Although neither of us cares one whit about tennis, the rest of the town is certainly preoccupied every May and June with the Internationaux de Paris, known everywhere but here as the French Open. (Or, I should say, every May and June except during World Cup years, when that upcoming event trumps everything. More on that later.) Entry into the gates is, of course, restricted to those for whom this event means so much that they would plunk down who-knows-what for a ticket, so all of my pictures will have to come from the street. Oh, well...let us away, to Stade Roland Garros.
Most of the action focuses on Center Court, where the colossal stands allow for a great many fans to squeeze in to see the bigger draws, like Venus, Martina, and others. Of course, by the time I trudged out here for the quarterfinals, virtually every big-name star not born in France had already been eliminated.
The complex is technically located just outside of Paris, in the southwestern suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt. It's at the far end of that particular Métro line, into which fans by the hundreds were pouring as I emerged from the train. Uh-oh...something tells me that match on TV ended quicker than I had anticipated.
If you're lucky, you can sometimes catch the participants warming up between matches on some of the peripheral courts. Actually, I have no idea who this is. I probably wouldn't know him even if I had a zoom lens.
Shooting through a fence and a gap in the hedges (and using the not-so-great digital zoom to boot), I am astonished to have gotten this good an "action photo" of the men's doubles quarterfinals. You'll note the much reduced crowd size. Seems nobody cares as much about the doubles tournament. Sorry, fellas.
The Other Paris