Roland Garros - first week memories

Paris (AFP) –


First week memories at Roland Garros:

Day 1

Sitting ducks

Former world number one Victoria Azarenka reached the second round but only after being forced to "sit like a duck" in the "ridiculous" rain and cold of Roland Garros.

The 31-year-old eased past Danka Kovinic, the world number 74 from Montenegro, 6-1, 6-2 but was unhappy earlier in the tie when rain fell steadily, adding to the misery of playing in 10 degrees (50F).

"This is getting a little ridiculous. It's eight degrees. I'm not waiting," said Azarenka, refusing to hang around courtside "sitting like ducks" as the supervisor came out to inspect conditions.

"It's too cold. I live in Florida, I'm used to hot weather."

Day 2

Second longest match on longest day

-- Italian journeyman Lorenzo Giustino carved out his own place in the headlines when he outlasted France's Corentin Moutet 0-6, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 18-16 in the second longest match in French Open history at six hours and five minutes.

The match, held over from Sunday, fell 28 minutes short of Roland Garros' record marathon tie between Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement in 2004.

Monday was also Roland Garros' longest day, thanks to floodlights, with action ending after midnight for the first time.

Clara Burel wrapped up a 6-7 (7/9), 7-6 (7/2), 6-3 win over Arantxa Rus at 00:10 Tuesday morning.

Day 3

Switch on to VAR?

-- Kristina Mladenovic called for a football-style VAR system to be introduced in tennis after her opponent profited from a double bounce to help knock the Frenchwoman out of her home Grand Slam.

Mladenovic was 5-1 up and with a set point against Laura Siegemund when the German scooped up a winner despite the ball appearing to bounce twice. The incident was missed by chair umpire Eva Asderaki.

World number 44 Mladenovic pleaded in vain before Siegemund took full advantage, racing into the next round with a 7-5, 6-3 win.

"It would be great to have that," said Mladenovic when asked if video replays should be introduced in tennis.

"It'd be a pity to replace a human with a camera but I don't see how the umpire could not see it. Unfortunately, she continues at Roland Garros but I do not."

Day 4

'Maybe I should take acting classes'

-- Fifth seed Kiki Bertens was accused of faking injury as she was taken off court in a wheelchair after a stormy second round win over 2012 finalist Sara Errani.

Bertens triumphed 7-6 (7/5), 3-6, 9-7 but Errani insisted the Dutchwoman had overplayed being struck by cramping.

"After one hour, she's injured but then she's running around like never before," said Errani.

Bertens fired back: "She can say whatever she feels like and if I was (faking) then maybe I should take up acting classes."

Day 5

'I don't want to sound spoiled'

-- Canadian ninth seed Denis Shapovalov lost a five-hour epic 7-5, 6-7 (5/7), 6-3, 3-6, 8-6 to Spain's Roberto Carballes Baena, ranked a lowly 101, and then blasted the "trash" and "unacceptable" scheduling.

In a match where he committed 106 unforced errors, the 21-year-old was furious that he was expected to play doubles as well on the same day.

"I mean you're in a Grand Slam and I don't want to sound spoiled, but you expect at least some help from the tournament to help you compete."

Just a few hours later Shapovalov and his partner Rohan Bopanna lost in the first round.

Day 6

Cool for cats

-- US qualifier Sebastian Korda, the world 213, said he was such a fan of last-16 opponent Rafael Nadal that he once named his cat after the Spanish superstar.

"Growing up, I named my cat Rafa after him. That says a lot about how much I love the guy," said Korda after seeing off Spain's Pedro Martinez 6-4, 6-3, 6-1 in the third round.

Day 7

Novak sweeps up

-- Novak Djokovic reached the last 16 for an 11th successive year with a 6-0, 6-3, 6-2 win over Colombian lucky loser Daniel Galan but not before helping groundstaff lay more clay on Court Philippe Chatrier after rain had made the surface treacherous.

The world number one grabbed one of the implements used to smooth down the red clay while he and Galan waited for the Court Philippe Chatrier roof to close.