I have so many things that I want to write about from my two days at Roland Garros. It won’t come as a surprise to many of you that the highlight of my trip was watching Lucie win her first round match against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. I was disappointed to miss the match between Ivanovic v Shvedova on Suzanne Lenglen, but there was no way I could miss the opportunity of watching Lucie live!
Lucie v Pavs was last up on court 2. Of all the courts I watched tennis on, this was my favourite. There was ample seating and the atmosphere for all three matches I watched on this court was great. It was also early evening and the sun lit up this court beautifully. I’m quite a shy person, but I was SO into this match. I was shouting for Lucie at the end which is just not like me! Lucie recovered an early break and then held from *0-40 down to go up 5-2 in the first set. Her groundstrokes were really solid and she looked in control of her game from the baseline. However, her second serve was vulnerable and Pavs was picking it apart when she got the chance.
When Lucie stepped up to serve for the first set, I was naturally concerned. After she double faulted on the first point I was thinking oh here we go! Pavs broke back and the set eventually went into the tiebreak. Lucie has had a rough time in tiebreaks this year (6-13 pre RG) but despite being tense, Lucie pulled through. There was quite a bit of support for Lucie. I noticed there was a section of fans on my side who were also cheering all the points she won and a couple of Czech flags on the other side. I think the people behind me were getting fed up with my constant clapping for Lucie as they started cheering for Pavlyuchenkova halfway during the first set!
The second set was exhausting to watch! At the time I felt like eating my face but now that I look back on it, there was some good tennis and plenty of drama. Lucie got the first break of serve in the second set after a marathon nine deuce game. It didn’t last though as Pavs levelled up to 4-4. Lucie seemed to lose her focus a little after what appeared to me (at the time at least!) to be a terrible call by the umpire when a shot was overruled and the point given to Pavs. Lucie broke again though at 5-5 on one of the best rallies of the match. The crowd got more and more into this match as it went on. Lucie stepped up to serve for the match. You can guess what I was feeling!
The match is kind of a blur to me from this point. I wish i’d written this earlier! Lucie saved one break point from *30-40 and then had four match points. Lucie double faulted on one of them, but it was Pavs zoning and hitting aggressively on the other three. Another tiebreak it was and at this point, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry! After losing quite a few tight matches of late (Kuznetsova in Madrid, Dulgheru in Rome), I was really starting to fear the worst for Lucie. Pavs carried the momentum into the tiebreak and had three set points (two in a row at 6-4). She couldn’t convert on them though and then Lucie kept bringing up more match points. Pavs kept saving them like a trooper. I noticed Lucie kept looking over into one corner where Rob was. Just before she managed to win, she started smiling and almost laughing at the situation. I wish i’d got a shot of that!
I was shouting at the end, but thankfully I blended in as it was pretty noisy. I can’t ever remember getting so involved in a live match. It’s stressful watching a player you admire, but I love feeling those emotions particularly when they win. ! Looking back now, it was a great match to experience despite my nerves being fried. It was a perfect way to end my first day at Roland Garros and I left with a big grin on my face. I tried getting a picture at the end but I was too late. I wasn’t that near the front and by the time I decided to go for it, Lucie was heading off… you snooze, you lose!
I was really chuffed both players retweeted the picture of the embrace at the end. I was expecting a nice handshake because the pair are good friends off court and have played doubles a lot, but it was still cool after such a tough match. Pavs also used my pictures on her Facebook page! The crowd were obviously cheering at the end but the noise ramped up when they hugged. I think it’s great to see and particularly with quite a bit in the media of late about WTA players not being friends off the court. I’ll leave you with some pictures of that embrace…