Roland-Garros: Clay and clay to beat

Paris | “I never learned to slide on mud. This statement made by Leila Fernandez, on Sunday after her first tour at Roland Garros, was surprising at first glance.

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On ocher, CISS performs well. How do you get good results on this particular surface – slower, in particular – without mastering the best way to move on it?

Responsible for Tennis Canada’s women’s division, Sylvain Bruno is not entirely surprised by the young player’s words, 17And A favorite at Porte d’Auteuil.

Because only in recent years has clay been democratized. While it was once the preserve of Europeans and South Americans, who grew up on this surface, North Americans have finally followed suit.

development area

Canadians and Americans now get to know red clay at a much younger age, the type used in European stadiums, including in Paris.

“Mud is the best surface for a tennis player to develop, technically, tactically, physically and mentally,” Bruno says.

It is a hard surface. Its slowness prolongs the exchanges and forces the refinement of the strategy. The fact that they are slippery forces you to work on the movement of the foot and strengthen your lower body, especially to glide better.

“On clay courts, the player must also learn to generate the speed of the ball,” the coach adds. We can work more on the differences too, tactics. It’s easier to transfer what you’ve learned from clay to hard court than the other way around. »

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With that in mind, Montreal’s IGA Stadium, where the Canadian National Tennis Training Center is located, acquired four courts covered with this surface 11 years ago.

Like Williams and Sharapova

But this slide that Leila talked about on Sunday, which we think was carried out well by Spaniard Rafael Nadal, in particular, do we have to master it completely to look forward to the title at Roland Garros?

“We can still live without it,” Bruno points out. There are players who have won at Roland Garros without making a perfect match on clay, like Serena Williams or Maria Sharapova. They didn’t slip perfectly, but they made up for it in other aspects. And as with Lille, It can be learned later.”

It must be a night in fight to survive tennis

Laila Fernandez is a huge fan of the famous Netflix series campaign to survive, which plunges the viewer into the world of F1 drivers. This is one of the programs that Quebec listens to in her hotel room to relax between two games.

So his night was particularly happy when Netflix announced in January that a tennis necklace would be produced this season, with a focus on the Grand Slams.

always children

The documentary’s production team has interviewed 19-year-old Lavalloise on a few occasions and says she enjoyed doing it, even if she doesn’t yet know if she’ll find herself in the final cut.

The 17 said, “It’s fun to show them what’s going on.”And Favorite in Paris. They can see the work we do, but also that we’re still kids! »

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She smiled: “They can see that we always want to have fun after matches, after training and that we are just human beings playing sports and having fun.”

The name of the documentary or its release date has not been revealed. It is produced by Box to Box Films, the company behind it campaign to survivebut also from an upcoming series about golf.

Filming began at the Australian Open, notably with the “Djokovic case” who was expelled from the country because he had not been vaccinated against Covid-19.

Difficulties Pros

But unlike the few tennis scandals in recent months that should revive the show, Fernandez sees the series as a good way to get more young people interested in his sport.

live from paris

Champagne and rillet in canteen

Who says Paris says gastronomy, this also applies to the media canteen, which is located near the huge press room under the court of Philippe Chatrier. Of course, you eat well everywhere in Roland-Garros, even at the counters where you can find chocolate muffins, sandwiches, salads … as well as traditional fast food dishes. It was such a pleasure that the little boy he met on Saturday during Children’s Day totally wanted a cheeseburger, even if it meant asking several staff members where he could find it. But the menu in the media canteen is especially surprising for Quebec journalists who were at their first Roland Garros (read here: the author of these lines). For dinner or for a snack, you can buy different types of rillette or sausage or a platter of cold cuts and cheese, with a glass of Moët et Chandon champagne. I have not tasted champagne, but I have noticed that for some international colleagues, an aperitif is taken every day in the media canteen.

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Greetings Fernandez

After the US Open, Lily Fernandez totally wanted Tim Hortons and Putin. Hours after claiming her second title at Monterrey in March, she was desperately searching for a subway in the Mexican city. And in Paris, the chocolate the young player wants. Si elle admet ne pas avoir beaucoup de temps pour visiter la Ville Lumière entre deux matchs, la Québécoise apprécie tout de même aller marcher avec son père et entraîneur, Jorge, afin de trouver un endroit où et en pouréra passer… food. “I need it!” she says with a laugh.

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