Roland Garros day 2 diary and highlights: Traffic jams and consolation hugs

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  • Gavrilova had a bad day in the office on Monday.

    The first few days of a Grand Slam are always so chaotic for everyone involved.

    For us journalists, watching a full match from start to finish is a real luxury with so many matches scheduled at the same time and press conferences being called every five minutes.

    Scheduling your interviews really becomes a form of art.

    You have to be clever about who you request for one-on-one interviews, or post-match chats, when to be at your desk to watch a clash on your monitor and when to go to the players’ lounge to look for a coach you need for a story.

    The players’ lounge during the first few days is like the Shibuya Crossing. So much is going on all at once. Players are being called to be escorted to their matches, others are eating or waiting for their practice time or match, families, friends and entourage are hanging out… amidst all this, I witnessed the sweetest little moment between Daria Gavrilova and Daria Kasatkina. It was only a few minutes after Gavrilova had lost her opener 7-6(4), 1-6, 6-4 to Elise Mertens and the Aussie was understandably upset.

    The lounge was so busy with many people either entering or leaving the restaurant – including one black-clad Bob Sinclar – when Kasatkina approached Gavrilova, gave her the warmest of hugs to console her, without uttering a single word. You gotta love the Dashas!

    There wasn’t just traffic jam at the players’ lounge. The interview rooms can also sometimes get accidentally double-booked even though the ITF team here do a fantastic job in trying to avoid that from happening but sometimes one press conference lasts longer than expected and a bottle neck occurs.

    Today, that happened with Feliciano Lopez. The Spaniard’s chat with his home press took so long, that Andrea Petkovic – who is a friend of Lopez’s – had to wait outside until they were done. She opened the door and said hello than waited outside peeping into the small window in the door.

    When he walked out, he asked her so eagerly, “did you win?” Sadly she hadn’t – news that left him momentarily crushed.

    Moving on to the action on court, here are some highlights from day two at Roland Garros…

    Point of the day

    Stats of the day

    4 – hours and 27 minutes, David Ferrer’s 5-7, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3, 13-11 win over Donald Young on Monday – longest contest of the day.
    9 – years since an Arab woman had won a singles main draw match at a Grand Slam. Ons Jabeur ended that drought on Monday by reaching the second round with a win over Ana Bogdan.

    Andrea Petkovic.

    Andrea Petkovic.

    Quotes of the day

    “I’ve learned that – I’ve been on tour for 10 years – sometimes it seems to be more difficult to be a character with principles than to be a champion. You have to take more things into consideration, it’s not just the wins that define a champion. If we think of Roger Federer, who brings so much more to the table, I think that’s also what it’s about, if you want to be a champion and be a role model for the little children out there.”

    Andrea Petkovic when asked to comment about Margaret Court’s intention to boycott Qantas Airlines due to its stance on same-sex marriage

    “I don’t like it. But anyway, I don’t think I’m playing so long anymore, so I don’t care what they are doing in the Next Generation Finals.”

    Andreas Seppi when asked about the shot clock on other new features to be trialed at the ATP NextGen Finals in Milan

    “I hate sometimes tennis (smiling). Is a big relation. Is a love that you have to love and then you hate sometimes. It’s like when you marry someone.”

    – One of the many gems from Francesca Schiavone

    Upset of the day

    Nikoloz Basilashvili.

    Nikoloz Basilashvili.

    Nikoloz Basilashvili (GEO) bt. Gilles Simon (FRA) [31] 1-6, 6-2, 6-4, 6-1

    The Georgian world No63 claimed his first-ever win at Roland Garros in three appearances, and his first Grand Slam win since Wimbledon 2015, with a four-set triumph over 31st-seeded home favourite Simon. The win ended Basilashvili’s five-match losing streak at the Slams.

    GIF of the day

    Day 3 highlights

    Simona Halep [3] v Jana Cepelova
    Dustin Brown v Gael Monfils [15]
    Thanasi Kokkinakis v Kei Nishikori [8]
    Philipp Kohlschreiber v Nick Kyrgios [18]
    Ashleigh Barty v Madison Keys [12]