ROLAND GARROS, RED LAND AND SWEAT

ROLAND GARROS, RED LAND AND SWEAT

I’ve been to Roland Garros.
That’s right, the famous tennis tournament in Paris.

And who wouldn’t want to go there at least once? Well of course, only if tennis is one of your passions, or if you’ve been chewing it for quite a few years.
I can’t say I’m a player, but on the other hand not all football fans play it, so not all tennis lovers hold a racket … even if in reality when I was young I played with it, I was told that I had a good forehand and a good time on the ball, but I never believed it.
And then the truth is that my backhand was painful!

In the last fifteen years I have seen a few tennis tournaments: a couple of times the Internazionali in Rome, the ATP Finals in London and a few minor tournaments in Italy and I must say that it is always a great show.
An elegant sport, that’s how I’ve always defined it, and I still believe it.

Roland Garros (this is the name of the stadium where the tournament is held) has been held every year in May since 1891, and is the second of the Grand Slam tournaments, the only one that takes place on clay.
From 1967 the international tournament became open, that is, from that year registration was allowed to all professional tennis players and not only to members of the club, who for their part considered the first, traitors to the spirit of sport.

On those fields the greatest players in the world have clashed, and they are doing so even these days. Do these names tell you anything?
Bjon Borg, John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal …
And many others to trample and slide on that red earth that soaks on sweaty skin, passion, sacrifices and the desire to win.
There would be many things to tell about tennis, but this is not the right place, instead I want to tell you how to organize a trip to spend one or more days at Roland Garros.
Paris is always a good idea and it’s easy to pair it with one of the most famous tournaments in the world.
How to get to Paris?
Starting from Italy, Paris is one of the capitals best served by scheduled and low cost flights. I flew with Easy Jet from Venice on Charles De Gaulle. Prices are always very affordable. My flight left on Saturday morning at dawn and returned on Monday in the late evening. A good solution from northern Italy is also the train which, for example, takes about six hours from Turin.

Where to buy Roland Garros tickets?
Tickets can be purchased on the official website of the tournament, but only from a certain date which is about a couple of months before the start of the match. There are various types and obviously various prices. The tournament lasts fifteen days and is held every year between the end of May and the beginning of June; the first qualifying matches have a fairly low cost, while the closer we get to the finals, the more costs grow exponentially.
The purchase of the tkt allows you to book a place in one of the central fields and to go around all the smaller fields of the club.
There is the option of waiting online for a few hours before purchasing, this is because many people are logged in to get the best seats.
I bought the tkt for the Simonne Mathieu court (one of the three main fields) which allowed me to watch two beautiful matches, the first between the French Gasquet and the German Zverev (Misha) and the second between Wawrinka and Kovalik, interspersed from other matches in the secondary fields.
The cost of my day ticket was 67 euros.
How does Roland Garros work?
Obviously, it is not known in advance who will play against whom, so the tickets are bought a little blindly, always hoping that the matches are good and that it doesn’t rain, in the latter case everything is postponed and the tkts are lost. For this there is an insurance in case of cancellation of the match, to be stipulated during the purchase phase.
Everything is perfectly organized, the tkt downloaded on the dedicated App, the frequent metro and buses from the center of Paris to the Bois de Boulogne district (even if my bus missed a ride …).
The queue to enter was small, but perhaps in my favor there was also the fact that I chose the first Monday of the tournament.
You pass the controls, like an airport and then you enter a beautiful world.

At every corner, security and information officers are at your complete disposal for advice and clarifications.
A plus point for the mobile application that allowed me to see in real time what and where the matches and scores were, without wasting further time, also because the distance between the extreme fields is completed in about fifteen minutes.
If for some reason you can no longer participate, you can put your tickets on sale and even buy them at the last minute if someone has given up.

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