When my Paris story is over, it will contain more memorable chapters than I could ever have imagined when it began. Saturday at the Women’s Finals of the French Open, though, will definitely be one of the highlights. I still can’t quite believe what a day it was.
A friend offered us tickets to either a men’s semi-final match or the women’s finals. We opted for the women because it fell on a Saturday. And because- women’s tennis. Fortunately for us (and for the players) the heat wave broke and the day was sunny but not nearly as hot as the previous day. We took the metro and then had a short walk to the Roland Garros stadium grounds, which I had never seen and were lovely.
We followed our instructions to pick up our tickets and wristbands at Gate T, where we met our host. When he appeared, he gave us the difficult choice of joining the rest of the party at lunch, or going directly to our seats where the Men’s Semifinals was finishing up after a rain delay on Friday. We opted for lunch, which proved to be the right choice. The food was a gourmet five-course meal in an elegant setting, accompanied by fabulous wines and champagne.
This was our main course- sole with mushrooms and a wonderful sauce.
Our table had a great view of a large screen showing the men’s match, so we didn’t miss a thing!
After lunch our host ushered us quickly to our seats, just as the women were beginning to warm up. I was shocked to be shown to a seat in the front row just behind a service court. I would not ever have dared hoped for such amazing seats! As an added bonus, they were very comfortable.
Here was our view of the court.
Pretty cool, right? We were so close we could hear Serena’s exclamations that got her a warning from the Guy In The Chair. The TV camera was directly on us each time it was pointed at the server or receiver in our corner. It added a lot of extra pressure to mind our manners, but I don’t think we embarrassed ourselves. Several people reported seeing us on TV and no one said we were doing anything too ridiculous.
The awards ceremony was at the far end of the court, but I zoomed in for this one.
On our way out of the grounds we walked through a lovely food tent decorated with garlands of real peonies.
These attractive chairs were arranged in a courtyard in front of a huge screen, where people who didn’t have court tickets watched the match.
Such an amazing day! I know that from now on, each time I sit at home watching the French Open I will remind whomever is with me that one year I got to sit in a primo seat at Roland Garros and watch Serena Williams win it. I can’t wait. It’s gonna be great.
That evening Mark and I sat by the river and toasted our marvelous day. We were kind of sad to see it end. But at least it ended like this.