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French Open diary: Kuerten sits down for an interview and patriotism on the metro

By Opta
Chatrier- cropped

Paris, June 8: The women's French Open final will be contested by Marketa Vondrousova and Ashleigh Barty after they won their last-four clashes, but only one of the men's finalists is known.

Rafael Nadal maintained his perfect record in Roland Garros semi-finals to reach the showpiece with a commanding 6-3 6-4 6-2 victory over Roger Federer, but Novak Djokovic's meeting with Dominic Thiem was suspended until Saturday due to rain with the Austrian leading 3-1 in the third set.

Omnisport's man on the ground Tom Webber provides an update from his daily diary in Paris.

GUGA SITS DOWN WITH OMNISPORT

It's always good to hear from the experts, and three-time French Open champion Gustavo Kuerten provided his thoughts on the men's semi-finalists in Paris.

The Brazilian was thoroughly entertaining to listen to and effusive in his praise of 12-time finalist Nadal.

Kuerten was at the interesting location of Ground Control - a large warehouse with a touchtennis court in the middle of it - for a sponsorship event.

LAVER HONOURED BEFORE FEDERER-NADAL

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of his second calendar Grand Slam, Rod Laver was invited onto Court Philippe-Chatrier prior to the semi-final between Nadal and Federer.

A video about his accomplishment was played on the big screen before French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli and French Open tournament director Guy Forget presented him with a replica of La Coupe des Mousquetaires.

Who will get their hands on the real on one Sunday, though?

VIVE LA FRANCE!

Roland Garros is no longer the only major sporting event in town.

The Women's World Cup is being hosted by France this year and ahead of the opening match between France and South Korea at the nearby Parc des Princes, workers on the metro showed their patriotism with face paint.

With the tricolore adorning their cheeks, they ensured people got on and off carriages safely at busy stations.

COURT SIMONNE-MATHIEU A DELIGHT

Inaugurated in March this year, the 5,000-seater Court Simonne-Mathieu is a magnificent addition to Roland Garros.

The semi-sunken stadium is surrounded by four greenhouses, each showcasing rare plants from South America, south east Asia and Australia.

A roof of specially treated glass curves over the seating from those structures to provide shelter without throwing shade on the court.

The walk down is just as good; you can either feel like you're strolling through a park or go via the elegant Orangerie.

But while it is beautiful, as Johanna Konta said following her straight-sets defeat to Vondrousova, it's hardly a stage befitting of a grand slam semi-final.

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Story first published: Saturday, June 8, 2019, 1:10 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 8, 2019
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