PARIS (AP) — The Slovakian teen who beat Venus Williams was as popular as could be among the youngsters attending the French Open’s annual kids’ day.
A couple of hours after her three-set victory over Williams, 56th-ranked Anna Schmiedlova was wandering in a hallway alongside entrances to the stands of the tournament’s main stadium.
Suddenly, she was surrounded — by dozens of autograph seekers.
Schmiedlova is only 19, but all of her new fans were younger than that, and they thrust hats or oversized tennis balls or little notepads at her.
She obliged request after request, signing the first few letters of her last name on each object.
— Howard Fendrich, http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
WORLD CUP FEVER: Forget about the French Open for a second, Roger and Novak, some people want to talk about the World Cup.
Both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic won their second-round matches at Roland Garros on Wednesday, and both were asked about the upcoming soccer tournament.
“I’m very excited,” said Federer, who will be cheering for his native Switzerland. “For us, we are very happy to be qualified for the World Cup and having a chance in our group, really. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Djokovic is from Serbia, which failed to qualify.
“I’m going to be supporting the neighboring countries — Bosnia and Croatia, they are playing,” Djokovic said.
— Chris Lehourites
QUIET, PLEASE: Keeping children quiet on kids’ day at the French Open was never going to be easy. And it was tough on Tomas Berdych’s ears.
The sixth-seeded Berdych, who advanced to the third round on Wednesday, got angry with chair umpire Marijana Veljovic for failing to maintain silence during his match.
“The kids are kids and they (are) going to always enjoy it,” Berdych said. “They want to be really loud. But I was more irritated by the referee.
“She was really probably not well experienced for that. She definitely couldn’t hold the situation. Really, I mean, she was trying to step in (during) the wrong time, when already the guy was serving.”
— Trung Latieule
French Open Watch follows tennis’ clay-court Grand Slam tournament in Paris as seen by journalists from The Associated Press. It will be updated throughout the day.
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