For our third and final day at the 2022 French Open we were back on Court Philippe-Chatrier. There were a few showers about but it was generally a much nicer day than Monday. The highlight was Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s final match and retirement ceremony! The final post in the RG22 series will be my guide to visiting Roland Garros.
Day 3 Matches 🎾
Jelena Ostapenko d. Lucia Bronzetti, 6-1 6-4 (Court 14)
On our way to court 14, we walked past court 12 where there were literally people standing in bushes trying to watch Denis Shapovalov 😂. That was a very bizarre decision from the schedulers to put Shapovalov-Rune on 12. We had no troubles getting a seat on court 14 for the first match of the day featuring former champ, Jelena Ostapenko.
Our first impressions were omg what is Ostapenko wearing. What an icon 😂. We watched the first set where Ostapenko was in pretty devastating form. So good that she barely argued any line calls because everything was going in. Just a couple of wild double faults. Ostapenko must have been close to double figures for return winners in that first set.
It was pretty low-key and the crowd weren’t really engaged because it was so one-sided. We headed off after the first set. Ostapenko sealed the win in straight sets which snapped a five match losing streak.
Danielle Collins d. Viktoriya Tomova, 6-0 6-4 (Court 6)
There were long queues everywhere and we decided to get in one for court 6. We were lucky to catch the last few games of Danielle Collins. My main takeaway from this match is that Collins was not in the best of moods and was very frustrated at how she was playing. On one point she served an ace, won the point, and then bounced her racquet in frustration…
Collins’s team were very enthusiastic and they were on their feet after every point that she won. Tomova had a very supportive fan sitting in front us who was shouting ” come on Viki” before every point. It wasn’t straightforward but Collins did well to win in straights having been a break down in the second set. From the picture at the end, it’s hard to tell who won the match 😂.
Sebastian Korda d. John Millman, 6-1 7-5 7-6(6) (Court 6)
New player alert – this was a first sighting of Seb Korda. My first observation was how calm and assured Korda was. Very serene. We watched the first set while eating our lunch and it was mostly uneventful. The match had started briefly the night before and Korda was already up an early break. After one close game on serve, Korda outclassed Millman for the rest of the set with aggressive and precise hitting.
Korda was dictating inside the baseline while Millman was always on the defence at the back of the court. A lineswoman at the back of the court had to duck and move out of the way several times to avoid being taken out by Millman.
Casper Ruud d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 6-7(6) 7-6(4) 6-2 7-6(0) (Court Philippe-Chatrier)
Unsurprisingly, this was the highlight of Tuesday. If anything, It was actually a bit of a subdued start. The atmosphere was still lively but there were many empty seats. It did eventually fill up and by the second set, it was the fullest we saw Chatrier during our trip.
I’d looked at Tsonga’s recent results and didn’t have high hopes for this as a contest so I was very surprised when Tsonga won the first set. When he got into the rally, I thought Tsonga was overpowering Ruud a lot of the time and he owned him at the net. It was just not as consistent as Tsonga in his prime. The shot below is just classic Jo for me 😍.
This was my first experience watching Ruud live and I have to say I was disappointed. I thought he was uninspiring, lacked authority and pretty average. Now looking back, I wonder if he was perhaps affected by the occasion? I think this was his first time on Chatrier.
Ruud was mostly solid and didn’t make a lot of errors as he managed to dig out the second set and cruise the third set as Tsonga began to tire. Tsonga had a resurgence in the fourth set. The crowd became increasingly animated with each Tsonga service hold. The set went with sere until Ruud played a shocking service game and Tsonga broke to lead *6-5. The crowd sang La Marseillaise on the next changeover. I had goosebumps! It was spine-tingling.
Unfortunately what we hadn’t realised was on the last point of the 5-5 game, Tsonga had injured his shoulder. As he hit his first serve, everyone realised 😪. Tsonga was broken and then took a medical time-out before the tiebreak. He obviously carried on but the match was over.
With Ruud leading 6-0 in the first set tiebreak, Tsonga didn’t realise he had to change ends. When he did, he walked around the opposite side of the net to the umpire. Even from our seats high up you could tell Jo was crying 😭. The crowd erupted and it was an all-court standing ovation. Even Ruud was clapping Tsonga when he walked to the other side. Everyone was standing for the final point of the match which was unprecedented. Never seen anything like it before!
It was an anticlimactic end to the match because I honestly thought if Tsonga hadn’t injured himself then Ruud was there for the taking. At the same time the ending was tinged with such heavy emotion. That final walk around the net was the tennis equivalent of a lap of honour. An unforgettable moment.
I was disappointed with Ruud’s tennis performance but he handled the end of the match admirably. Clearly a nice guy and ATP needs more of them. Ruud and Tsonga hugged at the net. Ruud said some very nice, heartfelt words in his post-match interview and then left the court for Tsonga to have his final moment on Chatrier.
They really went all in with Tsonga’s retirement ceremony (and rightfully so) and it made me wonder if the other soon-to-be retiring Frenchmen will get something similar. They were all out on court to greet Tsonga. There was also a video of messages from the big four. It was interesting to hear the reaction of the crowd. Murray – No noise. Djokovic – A murmur. Nadal – A big cheer. Federer – Huge ovation. The roof was closed for the ceremony due to the threat of rain so we got a brief roof experience!
A great send-off for Tsonga and a very emotional ending. Allez Jo!
Paula Badosa d. Fiona Ferro, 6-2 6-0 (Court Philippe-Chatrier)
Unsurprisingly, Badosa-Ferro was played in front of an extremely sparse crowd. We tried to get onto court 7 for Pegula-Wang but the queue wasn’t moving so we gave up and went back to Badosa-Ferro in the end. It was an uninspiring match and not helped by so few people watching. I thought Badosa played an excellent match. We called it a day midway through the second set. Another decision vindicated as Badosa didn’t drop another game, winning in just 54 minutes!
In the morning, we watched Frances Tiafoe and Andrey Rublev on court 15 who were sharing a practice court with their hitting partners. Tiafoe seemed to be enjoying himself. I think it was the first time i’ve seen him and his forehand technique is really quite something. Rublev was so intense. Like he was playing an actual match. He looked to be hitting the ball great.
It took us a while to get into the grounds on Tuesday so we didn’t see any other practices on the Tuesday!
The bro and I are always in competition to rack up as many FPAs (famous person alert). Unfortunately I have to concede defeat to the bro on Tuesday who spotted both Martina Navratilova and Lindsay Davenport walking past us as we walked by the side of Chatrier.
Fan moan 🤬
A recurring theme at the French Open was that people kept sitting in our seats. When we left Chatrier for a comfort break, inevitably someone was always sitting in our seats when we returned. We had to push the whole row along when we returned after a break during the Tsonga-Ruud match. Every time the people moved without any hesitation. Annoying and not something we’ve experienced at the other Slams before.
New player alerts 🔔
My quest is always to see and photograph players for the first time! A couple of players ticked off but no-one near the top of my list to be honest. I’d seen Badosa before on the practice courts in Eastbourne but this was the first time i’d seen the Spaniard play a match.
Tereza Martincova ✅
Lucia Bronzetti ✅
Fiona Ferro ✅
Snap of the day 📸
Loved this view of Chatrier from Court 6. Quite like the threatening sky!
Day 3 album 📚
An album of photos from day 3 at Roland Garros can be found on the MTB Facebook page.