At Roland Garros,
We beat them enough when they walk out the door in single file before Wednesday not to give them the shine brush when they deserve it. The proud male representatives of the tricolor nation, very shy in recent years, enchanted the first round at Roland, signing some memorable perfs in feria atmospheres. However, we tell you.
The craziest atmosphere: Gillou at the Simonne-Mathieu nightclub
A little confidence in the form of repentance. When we saw the time of the match (a good 21 hours typed) and the pedigree of the mastard opposite, the Spaniard Carreno-Busta, we murmured in peto : “Cruel for Gilles to end up having a temper at 11 o’clock in the evening in front of his dog and three frozen grandpas”. But Simon, who had shown up a little earlier at the Central for the tribute to Tsonga, returned to the court inhabited by a new energy: “What I found fantastic was that we really had saw one last time the Jo we all loved, admired. I said to myself, regardless of the last few weeks, he was there one last time, he played a huge game, and I wanted to do the same. That we see Gilles Simon one last time on the ground”. Chills just reading it, and I’m not telling you to see it.
The former 6th in the world, who will bend the saplings at the end of the season, has kept his inner promise, carried by an unpayable atmosphere. It was the Auteuil corner which corresponded to the Boulogne corner, with a bit of the Vélodrome in the middle.
- From “Aux Aaaaaaaaaaarmes, we are the Gilles Simon, and we are going to gaaaaaaagner”
- “Gillou’s victory, we don’t leave until we have it”
- “He’s really phenomenal”
- “He’s taking me to the end of the night, it’s Monsieur Gilles Simon”
All bellowed by guys disguised as musketeers who are suspected of having put something other than mint syrup in their water bottles. But that was what it took to see Simon get his benjamin button up before our amazed eyes and go from 2-4 6-4 in the 5th while dying between each point: “Ah well, there are only geniuses left at the end, there are still than the real ones. It was really an incredible atmosphere. It’s very important because when Pablo runs over me, they are there, the slightest point I win, they get up, they yell, they sing. They never stopped, from the first to the last point. He feels that as soon as he misses, he’s going to get yelled at and that’s not pleasant. That’s the advantage we have of playing here.” Steve Johnson next, we leave for 4 hours.
Our kiffometer rating : 10/10, a moment of ecstasy on which no one would have bet, in the fresh air, in front of an audience of déglingos.
The most usual atmosphere: Gaston boiling the Lenglen
Strange phenomenon that Hugo Gaston. The Toulousain does not win a match of the year or almost, but when he crosses the inner ring road, he turns into a small Iberian bull. Supported by an omnipresent clan in the stands, already two years ago despite the gauges, the 74th in the world has the rare gift of transcending the public as much as he transcends himself at home. Monday evening, on the Lenglen, between his absences, his flashes, and his supersonic end to the match, he twisted De Minaur in a stadium won by an orgiastic madness. “At 6-0, 3-0 against me in the 5th, you pushed me well, this one is for us, we went to get it together”.
The Australian, promising top 20, could not believe it: “I think there is a line not to be crossed between supporting the local player, which is normal, and saying things that are not necessarily sympathetic to the opponent. or make permanent “eye-contact”… So much the better for him to have been able to rely on that and to have a moment he will never forget. »
We will forgive the young man for not knowing who he was rubbing shoulders with. Gaston had already blown up the Alcaraz box at Bercy, one evening when the Spanish phenomenon had appeared quite ridiculous from the height of his 18 years, in an atmosphere close to the insurrection which had kindly scandalized our Iberian colleagues. Anthony, caught on the fly Monday evening, was already there: “We pushed him, he pushed us, I loved it. Hugo is a player who gets the crowd going, he doesn’t have a big serve so he creates a lot of play, it’s not platonic with him”. Valentin agrees: “It’s the first time I’ve seen it, it was absolutely crazy, almost at the limit of fair play sometimes. Gaston plays well with that. At the end he cramped, but he purposely went to seek the public to win, a little time, it reminded a little of the Davis Cup. »
In the euphoria of the moment, he even asked the public to sing a “happy birthday” sound for his girlfriend who no longer knew where to put herself. “He always manages to bring the public with him, blows Sebastien Grosjean, it must be said that he gives a lot”. Next concert Thursday at the same place, come many.
Our kiffometer rating : 8/10, we begin to know the beast, each remontada is both stunning and logical.
The most moving atmosphere: Tsonga who makes Chatrier cry
Some people cry more easily than others. A song, a film, the last match of a tricolor legend, everything is good to make believe that it is the fault of this damn pollen. Like us, Pierre-Hugues Herbert is part of the gang of whiners. “I completely cracked when I saw his coaches arrive, all these people who accompanied him in this crazy life… This mixture between the heartbreak of the end of his career and the release, saying to ourselves “we gave everything , we are free”. It was a beautiful, very moving tribute. Jo has succeeded in both her career and her farewell. »
P2H is on target. During the Roland of confinement, we wondered about the will of all these immense players to continue to fence when they were only the miniature version of themselves. Overwhelmed by an impossible injury, Tsonga “promised to do everything” to stop on a memory to keep warm on winter evenings. Roland’s double semi-finalist even almost turned back the clock against Casper Ruud, one of the very best current surface specialists.
The shoulder let go when he was about to make us capsize in a fifth set of all the promises, in a Central that we sometimes consider a little lukewarm for these great occasions: too many Panama hats, too many guests, too many people at lunch for the last match of the best Frenchman of his generation, who had all his life regretted having returned to a half-empty court during his semi-final against Ferrer in 2013. But Tuesday, all was forgotten.
“I haven’t felt like this in a very long time. I think it’s thanks to all that in fact, it’s thanks to the enthusiasm, to all those people who carry me every day, whether they’re relatives, people in the stands. It was madness! It’s one of the best atmospheres I’ve experienced in my career, and it happens in my last match. I couldn’t ask for better”.
Our kiffometer rating : 9/10, it’s beautiful an idol who leaves at the right time.
Bonus, the most improbable atmosphere: Moutet who finally wins a fight at home
Corentin Moutet sometimes suffers from a bad reputation. The boy can be a real jerk on the court sometimes, and he’s not always laughing with the media, but he deserves to ignore the first impression. His musical eclecticism, his detachment from the environment, his analysis of the game are curiosities that must be tamed to be appreciated. And then before the appearance of Hugo Gaston, he was our cute sin at Roland-Garros. We still remember with butterflies in the stomach the boiling of court 14, the bomber of the place, a heat wave afternoon in 2019. The Frenchman had sent himself for more than four hours against an Argentinian so brave that he had finally lost his mind.
A first infuriating defeat which announced others. Six hours of play for nothing in 2020 against an Italian qualifier in the autumn drizzle, without ever ceasing to flagellate. Then another four hours against Djere last year, before a defeat behind closed doors because of the curfew. So we were sincerely happy for Moutet when we saw him exhaust the ghost Wawrinka, still short of sensations, for the first beautiful tricolor emotion of the fortnight, Monday.
And then the young man gave himself a nice gift: Nadal, in a night session, this evening, Nadal whose “he slept with the tank top when he was little”. “When you’re little, you need to have idols, identify with people, and so me, who was left-handed, was my inspiration. I imitated his serve, his forehand, I imitated everything until the moment when I decided to do what worked best for me. The famous marathon specialization, which we hope to see a new opus against his majesty Rafa.
Our kiffometer rating : 6/10, the 37-year-old Stan is no longer quite the same.