Peter Figura Blogging from Roland Garros: Day 5

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.***


Kim Clijsters

I must admit I went to see Kim Clijster’s match for a few minutes only. Long enough to take a few actions shots, and then go to see Rafa playing on Lenglen. The score was 6:3, 4:1 for Kim, and she was in total control of the match. And even after her opponent – Aranxta Rus from Holland won 2 consecutive games, it didn’t look like any kind of problems for the 2nd seed. So it was time to leave the Philippe Chartier court, and see Nadal playing. And it wasn’t just me. Most of the media did the same. Even after one of the tour umpires said – “Looks like it might go three sets” – no one paid any attention. Well, the umpire was wrong.  Not only did Rus win the third set 7:5, she totally dominated the third winning 6:1  And the most surprised was probably Clijsters herself, who except for the problem with the ball toss on serve (10 double faults) couldn’t find an explanation for 65 unforced errors.

Maria Sharapova

The next youngster was trying to do just the same as Rus – eliminate one of the tournaments favourites.  Caroline Garcia is not even 18 years old. Ranked 188 in the world, playing her first French Open, and only 4th match on the main tour. Her opponent – Maria Sharapova, who is enjoying an excellent clay court season this year. But it all didn’t matter to Garcia, who won first set 6:3, and was up 4:1 in the second.  And then she probably started thinking  of winning the whole thing. It’s not that Sharapova did something spectacular. She was just herself. The same Maria fighting for every point, fist pumping after crucial rallies, grunting even louder when in trouble. It was Garcia who out of a sudden started missing balls, spreading them all over the place, trying too much, when just good enough would probably give her a chance. So Sharapova slowly started climbing back. At 3:4 it seemed that winning a second set was inevitable. Three more games after it was a fact. And young Frenchwoman gave all she had in those first two sets. So the third was pure formality. 6:0 for Maria.

And again a very nice day for Canadian tennis. Daniel Nestor won his 800 match in doubles. The most among active players. Quite an accomplishment.

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.

ONcourt Interviews NGTL Co-Founder Yves Boulais

It does not matter that you get your rating playing locally or that you had spent an insidious amount of money playing the ITF junior tour tournaments. Your rating is your level of play (you get no bonus for playing more or playing far away). This allows us to break free of the ITF competitive structure potentially saving us time, money, and headache. We see this as a great opportunity to improve the logistic of our sport.

Brandon Burke (son of ACE President Doug Burke) Elected to WTA Board

As revealed in a recent news release issued by the WTA Tour – Brandon Burke has been elected to the WTA Board of Directors (to start officially in September). Oncourt got together with Brandon to delve a bit more into his background and to gain some insight into this wonderful appointment he has attained at such a young age.