Reem’s French Open diary: Crazy antics aplenty at Roland Garros

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Mikhail Youzhny back to his angry best.

The first couple of days at Roland Garros have been your typical slam-openers. Court invaders, gossip outbreaks, underhand serves on a stadium court, scary piegons… you know, the usual.

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After Roger Federer complained about security when he had to fend for himself against a fan who approached him on centre court for a ‘selfie’, a few of the players weighed in on the situation but naturally, Ernests Gulbis’ views were the most enlightening.

Asked if those kind of incidents worried him, the charismatic Latvian said with a laugh: “No, I’m gonna react. Maybe if somebody is big I’m going to run. Maybe if somebody smaller I might stay.”

Elsewhere, Russian veteran Mikhail Youzhny revived his head-banging days when he lost it early in the first set while facing Bosnian Damir Dzumhur.

Youzhny got broken in the fifth game and slammed his racquet against his forehand repeatedly – a scene reminiscent of his fit against Nicolas Almagro in Miami in 2008. He didn’t bleed this time but still, how is hitting yourself in the head a good idea mid-match? He retired in the second but contrary to what we might think, it wasn’t due to concussion.

“I saw it once before, he did it a few years ago, I couldn’t believe it. But then when I saw it today on the court, I was just ‘wow’,” said Dzumhur of Youzhny’s bizarre behaviour.

Elsewhere, Frenchwoman Virginie Razzano also rolled back the years, reminding us of Martina Hingis’ infamous final against Steffi Graf in 1999, by serving underhand, not once but twice.

Razzano even did it on a match point, double-faulting as a result, but still ended up winning her first round, on Suzanne Lenglen stadium nonetheless.

The last match of the day on Suzanne Lenglen saw Sloane Stephens get a scare, not from her opponent Venus Williams, but from none other than a piegon. The American’s reaction was priceless.

“It was a very dramatic moment, I would say,” said Stephens. “I thought the bird – first of all, I didn’t know what it was.

“I thought it was way closer to me than it actually was. So that was another, why I screamed so loud. And I don’t know, in the moment, you know, things just happen and it was just scary and I was like, ahhh and a scream came out. And then she probably wasn’t happy because she probably would have hit an ace and it was just a weird moment.

“I’m afraid of anything that comes swooping down from I don’t know where.”

Like I said, a typical first two days at the French.

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