When the announcement was made at 13:40 Monday that all matches were cancelled, everyone, from the players to the coaches to the media were surprised at how early the call was made.
It was the right call, considering the rain never stopped – it got even stronger – but we were all thinking the same thing: What do we do now?
The players had a full day to kill, the journalists had newspaper space to fill with no matches to cover and the coaches needed to manage their charges in a way to make sure they didn’t over-think the situation.
I stopped by the players’ lounge around 15:00 and barely anyone was there.
Dominic Thiem and his coach Gunter Bresnik were leaving site, Novak Djokovic’s team were grabbing a bite at the restaurant and Boris Becker stopped to greet Amelie Mauresmo on the way out, giving her a quick back rub as a nice little bonus.
I saw Albert Ramos-Viñolas, a surprise quarter-finalist here, who admitted he never expected to be still alive in the tournament in the second week.
After all, he had lost in the first round on his last four trips to Paris. He was so sure he wouldn’t make it this far that he had told his father to schedule his 60th birthday dinner last Saturday, and that he would definitely be there.
“Two months ago I told my dad – because he asked me when to schedule his birthday dinner and I told him put it on the first Saturday of Roland Garros because I’ll be home,” said Ramos-Viñolas.
“I’m so happy to still be here and he’s also so happy, because no one expected this. We’re going to try to enjoy the moment.
“My parents weren’t here (for my win over Raonic), they were at the birthday dinner in Spain, I don’t know if they’ll come to my next match. They watched me on TV. Everybody is like crazy now. But I’ll try to get out of this now and concentrate on my next match.”
Former Roland Garros champion, Carlos Moya, who coaches Raonic, said he had never experienced such constant rain like this before in Paris.
Showers have been almost a continuous presence at Roland Garros over the past 10 days, with few exceptions, and the Spaniard is definitely surprised by it.
Asked if he remembers a time he faced this kind of rain at a grand slam during his playing days, Moya said: “I remember at the US Open one year we had four days in a row without play. But what I’ve seen here these 10 days in Paris, I’ve never seen it before in Paris. And today they cancelled play at 1:30pm, that’s something I’ve never seen before.
And how difficult will it be if players had to play best-of-five matches on back-to-back days?
Moya responded: “It’s hard, it depends on how long the matches are. I think it’s going to be important, if the weather stays like this, being fit is going to be very important.”
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