14 May

Paris 2014 – French Open

My parents were coming over to Europe for a business trip and tagged on some travel. My family is bound by tennis. We have all played tennis growing up as my mum was a professional player and coach. Growing up there were many family bouts on the court that didn’t always finish with us drinking lemonade and pims. Definitely where we all get our competitive spirit!

I met my parents in Paris on Sunday 25 May. I had a cricket match in London on Saturday so I could only fly in on Sunday. It was a long weekend in London so I had the Monday off as well to enjoy with my parents in Paris. We had a nice Airbnb in central Paris which was perfect to explore the city. I had been to Paris before so it was nice to just enjoy Paris at a leisurely pace and not rush around to see everything again. Paris is a nice city, to be honest, it is just another city for me. It has never blown me away. It is beautiful around the old town, amazing history, beautiful food and culture, though for me there are other cities that I would go back to. Maybe I just haven’t experienced Paris like others.

On Sunday morning I just really enjoyed relaxing at the Champ de Mars in the sun, they had a big screen TV playing the French Open tennis so there was a fun atmosphere in the park. Earlier in the year, Russia had invaded Crimea so there were protests close to the Eiffel Tower urging for France to support Ukraine. Was interesting to see these protests as I was at the Winter Olympics earlier that year in Sochi, Russia when they invaded Crimea.

In 2008 I studied law school at UOttawa and one of my close friends from UOttawa was a fellow exchange student Alice from Paris. It was great to catch up with Alice and her boyfriend on Sunday afternoon with my parents. Alice took us up to the Sacre-Coeur for the afternoon and took us out for a drink. Was great to explore an area of Paris I had not been to yet and spend time with Alice in her home city.

Monday arrived and it was tennis time! Unfortunately the weather forecast wasn’t looking great… scattered rains all day. We had centre court (Court Philipper Chatrier) tickets for the day however with the rain it was nice to wonder around the outside courts to watch players warm up until matches were set to start. The French Open organisers have started construction on a roof for their two main courts now which should be ready for the 2020 French Open.

The majority of the day was raining however late in the day we got to enjoy Maria Sharapova vs Ksenia Pervak (6-2 6-2) and Novak Djokovic vs Joao Sousa (6-1 6-2 6-4). As you can see by the scorelines they weren’t the best matches to watch. However, it was a great experience to be at the French Open with my parents. It is a tournament I have always wanted to experience it was just a shame that the weather let us down. I’d love to go back.

I enjoyed the French Open though it was just a shame that the tournament is located so far outside of Paris. It took us over an hour to get there on the trains. The layout of the tournament was a bit disappointing with it primarily being concrete. I love the AU Open how it has so much grass for visitors/spectators to relax on with bean bags, chairs, benches, etc between matches. There were a few nice restaurants with open areas however other than that there was nowhere to just go have fun and relax. I know they are upgrading the tennis arena for the French Open for 2020 so I hope they bring in these changes.

I had a flight home that night as I needed to be back at work on Tuesday. It was great to see my parents and relax in Paris for a couple of days together. They would be coming over to London soon to catch up which I was also looking forward to.

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