This year again, it was the surprise guest that nobody invited and for whom the organizers didn't issue a wild card, disrupting the matches of Nadal or Federer, interrupting TV broadcasts without notice and requiring the tournament to change its schedule. Who? The rain. Small drops of water falling from the sky, which had an unexpected impact on the days Porte d'Auteuil… Or at your house in front of the TV...
...Cumulonimbus, depression, trough of low pressure... The weather vocabulary has no secret for you.
...You saw a rainbow. Or maybe it was Rafael Nadal's outfit ?
...Clay is sticking on white socks.
…You laugh at the girl who came in little skirt-straw hat.
...You see people dressed in fluorescent plastic bags.
...People, except that guy who’s alone, without an umbrella or raincoat in the stands.
...You remember that in Paris, it might rain every year, no one really like the idea of having a roof.
...Obviously you're annoyed, but if there's one thing you respect, it’s the cycles: rain at Roland Garros means a sunny 14th of July during which you will thoroughly enjoy watching the Tour de France.
...You get caught up by replays on TV.
...You complained and you've been told: "summer starts on the 21st of June". Yeah right…
...So you've been forced to work for your exams.
…There's a tarpaulin on the Central and Federer is back to Switzerland but a good old Garcia-Lopez/Bautista Agut still animates the court No. 1. Which leaves you puzzled…
…You see the supervisor, frowning and with his talkie in the hand: it smells bad for this afternoon.
…You think that at least when it’s raining in Wimbledon, the Bobbies are here to entertain the crowd. Once again, the Brits know better.
...The pundits keep promising a sunny spell. They said it two and a half hours ago… Still waiting…
... Meanwhile, they rebroadcast Llodra's last match. Then Lokoli's. Fucking rain.
...The stands have been deserted. Only the diehards who had to drive more than a 6-hour to come remain, and there's no way for them to leave their seat!
...On the screen, you can barely see the rain. Deep down, you still have hope.
...You start a little nap: you think about watching the NBA playoffs tonight.
...You think about taking advantage of this break to try and practice Nadal's topspin which doesn't look so hard to do actually. You get up, full of spirit, but you see it's raining at your house too. You sit back down.
...You should work a bit until the matches resume. Oddly, you chose to watch the rerun of Llodra's match.
...You think that it was a good idea not to take tickets for that day. But well, it's not like if you could actually have got ticket for that day.
...They're talking of covering the Philippe Chatrier again.
...You're sad for the little saleswoman at Haagen-Dazs.
...You remember Andre Agassi playing a match with an umbrella in his hand against Wilander.
...You have a feeling that the final will be on a Monday once again.
...You have no excuse not to work your A-levels or your end-of-term exams.
...You wonder how anyone could think of playing a Grand Slam tournament in Paris in May.
...You wander like a lost soul in the arcades of the Central, the only dry place in the complex. Well, "wander" it's more pacing up and down, stuck between a large family with kids bawling in your ears, and an Asian tourist with an ice-scream threatening to fall on your shoes at any moment.
...As the MacGyver of Porte d'Auteuil, you make an umbrella with your Perrier hat and your magazine.
...You're suddenly overcome by a cultural impulse: the Museum of Roland Garros, it must be pretty darn interesting, that. And it's under a roof.
... You start talking with your companions in misfortune, and you start a contest of who has the crappiest memory of a rainy day at Roland Garros.
...There’s always this group of smart kids who poses in front of the Place des Mousquetaires’ statues singing "I'm singing in the rain." SHUT-UP.
...You frantically wait for the weather report every half hour.
…You take your stopwatch: if there's less than two hours of play in the day, the organizers reimburse the ticket. Oddly, you have never won at this game: there always was 15/20 minutes too much.
...You look back on your life, your failures, your successes. You think about Cedric Pioline.