dimitrov and Wawrinka in the metro
On Sunday 26th of May, the protests against gay marriage in Paris disrupted the transportation services of Roland Garros. So, Stanislas Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov both opted to return to their hotel by metro. Accompanied by Svetlana Kuznetsova, both players took the metro line 9, like most spectators who came to see them play. A misadventure that did not seem to bother Wawrinka, the Swiss immortalized the moment, stamped ticket in hand.
Bartoli's Vuitton bag
Eliminated in the third round, Marion Bartoli found another way to make people talk about her this year. On each entry to the court, in addition to her racket bag, the Frenchwoman carried on her arm a Louis Vuitton handbag she would carefully putting on the bench. So bling…
Roger and Rafa in the same boat
This year, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal set a record. The Swiss and the Spaniard became the two players to have played the most matches on the centre court of Roland Garros since its construction in 1928 - 49 for Federer and 48 for Nadal. Both surpassed Yannick Noah, who had been top of this ranking for over 20 years.
A deaf Korean player in the junior table
You can be deaf and play Roland Garros, just ask Lee Duck-Hee. The 15-year-old South Korean can't hear either the public, or the ball, or the remarks of the linesmen. Yet the disability doesn't seem to be a problem for him, as he explains: "Not hearing the sound of my ball or the opponent's is not a problem to me. I was born deaf, so I don't know the noise you're talking about. My only problem is the linesmen's announcements. Sometimes, I serve while the referee is saying "Wait" and I haven’t seen his hand signal. But the good side of my disability is that I am always focused on the game because no outside noise can ever disturb me." Not even the screams of Maria Sharapova.
By Arthur Jeanne, with Julien Pichené