It happened. The fun side of this year’s Paris event was the parade of colorful young talent surfacing, a field worth of untrained players showing off the art of survival with mental toughness. Rafael Nadal went for his ten plus ‘x’ title run and the women and men gave captivating sand tennis-only art for the TV screen at the lockdown event. Huge empty stalls had a strange emotional appeal. The Parisian event, even with restrictions, has held its reputation.
The event was for the French Open 2021, played in the famous and traditional house, the Roland-Garros stadium in Paris. Started one week behind schedule. In total, the calendar for European clay courts has been filled, a victory over Covid-19. Paris has come at a price, however, with player absenteeism due to travel rules, untrained player injury preventive walkouts of Roger Federer at 39 and WTA number one Ashleigh Barty again. There has been a gradual revolution requiring reform of the professional participatory format by Naomi Osaka.
The Osaka revolt
A justified revolt by none other than multiple Grand Slam winner Naomi Osaka has become a revelation of a player’s long-standing malaise. This will cause some changes to the post-match “grid” by the press. In sports reporting, it is better to write what has been seen than what has been said. This could be the basis of the revolt of the Osaka question. After the authorities pointed their guns at her, fined her $ 15,000, and Osaka graciously but inevitably withdrew, the authorities realized that the cause was more on their side than on their side. Osaka. A sentiment that echoed around the world. A reminder; events can survive without officials but not without players. There were player walkouts during the war of transition from amateur tennis to open tennis. The players have won!
Sport is a physical expression of skill and mental strength. The press must know how to write the action seen and not the words spoken. ATP, WTA and Grand Slam have indicated that they will find a solution for this. The current system prioritizes fans and media over players. Osaka having mentally paid a price with this tournament repertoire, over the past few years, and rightly so, questions that. The support for her was overwhelming from the other players. It was so high it made the body of the Grand Slam and the other event planners shudder. They professed that a change.
The composition of the Parisian quarter-finals
The lineup of the quarter-finals for the € 35million-prize-money Paris event is also tennis’s who-is-who now. No one gets a place there by mistake. In the list of women’s quarterfinals there was a teenage talent Coco Gauff , current title holder Iga Swiatek , Elena Rybakina , she beat Serena Williams, Sakkari, first Greek women in Grand Slam, Pavlyuchenkova in her 52nd attempt, Badosa, former junior title holder at Roland Garros, Krejchikova and Zidanzek reaching glory.
The men had Zverev, I’ve never seen him play so well, Greek waiting prince Tsitsipas, charming calculator with deadly armament Medvedev, unimpressive and deadly in a battle Schwartman, formidable on Italian clay Berrettini, made it last ‘Spanish Fokina and the two known battle hardened warriors Djokovic and Nadal. Their performances justified Roland-Garros under current conditions.
Sand tennis is a difficult challenge for the player. Not only do they have to outdo their opponents in each long rally and outlast their opponents by winning the number of rallies to compile a set. In the grand slam, the men play the best of five sets. A three-hour women’s game is a regular affair and men can play for up to five hours. Maintaining them mentally can leave scars. The Grand Slam has 128 singles players and lasts more than two weeks. This means that there cannot be a free day in the first week. In order to accommodate the TV coverage, matches run until midnight and players must be ready for another after just 24 hours, this is mandatory.
Right now, the old areas of player development known to the world are fading in terms of the production of recognizable players. Southern European states and eastern European states that gained independence in the early 1990s are doing well. Almost all Eastern European countries have good players. This allows players to mature in match play in their country or in neighboring countries. By creating the annual calendar by WTA and ATP, they are more than happy to have so many events with minimal travel. The Southeast Asian group of nations we belong to had numbers, events and players. That has changed and the region is inefficient now, that is our problem.
The return of sand and grass
The sand court is one of the two original tennis surfaces. The other was grass. Asphalt / concrete surfaces have gained popularity due to their all-weather compatibility. Current technology now allows premium retractable court cover as an added attraction for stadium courts. With the retractable court cover becoming more and more popular, sand and grass courts can resurface. Asphalt concrete courts reduce the lifespan of players. Knees and ankles wear out before playing on hard surfaces. This year, the calendar included more turf events in the European zone before Wimbledon.
—George Paldano, former international player; Certified trainer of the German Tennis Federation; National coach Brunei and Sri Lanka, coach of the top 200 players ranked ATP, WTA and ITF, Davis Cup, trainer of the Federation Cup. – [email protected]