Report: French Open 2012

French Open crowd won over by French speaking Djokovic

Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes/Files

Five things we learned from day 13 at Roland Garros.

  • That you don’t want Rafael Nadal as your best mate on the tour. Nadal’s chum Juan Monaco was beaten 6-2 6-0 6-0 in the last 16 and David Ferrer who is also one of Nadal’s best friends on the tour was annihilated 6-2 6-2 6-1 in the semi finals.
  • That having access to the white heat of technology is only cool when it doesn’t make you look utterly stupid. Just after Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic had finished the warm up for their semi-final, on came a man in a black suit brandishing a walkie-talkie to tell everyone that a rain shower was on its way so they weren’t going to start playing quite yet.
Roland Garros 2012
  • Don’t be a favourite of the crowd. Each time the centre court adopts someone they tend to lose. The centre court masses were screaming as Jo-Wilifried Tsonga stuck it to Novak Djokovic in the second, third and fourth sets of their quarter final. But the Serb held firm, saved four match points in the din and went on to the semis where he played crowd favourite Roger Federer. When the two came on everyone cheered for Roger and there were even a few jeers for Djokovic. Federer was dispatched with a ruthlessness he once visited upon his foes.

  • Djokovic had better be careful about becoming the darling of the crowds. Just a few hours after a few jeers accompanied his entrance onto centre court, the Serb was leaving to general acclaim. Pourquoi? It wasn’t the deconstruction of a once great player called Roger Federer. Nor was it the technical solidity of his all court game. It was simply that he conducted his post match interview in French. If he starts screaming: “Allez” when a forehand rasps down the line for a winner against Rafael Nadal in the final, he’ll really get them on his side. And you know what happens then.
  • Whatever happens in the women’s final, Sara Errani has had a good tournament. She won the doubles crown with Roberta Vinci. If Errani beats Maria Sharapova it will be classified as a brilliant couple of weeks.

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