The French Open is just around the corner, its days away only and the year’s second major will thrill us all day after day with the excitement of matches at Roland Garros.
Players sliding on the red clay courts, the impatience of the Parisienne fans if a player questions a call; however when it comes to impatience with players it is hard to beat the Italians, the style of the on-court officials and the boutiques and concession shops that line the allees around Roland Garros. It all sums up Roland Garros.
Generally being in Paris during Roland Garros is a wonderful time to be in the City of Lights. Paris in the springtime is beautiful - except when it rains and we have seen enough of that during the French Open the last couple of years.
The French Open is without doubt the chicest of all the events. There is that style and flair that the French bring to an event whether it’s a pashmina wrapped over the shoulders of a mademoiselle or a sweater draped lightly over the shoulders of a monsieur, there is just something special about the place.
When the sun is shining during Roland Garros few tennis arenas can match it for je ne sais quoi and that goes for the city as a whole. From the top of Court Philippe Chatrier (the main court) you can see for kilometres around – from Sacre Coeur to the, well let’s just say different architecture of the financial areas, and then across to the most famous symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower.
Paris at this time, with the excitement of Roland Garros happening, is a great time to visit the city.
The tourist season has not really hit full swing so the crowds are not quite there. There is room to move around Paris; unless you are sitting around the Place des Mousquetaires alongside wonderful Court One (known as the bullring) or walking down Allee Suzanne Lenglen or Marcel Barnard where it is shoulder-to-shoulder with the fans.
By the way Court One will soon be no more as Roland Garros undergoes a major upgrade program. It will such a massive shame to lose that court which is one of the best courts in the world.
In the late evenings watching the sun set over Paris from the top of the stands is quite beautiful. You then look down right below you on the rows of red clay courts and the groundsmen are spraying them with water from hoses that a fireman would be proud of, for the last time for that day, and then covering them with green tarpaulins for the night so they will be pristine for the first practice sessions the next day.
This year BNP Paribas celebrates its 41st year as the event’s biggest sponsor, in fact it is the biggest sponsor in world tennis. Is there any wonder or question as to why the association has been so solid and long-standing? Quite simply it’s the French Open and quite magical. Who wouldn’t want that sort of association?