Pictures tell a thousand words, as the saying goes. Plenty has been written on the miserable weather conditions at this year’s French Open and the players’ woes when they were told to play on barely playable (not to say “unplayable”) courts in wet conditions. Sadly, the agony of the tennis fans who come to Roland Garros often gets relatively little coverage. If you have read, in the past, my articles on the only clay-court Major of the year, you probably know that I am, by now, “maxed out” on how insufficient the facilities are for regular ticket holders. Thus, in this update, pictures do the talking, with minimal commentary from me. Here they are…
This one is a bit closer than the above spot, increasingly chaotic, because the space gets narrow again a bit later where there is another security check. In the first week, it was so disorganized that it took up to an hour or more, just to get in the venue.
Believe me, on Monday and Tuesday of the second week, it took 15 minutes in heavy rain, just to walk those sidewalks and eventually get to transportation. Remember this is AFTER you get out of the venue, leaving to go elsewhere!
Back to the overcrowding, the lack of space, and the agonies of pedestrian circulation… Here is the narrow walkway between courts 14-16-18 and 15-17. Somewhere in there are Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis (WTA’d top doubles tandem) trying to get to their match court, I am NOT kidding!
And this is the line to get into Court 2 which has more stands than most other outside courts. At this moment, the match on the court was at 1-1 in the third. I carefully watched, and less than a quarter of these people waiting got in the stands in time to see any of the match. Most waited just so they could get in for the next match. (Side note: the guy on the left bottom corner, asking someone leaving the premises for his ticket to get into Chatrier, LOL)
Until the next update… Vive Roland Garros!