Find a Player
LTA Mini Tennis
Already a coach? Login Here
Find a coach
Find a course
25th May - 8th June 2014
Roland Garros, Paris
Follow Judy Murray as she blogs from Roland Garros, France bringing you a behind the scenes perspective from the French Open...
Il pleut. Encore. Could be another lonnnnnnnnnng day in the French capital. There's a 30% chance of play apparently so it’s a good day to be heading back to Scotland. So glad that EasyJet has a direct flight from CDG because it’s a real grind having to connect via London or Amsterdam.
Stayed long enough to see Jamie winning his opening doubles with John Peers against 15th seeds Julian Knowle and Filip Polasek. And then joined a queue of autograph hunters after the match.
Can I have your autograph Jamie? "Don't be stupid mum". Charmer.....
Rushed up to ITVs commentary cabine (that's French for booth) to join Sam Smith on the Williams-Garcia match. Garcia is 19 and a big French hope. I remember watching her two years ago leading MaSha here by a set and 4-1 on the centre court.
She lost in the end but that sent expectations of her (at 17) through the roof. Like many promising kids, she struggled to deal with that and hasn't progressed quite as quickly as the French might have liked. Her ranking is 114 so she needed a wild card to play here but her game is in a good place.
She's moving in the right direction and it’s not a race. Pressure of expectation is tough to handle when you are very young. There's lots of other factors to learn to deal with when you are suddenly catapulted into the public and media gaze ... it’s not all about forehands and backhands :)
Went back to the RG zone. Fans can get a running commentary from the Stringers Pit.
No, that is not Red Foo though the hair is similar :-)
Here you can learn about the type of strings, tensions, grips, markings (manufacturers logos) and balances that different players choose according to the conditions (surface, heat, humidity, altitude etc) and their playing style/physicality. Fascinating. Amazing how few coaches and players really understand the importance of adapting their racket tension to the conditions . . .
As I left RG last night the media area was buzzing with the Ernie G (Ernests Gulbis) comments about the Big Four being "boring players". Good article on him and his comments in today’s Guardian. He had just lost in four sets to Gael Force Monfils who offered up this little gem yesterday: "My favourite word is "fresh". That means "cool". As in "Je suis tres fresh." Funny guy.
I first met him at an 11U tourney in Rouen in 1997. He beat Andy in three sets in the semi then lost 6-0, 6-1 to Jamie in the final. And according to Andy: "Jamie only won the final because I tired Gael out."
Over and out from Paris :)
Ooh la la. Another pretty grey day in Paris. Way too early start with an 8am meeting of the Grand Slam nations men’s and women’s teams at the FFT offices within Court Philippe Chatrier. Rocked up with Iain Bates and Leon Smith and spent two and a half hours chewing the international fat. Well, ok ... discussing the trials and tribulations of running a governing body's performance programme :).
Always good to exchange ideas and experiences with the French, Americans and Aussies ... everything from player funding to regional centres to coach education.
Next up ... a wee wander round the fun tennis zones at the back of Suzanne Lenglen. Always good to do this when it’s quiet. They do a really good job here of creating cool and varied activity for fans.
There's beach tennis, mini clay courts, crazy practice wall ... and lots of stands full of tennis suppliers and activities.
Then ... book at seat at court 6 for the Heather Watson show. It was Hev's first match in a while and only three weeks back from a prolonged rest due to glandular fever.
Under the circumstances, she did incredibly well but went down in three sets to Swiss Miss Stefanie Voegele who I think modelled her service action on Marion Bartolis. Yeah really. As ever, Hev had a sizeable fan club in the stands including an XL banner saying "You're WATS-ON my mind". How good is that?
Almost time to go and watch Jamie's doubles.
Here's a pic I took of him in practice yesterday alongside Tommy Robredo. It reminded me that in 2000 (I think) of when I went to RG for the first time - yes I queued up for a ground pass! To watch the junior event so I could see what the best kids in the world looked like. The top seeds in the boys’ singles were TRob and JÀnko Tipsarevic. Jamie and Andy were 13 and 14 at the time and I wanted to know what they were aiming for.....because I didn't have a clue!! :)
Parapluies out. Covers on. The forecast is rubbish for today and tomorrow but the great thing about Parisien drizzle is that you are never more than a short lob away from a cracking patisserie.
Found this little beauty on the Avenue de la Grande Armee close to the Arc de Triomphe. They know how to charge for their cafe au lait over here I must say. 4.70 euros. Steeeeep. You can take the girl out of Scotland (as I've told u before)....
I feel this could be a day of many cafe au laits. It's a grey day....as Larry Grayson used to say. And that means lots of hanging about. Because it's the start of the Slam, there's still bazillions of players and their entourages in the competitor restaurants and lounges so it gets very hot and un peu claustrophobic. What is there to do....well there's a few big couches (not naming any names haha), internet stations, pool tables, TVs, electronic games..and a gym of course :) There's eve a hairdresser and beauty salon.
There are two player areas - one at the back of Court Philippe Chatrier (pasta bar a new addition this year) and one under Court Suzanne Lenglen.
But what about the fans? Well they can explore the RG Lab which has been created underground in the indoor courts by the tourney sponsors.
RG Lab - you can watch 5 matches at a time here :)
Lots to do and see in here including the Perrier Light Attack. Well that's what I'm calling it. A kind of coordination testing bubble. There's even a mask creating station. No smart comments please....
Perrier coordination bubble
Mask creating station. Make ur own TurboTen character. TurboTen is the FFT's tennis themed comic strip for kids. Starring Jo Willy as the lead man. Very cool!
They're showing Yannick Noahs 1983 RG victory on the big screen right now.....and the on site stores are mobbed. The retailers are the only people happy to see the rain here :)
The Paris tennistas are still buzzing from LeMonf's big upset late last night. Gael Force Monfils - who's had a horrible 12 months through injury - beat fifth seeded Birdman (Tomas Berdych) in five sets. 10/10 for entertainment but nul points for his t-shirt.
No joy for Laura (Robson) yesterday against tenth seed Caroline Wozniaki who has shrunk an awful lot recently. Tres slim. Hev (Heather Watson) and Bally (Elena Baltacha) are due on later today but the sky's looking very dodgy. Going to be a long day....
The daily schedule and draw sheets are available via the official tournament website.
Order of play