One minor change to my annual telly-watching schedule, since moving to France, is that I have had to exchange Wimbledon for Roland-Garros in the summer months.
Roland Garros (taking it’s name from the famous French pilot – of course) takes place in the last two weeks of May each year and, being one of the big four grand-slam tournaments, offers up some top-class tennis for the duration.
As a result I have started to follow the fortunes of the many French Tennis stars, who obviously get most air-time here. By comparison to British Tennis, French Tennis is in it’s hayday with a ream of players occupying the world’s top 50: Jo-Wilfred Tsonga, Gilles Simon, Gael Monfils, Arnaud Clement, Richard Gasquet …
The presence of so many successful home players in the French Open however does not seem to have improved the nation’s chances of winning it. Yesterday the last Frenchman was knocked out, leaving Marion Bartoli (and her cute little pre-serve bounce) to represent the nation’s hopes in the ladies semis.
Each time they come up against one of the big names .. Djokovic, Federer, Nadal .. it seems the French are as reliably unreliable as the British.
At least, with Wimbledon, I only had to sit through one excrutiating Murray/Henman/Bates match before the pain was over – for the French at Roland Garros – it’s six times worse!