Thoughts on Roland Garros 2023

Published June 12, 2023

A tennis ball bouncing off the line on a clay court, with a puff of clay in the air

Another successful two weeks of Roland Garros is complete, with our attention turning swiftly to the grass court season. However, there was plenty to enjoy on the clay courts of Paris, here are just a few notes I made as the fortnight unfolded:

  • As always, loving Radio Roland Garros. They seemed to get a lot of heat about the balance between ball-by-ball commentary and general chatter, but I think they’ve got it right. I did learn why Hawkeye isn’t available at this tournament (the accuracy hasn’t fallen into the acceptable limits due to the constraints of the ’living’ surface) which makes the umpires popping out of their chairs understandable, if no less irritating.
  • I always forget how much the crowd are almost an extra opponent for some of the players. Norrie had to take on the crowds two games in a row, facing popular French players across the net. It was also slightly baffling when good players would get booed - sometimes for not shaking hands, sometimes for arguing with the officials, sometimes even just for having the temerity to win!
  • There seemed to be a lot of upsets on the women’s side, but it was fun to watch Muchova’s progress - her style of play is really engaging and a couple of her matches were really intense and a lot of fun to watch. Unfortunately she didn’t quite make it to the big trophy, but what a great tournament.
  • I’ve also loved the return of Svitolina, who seems to have got back into the swing of things really quickly after maternity leave. I was worried the draw was a bit one-sided with Swiatek, Rybakina and Jabeur all in the top half, but it turned out the bottom half of the draw was much more interesting!

And so we roll on to the lush green grass courts and it always looks so ‘right’ to see players taking to the grass. It’s a short season, so we have to make the most of it but hands up who can’t wait for Wimbledon?

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