Peter Figura Blogging from Roland Garros: Day 1

Written by: Peter Figura


***Peter is an award winning photographer and has been involved in tennis for almost 40 years.  He contributes to Ontario Tennis Magazine and some tennis publications in Europe.  His work has been published in Rogers Cup Souvenir Program, and he also contributes his work to Tennis Matters charity. Peter works with several tennis Clubs to help them get high quality tennis photography into marketing publications and displays.***


In her first French Open appearance Canadian Rebecca Marino performed like a tour veteran. Not bothered by the fact that she was playing on Court 17 (the farthest from the Philippe Chartier Stadium) where the stand are very small, and the crown support relatively weak. That there were no (or very, very few) Canadian fans watching, or even the fact that people gathered around mainly because the next door there was Rafael Nadal practicing with Milos Raonic.

Marino played Kataryna Bondarenko, who although ranked number 110 on the WTA Tour (Marino is number 60) was in the past sitting comfortable inside top 30. And that’s why many commentators were expecting a tough match for the Canadian player. But Marino had a very different opinion. She took control of the match almost from the very first point, jumping to 2:0 lead. Bondarenko looks like she couldn’t do anything to change the outcome of this match that was decided literally in those first two games.  In the crucial moment the Ukrainian double faulted twice giving Marino a comfortable lead 6:3 in the first set. From that moment it was just a matter of time before the match was over.

Marin Cilic

First day of the 2011 Roland Garros was relatively uneventful. The biggest upset came with the very first match played on court 7, where relatively unknown Spaniard, who as a matter of fact is closing the first top 100 of the ATP rankings – Ruben Ramirez Hidalgo won is straight sets (7:6, 6:4, 6:4) against number 19 seed – Marin Cilic from Croatia.  Cilic seems to be controlling very early part of the match holding his serve, and marking Hidalgo work very hard to stay even, but the number of unforced errors (67 from Cilic vs. 34 from Hidalgo) made it virtually impossible for give himself a chance to win.

On the women’s side of the tournament number 19 Flavia Panetta and number 19 Sahar Peer both lost their matches to much lower ranked opponents.  Particularly Panetta match (lost in 3 sets to American Varvara Lepchenko) was a disappointing one, as she not only is top 20 ranked player (she was as high as number 10) and number 1 in doubles, but did relatively well in Paris getting twice to the fourth round.  Her opponent in 3 previous Paris appearances never went past the second round.

Today is going to be a very busy day in Paris. Novak Djokovic is putting his 37 matches winning streak on the line when he is playing Dutchman Thiemo De Bakker.  Roger Federer will play Feliciano Lopez whom he met few weeks ago in Madrid (Loped had a match point) and three Canadians will be playing almost at the same time.  Aleksandra Wozniak will be facing Jumri Namigata of Japan, Franck Dancevic will play Simone Bolelli of Italy, and Milos Raonic who is the first Canadian player to be seeded at the Grand Slam tournament will open his campaign on Court 16 against Michael Berrer of Germany.

Next Gen Tennis League promises exciting matches

The Next Gen Tennis League again saw some great tennis last weekend at The Credit Valley Tennis Club and Burlington Tennis Club. This promises that Saturday the 24th will feature some exciting matches and very competitive tennis. All three matches will be played on Saturday October 24th, with Team Byte Network Security facing Team Hydrogen at noon (Burlington Tennis Club).

ITF Men’s 85 World Team Championships Renamed the Lorne Main Cup

Toronto, October 13, 2020 – The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Tuesday that, as of 2021, the Men’s 85 World Team Championships will be renamed the Lorne Main Cup after the late Canadian. Lorne Main was selected for the honour following a unanimous vote by the ITF Seniors Committee, and approval from the ITF Board of Directors, after his name was put forward by Tennis Canada as part of the nomination process.

A New Reality By Nicolas Pereira

This past week in the World Team Tennis ‘Bubble” I have seen the efforts to keep everyone safe while carrying on a team competition with around 60/70 players and coaches onsite. Counting organizers, officials, media, and support personnel are around 150 people trying hard to make this happen. I am very impressed by how the strict protocol has been handled and how everyone is invested in making this event a success, but The Open is a completely different scale of details.

Yves Boulais: No Excuses… Get Working

Yves was proud to work with players including Greg Rudsedski, Patricia Hy, Oliver Marach, Eugenie Bouchard and Rebecca Marino, who achieved excellent results on the world stage. He was an Olympic Coach in Barcelona 1992 & Atlanta 1996, and Captain of the Canadian FedCup Team 1998 – 2000.

Update on UK Tennis Situation with Master Louis Cayer

I would like to share a mindset I instil in all the players I coach, one I believe has greatly influenced all of the player’s performances; “whatever happens, I can handle it.” This mindset is achieved through a systematic, tactical development process, so that whoever the opponent, whatever the surface, regardless of the environment, or scoring, the players can, and will rise to the challenge as it is presented.

Tennis Guru, Louis Borfiga Shares What Makes “A Good Coach?”

Many are asking this question, each with their own opinion, their own truth. In reality, it is difficult to answer with certainty, as the evaluation method can vary from one person to another. However, when you think about it, when you look at the references in the field of coaching in various sports, there are certain common and fundamental elements that I will describe to you here…