In 2011, for the first time, I was fortunate enough to enter the tennis Grand Slam tournament, which is the 100-year-old Wimbledon tennis tournament in London. That rich tennis culture is soaked in every corner of the court, and the court etiquette that has become a London folk custom has made me unforgettable. I look forward to the other three Grand Slam events, especially the passionate French Open clay court. I’m not a tennis fan, but I also have a strong tennis complex. In the summer of 1995, I had endured the scorching heat of Beijing for more than an hour, just to go to the Reebok store near the East Bridge at the time to see a pair of shoes that were not on display. This shoe is said to have been worn by Zhang Depei at the French Open that year. Because the French Open is a clay court, the pair of white shoes have been dyed brown-red. To be honest, those shoes are the most “tall” items I have ever seen in the rainy season at the age of seventeen. According to historical records, Zhang Depei won his only French Open title in 1989, which is the pride of the Chinese. Zhang Depei lost to Muster in second place in 1995, his second best record in the French Open. At that time, I didn’t dare to expect that I would be able to watch the French Open men’s singles final in person, and I was very satisfied with the live broadcast on TV.
At the invitation of Longines in Switzerland, this wish was finally realized in 2014. Longines is the designated time for the French Open. During the French Open match, the entire Paris was immersed in the magical atmosphere created by the light green elf of tennis. Even a huge tennis ball was hung on the Eiffel Tower, and almost everyone in the city could see it. Walking on Xiangjie Street, I saw buses, newsstands and the main newspaper pages, and tennis was everywhere.
On the day of the men’s singles final, I drove to the Roland Garros Tennis Center early in the morning. Many people have gathered here, but the order is in order. Longines has carefully arranged a tennis interactive session, and hired a tennis coach to coach the guests’ serve techniques. I can’t believe my eyes. The tennis coach came a bit big. He was the second runner-up of the French Open in 1990 and 1991. Agassi, the 1999 French Open champion, was also the brand ambassador of Longines. I have almost no chance to touch tennis. After being coached by the master for a few movements, my serving speed instantly increased from 60 kilometers to 114 kilometers.
At lunchtime, Peng Shuai and Xie Shuwei of the ‘Strait Group’ braved the French Open Women’s Doubles Championship, creating a new history for Chinese tennis. At 2:30 in the afternoon, I walked into the Central Stadium with excitement. This place has been seen on TV countless times. Soon, Nadal and Djokovic, who reached the French Open men’s singles final in 2014, stepped into the field accompanied by the caddie. At three o’clock in the afternoon, the eight Alpha jet trainers of the ‘French Patrol’ air show team whistled across the field with the three colors of the French flag. The instant roar shocked every spectator. This is France’s highest courtesy for this century-old sporting event. The fighter plane flew over, which meant that the game officially started. Unlike Wimbledon and even the Chinese Open, the French Open’s stadium is completely open without shade or shelter. If it catches rain, the game will be suspended. If during the normal game, everyone on the court, whether golfers, referees, caddies or spectators, is completely exposed to the sun and close to nature. Therefore, watching the French Open sun protection is a must. The event organizers are very considerate, and each seat is equipped with a hat provided by the sponsor. Of course, the white straw hat is the best equipment for the French Open, and sunglasses are also essential. As long as it doesn’t rain in Paris, the bright sunshine is definitely a cruel character. What I admire is that the heavyweights who came to watch the game are all in black suits. Until nearly two hours of competition, the VIPs gradually took off their suits and wore shirts to watch the game. The clay court does not have a hawk eye system, which is different from other majors. As long as the ball falls on the court, there will be imprints. Is it inside or outside the boundary? The referee personally climbed down the referee’s platform and instructed the player with his hand. So in the game, you will see the referee climbing up and down many times.
After three and a half hours of hard competition, Nadal reversed the victory over Djokovic and won the French Open Musketeer for five consecutive years. This is also the ninth time he has won this championship since 2005. ‘The King of Laterite.’ My first experience at the French Open is over, and I still feel uneasy for a long time. The sunshine of Paris, the tennis game full of wisdom, the thoughtful and mature game organization, the stubbornness and alertness of Nadal, 8 jets, Agassi teaching himself to play, sounds like a dream …