PARIS (AP) — When it’s raining at the French Open, spectators have more options than the players.
While the start of play in Wednesday’s quarterfinals was being delayed by a downpour, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray chatted with members of his entourage in the players’ lounge in the main stadium.
Sara Errani, the 2012 runner-up at Roland Garros, hung out with doubles partner Roberta Vinci in the locker room — Vinci posted a photo on Twitter to prove it.
Some fans, meanwhile, sought shelter inside shops selling tennis gear. Others lined up at various food stands. And some found their way to the French Tennis Federation museum on the grounds.
Those craving tennis action braved the rain while watching a video board outside Court Suzanne Lenglen that showed highlights of Tuesday’s quarterfinal between Ernests Gulbis and Tomas Berdych.
— Trung Latieule
SHINE A LIGHT: While Gael Monfils waits for lights to be installed at the French Open, the people of France wait for a homegrown men’s champion at Roland Garros.
The 23rd-seeded Monfils rallied from two sets down to force a fifth set against Andy Murray on Wednesday in the quarterfinals, but the fast-descending darkness pushed the last Frenchman in the tournament to start making too many mistakes. So instead of Monfils, it will be Murray back in the semifinals after a 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 1-6, 6-0 victory.
“The real thing is it will be better when we (are) going to have lights here,” said Monfils, who had the boisterous crowd fully behind him as he turned the match around. “I wanted to finish today because I knew that Andy was tired and I was better than him.”
Roland Garros plans to have a retractable roof over the center court — with lights — by 2017. But that didn’t help Monfils at all Wednesday.
The fifth set started at 9:19 p.m., with the gloaming already enveloping Court Philippe Chatrier. The match ended 21 minutes later.
“I don’t really know what happened,” said Monfils, who was trying to become the first Frenchman since Yannick Noah in 1983 to win the title at Roland Garros. “It was very fast.”
— Chris Lehourites
French Open Watch follows tennis’ clay-court Grand Slam tournament in Paris as seen by journalists from The Associated Press.
Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.