Important forfeits, surprise withdrawals, an unpredictable weather, a TV feed cut, many different controversies…The 2016 edition of Roland-Garros was clearly a cursed one. But it wasn’t an edition deprived of all interest for all that. The proof with five examples.
1 : Novak Djokovic hasn’t taken five years of french lessons for nothing
Suma cum laude. By passing the final test at Roland Garros, after his fourth final, Novak Djokovic finally got the last diploma which was missing to his cursus. A « Grand Slam Masters » which he now shares with eight other illustrious History of tennis alumni, including Federer and Nadal.
Diploma with distinction : By passing four exams in a row, in four semesters, the Serb and his brush cut put his personal grade to 12 in the major tournaments. 5 points away from the professor Roger Federer. Will the student outshine his master ? You have four hours…
2 : The Baccalauréat’s success rate will explode this year
Speaking about exams, the bad weather will have at least made a few ones happy. Even if they don’t know it yet. On May 28th, after the storm interrupted all of the third round matches, a power cut put a stop to the tournament’s live television feed for two hours, at the end of the day, enabling the high school students to turn off their TV to study for their baccalauréat.
In the US, CBS couldn’t even show Serena Williams’ qualification for the fourth round. And on May 30th, it was the whole day which was called off because of the weather. For the second time in history, and the first time in sixteen years.
3 : France, along with Spain, got the most silverware in this edition
Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal, Garbiñe Muguruza’s surprise victory in the women’s table and the « Team Lopez » (Feliciano & Marc) snatching it in the hombre doubles : just this once won’t hurt, we’ve spoken about Spain and its tennis a lot during this Parisian fortnight. And still. Still what ? In the women’s doubles, France congratulated it’s fellow winning countrywomen : Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic. In the Junior’s tournament, the frenchman Geoffrey Blancaneaux, 17, also won the final, after defeating a Canadian.
The Cockerel ≥ Bull ?
4 : Suspense in women’s tennis isn’t dead
She remains on 21. Year 2016, second Grand Slam tournament, and second defeat in the final for the American diva, who remains stuck at 21 major trophies, one victory away from the professional era’s record established by Steffi Graf and three trophies from the absolute record detained by the Australian Margaret Court.
Patrick Mouratoglou refuses the idea of a mental block. But still : « It’s true that she still hasn’t won a 22nd Grand Slam, but it won’t be simple. She’s a human being. She doesn’t think about it every morning. She’ll do it sooner or later. » At 34, Serena’s occasions to catch up with her illustrious predecessors will certainly become rarer.
5 : Tennis is a clean sport
Thursday, May 19th. Even before the start of the competition, the Frenchman Constant Lestienne, ranked number 206 at the ATP Ranking, is being deprived by the Tennis French Federation (FFT) of the invitation she had offered him to enter in Roland-Garros’ main table. What did he do wrong ? He had bet on the final Djokovic-Wawrinka, in 2015, while he had taken part in the tournament’s qualification round in the same edition. Only, all the players and authorized personnel have to sign a charter, which clearly stipulates that it is forbidden to engage in betting activities. A « disproportionate sanction » for a demolished Lestienne, who specified that he had only bet…2,90 euros !