Storylines from Roland Garros 2020

Beyond The Baseline


Everyone John, we're up here in this week's sports illustrated tennis podcast late Wednesday night we have reached the round of four. We've reached the semi. Draws so Jamie and I will talk some tennis from Roland Garros and. We would try to keep it sufficiently general. So the school be absolutely by the time you're listening Jamie how are you? I'm good. How are you from a little little cold but no complaints it's been spin. French Open like no other, it's been an interesting interesting time so far but you know the the good news is Kobe hasn't really become the story, and if we're talking about the chilly weather and not a global pandemic, that's a win in itself. In here, we are at the business end of our second major in four weeks. You're cold or office cold. I think some other players are cold I think joke just cold I've seen a lot of PARKAS. I actually double check the weather temperature today because I said, how cold is it? Really there people are inferred jackets and you know Winter Winter Parkas I think some people look like they're going skiing. Is it really that cold I? Mean you're you have survived many New York winters what's going on? Oh boy I'll say a few things. One of them is that whatever the temperature is it is that an accurate indicator is has that sort of British chill where you're. Just coal to the bones. You know I mean obviously for for athletes it's it's different. You're running around your your body's warming up than stopping as rob pointed out I think some of this is just what people are accustomed to. There's a part of me that doesn't mind it. You know we we played tennis in extreme conditions or extreme heat must failure I think it probably speaks well of the sport that same players that win when it's one hundred twenty degrees or winning when it's forty nine degrees. I would say that I think this has had a bit of an impact, not so much on the level of play but I don't think the caliber of play has dropped because everybody is. Dressed like they're going skiing I think it hasn't changed the mood in the vibe and we've got Novakova did and it's it's just funny how these tournament sort of change as they progress but there there is not been as far as i. can tell a whole lot of Kobe fear doesn't seem to be much of the talk it doesn't come up much in press conferences. Does, players like Daniel Collins shoot it down, but it's been if this is not the French Open that people are used to and I thought at the US Open the apparel manufacturers missed a golden opportunity not to do more with the surface area of these masks. Why not put a? Cough alligator or Nike swoosh mask, and here it's time to show off the winter gear in the Lacoste and Nike. And Adidas Park aware because as soon as the vitamins you've seen like as soon as the players. Get done leaving the court they as a record it Patrick of did it they all put on Ski Jack So It's been a twist on the tournament but again I mean. For the last six months you and I have been talking about. Bubbles and pandemics, and how are we going to get athletes from all over the world? Into into a common spot. And the fact that the talk has been a lot about. Tennis and conditions and scheduling and doubles and singles in wide open draws. And not about players tested positive I think is a good sign. For sure. I wanted to ask you I was reading and piece by CPS ignore and he he said that you know it was about the handshakes in about, of course, how they're really not happening anymore the racket touch. is now has now replaced it, and so I actually thought twenty because in the past few matches, we've actually seen some players after you know after the match in in the t match, he did it and there was some others where you know. They go to the night in a do this very strange hesitant high five or maybe there is a little bit of an embrace and course you sit there and you cringe and you say, oh no, they're touching each other amino they're so close I talk about Kobe and all this What is Of the players talked about the handshake what about you just watching? On my end I feel like You know a lot of after really great matches long matches. It's nice to see two opponents kind of embrace each other or just kind of you know pat each other on the back for for a hard-fought match and we don't see that what what are your thoughts on on just the lack of handshakes in this cova time. Yeah. You see handshakes like if you have. I have this thing where like I'll watch an old movie your you'll cringe and say, no social distance, oh. Yes. This was a bill before March of twenty twenty. So, yeah you see these these. Sort of belly paths or the even the on the shoulder at the you know the net you know I, mean I always loved the handshake I recited would've tennis is nice quirks. You spend hours battling with this opponent, and then the very first person you bake human contact with is that same opponent When Ron Swanson say about handshakes after the for dry and. In three seconds or something like that it's it's great. Now I mean the racket tap is a little bit strange in some players are are not even doing that other players are as as you know, there are have been a couple of exceptions. Dominant team seems to be a a serial offender which probably ultimately speaks well of him and it has has actually gone gone the hand I. He did what after the US Open finally did there were some some contact against Schwartzman I. Don't know I feel at some level you've been. You've been hitting a sweaty tennis ball back and forth for three hours at your opponent is touch. you know none of us are perfectly convicted and our Kobe protocol and the same person who watches groceries is. Also holding the poll on the subway. Think I think we all have a inconsistencies. I have to think if you've been using the same tennis ball as as another opponent and your bodily fluid is getting on that same tennis ball I don't know if you brush palms at the net for a second to is that really so bad but yeah. I mean there are a lot of sort of jarring little twists I mean the lack of a crowd I think has been especially acute here in France especially when French players have taken the court because often the the fans try to impose themselves on the match here Dan. Is it really happening? it'll be interesting to see what stays in what doesn't I mean if I never see another ball kid and all towel again, that's that's probably a good thing It's very strange doing a courtside interviewed a math. It'll be interesting to see I mean I think we're already sort of looking to twenty twenty, one I suspect there will be him shakes at the twenty twenty one Australian Open because the players will of quarantine for two weeks and essentially what what I'm wants the players were there. And test negative in are in this this quarantine situations that they they don't even have to wear masks

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