Upon discovering the programming for the first Thursday of Roland-Garros, the usual gossip did not hesitate to send “If I had paid 150 euros for a game of chicks, I would have the balls.” Others, a little less rude / beautiful, evoked more the risk of not being worth it at all, compared to a night session with Rafael Nadal against Corentin Moutet, or Novak Djokovic against Yoshihito Nishioka. And after the first 24 minutes and 6 consecutive games won by Alizé Cornet, all these viper tongues celebrated to say: “I already knew! “.
That’s why these nice people were not appointed director or director of the tournament, but the place was by Amélie Mauresmo, who obviously knows tennis much better than the pillars of the bar, obviously not just steeped in science.
The result, then, was perfect.
Why did the tournament director take that “risk”? Very simple answer: because it was not. The former world number one knew full well that by designating Alizé Cornet to light the “nightly” Roland-Garros match, she and all the tennis fans would be served.
However, it is obviously not limited to one person. It takes two to play a game of tennis and also to offer 15,000 spectators a show worthy of the most important sporting events on the planet. And who better for that than Jelena Ostapenko? It’s as obvious as the shock absorber in the middle of the racket! For a story you like, you need a nice one: Alizé Cornet. To deal with it, it is essential to have a “bad guy”: Jelena Ostapenko (with the name of Eastern Europe, it’s a gift). But that’s not all, it takes a start that is a success, a twist that raises doubts and, to ensure good American ratings, a happy ending worthy of the name.
Well, well, wouldn’t that be what happened at the Philippe-Chatrier court? This is precisely what happened. A perfect start: 6-0 Cornet. Rebound: 6-1 Ostapenko. Happy ending: Cornet winning and Ostapenko closing his ears after the match point. Honestly, it wasn’t the tennis match of the year. But for having experienced it on the edge of the track, the show was outstanding. Ostapenko’s racket blows proving the winning blow to every right (and also the other way around), Cornet’s defense, as well as his mood swings and his all but politically correct language at the foot of the presidency , please!), the ingredients were perfectly combined and the result was perfect.
Insolent dominance of Rafael Nadal.
But beyond that, it should be noted that the evening sessions have been very hot since the start of the tournament. It is true that these are not the first, but we can say that they are the first “real” sessions, because last year, due to the curfew, these evening sessions were held behind closed doors. This year, with the 100% indicator, the Philippe-Chatrier track is electric. Something more is happening in the field than during the day. It is not concrete, but very clear. Players understand that they have been chosen, that all the focus is on them and that they need to be level. This is certainly one of the reasons why Corentin Moutet did not break free from the insolent dominance of Rafael Nadal.
The Roland-Garros night session is clearly the place to be. The “happy little ones”, holders of tickets for the Philippe-Chatrier track in the evening during Roland-Garros, will no doubt remember it, whether it’s Christmas, Cornet or whoever enters the track. If we are talking about a possible improvement, why not extend this session by starting it a little earlier so that, every evening, a women’s and a men’s match can be played, as is the case in Melbourne and New York?