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    We qualify for the French Open

    June 17th, 2008 by steve

    We forgot our tennis raquets, so we couldn’t play.  We lost the ticket lottery, so we couldn’t see the finals in person. Instead, we watched some of the qualifying rounds. The Roland Garros tennis park in Paris has 20 or so courts and there were 30-some matches to watch during the day.

    I’ve never really watched tennis, but it’s actually good fun in person. The personalities make up for any lull in play. Our favorite was a Spanish player who grunted “WWWAAAAAAHHHhhhhhhh“(click to listen) with every hit and “Ole!” for his good points.

    Victory

    Other stereotypes were rampant. The prissy European player who asked for permission to use the restroom in thAmerican Angste middle of play and then disappeared for 15 minutes – in a new outfit! He lost to the patient and affable Argentinan, Schwank.

    The American women are great entertainment. They’re so big and so mean. I wouldn’t want to meat any of them on a dark street. And we didn’t even see the Williams sisters.  But the only smashed racquet we saw belonged to a charming American.

    The big deal about this tournament is that it’s on clay, not hard court like we’re all used to. The clay is very solid, but ‘sandy’ on top, so there is a lot of sliding around. That makes it a very difficult surface for many people to play on. Federer has been the #1 player in the world for like 6 years now, but Nadal has beat him in the French Open 4 years in a row now. It’s all about the surface.

    Some had real trouble with it. This guy went down about 10 minutes into his match – and didn’t get up. Such a violent sport…

    Defeat

    Of the players we watched, there were only a couple that made it very far in the tournament. Schwank looked like the best player to us, and he made it to the 3rd round of finals (the Federer-Nadal final match was the 7th round). In the womens, Suarez-Navarro made it to the quarter finals (5th round).

    In the end, the true joy of tennis is watching the terrified ball boys and girls scream across the court to pickup balls and thee address the players with toy soldier-like salutes. 

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