French Open: Roland Garros Crowd Offers Unmatched Ambiance


The roar that greeted Alize Cornet’s second-round victory towards Jelena Ostapenko on the French Open on Thursday was so deafening that the Latvian former Roland Garros champion actually needed to cowl her ears after being overwhelmed by the help her French opponent acquired on court docket Philippe Chatrier.

The Roland Garros crowd is thought to be fickle, company seats are sometimes empty at lunchtime, however when a French participant wants help, spectators can flip the normally quiet tennis courts right into a wild area and the claycourt Grand Slam gives an environment unmatched at different majors.


“Poor opponent. It was tough for her,” Cornet mentioned of Ostapenko.

“Whenever you see all these folks right here to help me, I had shivers in my physique, and virtually tears in my eyes of emotion. So it’s true when folks begin supporting you it’s like an area, and sound degree may be very excessive.”

And when the gang decide on a participant, it could actually develop into exceptionally unsettling, as Martina Hingis notoriously skilled within the 1999 last towards Steffi Graf.

Booed and jeered on by the followers after disputing a line name whereas 6-4 2-0 up, she misplaced her composure and the match earlier than being booed once more after the match level.

Australian Alex De Minaur, who misplaced to France’s Hugo Gaston in an epic five-setter within the first spherical, believes the French public crossed the purple line.

“I believe there’s a distinction between an incredible ambiance and supporting your fellow countrymen, which is totally wonderful and it’s nice,” he mentioned.

“However there’s a line that, once I’m getting informed issues by folks within the crowd, making eye contact with me after I hit a double fault, I believe there’s a sure line that must be type of checked out.”

The French clearly don’t see it this fashion.

“At 1:00 a.m., 1:30 a.m., you solely have gems left within the viewers and simply have the true folks. It was actually an unimaginable ambiance,” mentioned French veteran Gilles Simon after beating Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta, who was additionally booed within the late evening opening spherical on Tuesday.

“Whenever you win one sport, two video games, you are feeling they’re fired up and it provides you a little bit of power, a little bit of power right here, there, a little bit of stress for him, and he feels that if he misses, he’s going to be shouted at, and it’s not nice for him. That’s life, and that’s the benefit after we play at dwelling.”

Some gamers, nevertheless, stay untouchable – or virtually untouchable.

Roger Federer was certainly one of them and, to a lesser extent, 13-time champion Rafael Nadal was by no means sufferer of any abuse since his debut in 2005.

“I believe the gang was very good with me too, no? I don’t assume, I, I actually didn’t really feel the gang towards me in any respect. I believe it was a 50/50 and it was supporting tennis,” the Spaniard mentioned after a second-round win towards France’s Corentin Moutet.

“No, I at all times take pleasure in help right here in Paris, I believe the folks right here is aware of how particular is that this place for me and the way necessary and the way a lot respect I at all times had for Roland Garros and I believe they recognize all of the issues that I did on this occasion, so I really feel a number of love from the folks right here.”

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