Peter Figura Blogging from Roland Garros: Day 8

Written by: Peter Figura

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***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.***

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When I saw the score 5-all in the fifth set, I somehow knew I had to go to Court Suzanne Lenglen to see the end of the match. There is no tie-breakers in the fifth set, and the two players would probably had once in a lifetime opportunity to make it to the quarterfinals fo the Grand Slam.

I remembered Fabio Fognini from his 2010 campaign. Playing on Court Philippe Chartier against clearly a better player – Gael Monfils, Fognini refused to lose.  Despite the partisan crowd, and the darkness (I remember turning my camera off because it was too dark to take pictures) Fognini was playing. Against a better opponent, against the crowd, and against chair referee who reused to stop the match because of darkness. And Fognini won.

This year he was playing against one of many Spaniards in the draw – Albert Montanes.

Could he repeat the same magicperformance this year? Well, the answer came about 30 minutes later. I got there at 5:6, and at 15:30 Fognini missed his first serve.  And then he made a gesture to the chair umpire that he could not walk.  It looked like a cramp, and the crowd started booing him. But Fognini refused to move showing that he simply couldn’t.

So the chair umpire had to some down, and then call the medical assistance.

Montanes was clearly frustrated, a win just two points away. He ried to stay composed.

After Fognini returned to the court, he, just like Andy Murray the day before tried to serve using just arms. And going for winners at the first opportunity.

That strategy gave Montanes 5 match points over the next few games. But he couldn’t close. Too nervous to hit a winner. Too tight to try for a drop shot.

So Fognini gave verything he could, somehow knowing that this was his lucky day, and that perhaps he might not play for the quarterfinals again. Or perhaps the sense of history – by winning he would be the first Italian player in 13 years to make it to the final 8.

And he won 11:9 in the fifth.  Montanes clearly disgusted (either with himself or with Fognini’s antics) crossed the net and came to shake his opponent hand. Almost as if we wanted to get off this court as quickly as possible.  After all he played there for almost 4 and a half hours.

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.

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