roland garros / french open 2018 parting thoughts

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Oh hey!! Ya girl is back at it and wow does it feel hella weird to be blogging again! Now that first year and exams are over (parti parti) I am free to return to blogging and have all Summer free to invest time into lil old yasmin stefanie dot com – I started calling it that ironically and now I can’t stop, always the way. My old Sunday Wednesday schedule shall return, though I’m not sure if I’ll go fully back in straight away, but as today is the first schedule day since I became free for the Summer, and today happens to be Roland Garros finals day, I thought another parting thoughts would be a nice lil comeback.

ICYMI, I did one of these posts for the Australian Open and it was hella fun so I’ve decided to keep it up. Inspired by the wonderful Jon Wertheim whose fifty parting thoughts from Slams I have now been reading religiously for a year as of RG17 and look forward to at the end of every Slam. Except, ykno, as I put it when tweeting about my AO parting thoughts, you can get some opinions from a nineteen year old fashion blogger who has only been seriously watching tennis for about two years and can’t even play it to save her life. Refreshing perspective, I know x

PS, yes I know the pics have no correlation to the French Open but obvs did not go to be able to get photos there since I was on the revision grind. First year that I’m out of education I’m making it my mission to go since it always falls around exam time. Tbh, I’m wearing the rainbow dress today so wore it to watch the final so that’s a close enough link for me.


I’m going to start on a personal note rather than anything related to the tournament itself – think of it as a lil catchup after my short hiatus. This is my first blog post in a little while, and I’ve been inconsistent since Easter. I’ve said it many a time on here and on twitter and the gram, and already in this blog post lol, but exams and revision and deadlines consumed me so I knew I couldn’t justify putting time into this blog as much as I wanted to. Also, I just wanted to enjoy life because I was enjoying life, so when I wasn’t on the grind I didn’t want to use my free time for my blog, I wanted to be selfish. Funnily enough, I wrote a post about being more selfish a few months ago and haven’t really been enforcing it until recently. ANYWAY, I’m back, full of ideas and ready to rebrand this blog. This Summer is going to be spent investing a lot of time into the blog, also I haven’t replied to blog comments for a good two months so I am so very sorry, I really hope y’all don’t think I’m being big headed and thinking I’m too good to reply, and I will sit down and do it asap rocky. So yeah, this is where we are at rn and I’m very excited to get stuck back into blogging over the Summer. WordPress migration and a whole new ~vibe~ for this blog. Roland Garros always falls around exams and, as I’ve mentioned before, my brain is literally wired to revise whilst watching a clay match. It feels pretty fitting that at the start of the tournament I had only done one of five of my exams, and I finished them and first year on Friday before finals weekend. You know when Eurosport show a round up of the entire two weeks of the tournament once it’s over? I was watching it like wow my life has changed so much just through the fortnight of the tournament, I remember watching my exam count get lower and lower each round of the tournament as I took more and more and got closer to the end of first year. And now, here we are. So much relief to be done.


Simona Halep. Just, Simona Halep. I can’t think of a person I’d be happier for winning their first Slam – ok, maybe aside from Shapo. There’s something about Simona, she has this real-ness about her. Sometimes she loses badly, a la that bagel Elina served her in the Rome final the other week, and she’s never afraid to show her emotions when she’s feeling frustrated in moments like that, but time and time again she gets back up stronger and more determined than ever. Her sense of humour and her entire personality is a solid 11/10, she is the sweetest, funniest girl. I can’t think of anyone more deserving of finally nabbing a Slam title. She’s been knocked back three times but she’s never let it phase her (as she said in her pre-final press conference when talking about her consistent slam final loses, ‘no one died’) and she finally got what she deserved in the end. Karma is real, kiddies, and Simo deserves all the good karma in the world. Everything about her win filled me with so much happiness and joy – her face when Sloane netted the ball, her lil tears, her interview, her being hoisted up by the speaker to see her box, her hugs with Darren and her family, the entire trophy ceremony – especially when Sloane showed her how to hoist the trophy up. I can’t not feel so super happy inside when I think about her win yesterday, she’s such a ray of sunshine. It was also nice to see both the WTA and ATP #1s win the titles, it felt right. Also, I called her RG win in my AO parting thoughts post and, honestly, now she’s won one I can see her banging out a lot more in the near future. One more grand slam title by the end of the year?


Lil Zverev and the week of the five setters. Feels like a Harry Potter book, right? Ok but seriously, am I right or not because I’ve never read the books or seen the movies to know if I used the reference properly. Lil Z’s second, third and fourth round matches all saw him coming from 2-1 sets down to win the match in five sets, against Lajovic, Dzumhur and Khachanov respectively. I’ll say what I said about it on twitter, I am extremely proud of the kid for getting through one of those matches, let alone three in a row, because he’s been bashed for his inability in slams and over five sets for the last year or so, and we all see the high expectations he has for himself, so he must be pretty hard on himself for not achieving at slams in the same way he does on the ATP tour. Him being able to get through those matches would’ve done wonders for his self-confidence RE slams and were a big, big deal for him. Here’s the problem though – those matches were the kind of matches Sascha was expected to win fairly easily and yes, I know that in tennis you can’t make these claims and have expectations because anyone can show up on the day and surprise you, but he needed to conserve his energy so that he could go five sets in later stages of the tournament against people worth wasting energy on, like Dominic Thiem. Zverev’s 2-1 set down five set wins might have ended up hindering him here at the French Open because he was too tired once it got to important matches, like a Thiem QF, but I think they’re only going to help him in every single Grand Slam from here on out so, long term, it can only be good thing. I am v proud of the kid for this week.


Let’s talk Queen Serena. The world’s most inspirational woman made her comeback to Grand Slam tennis this fortnight, for the first time since she won the 2017 Australian Open whilst pregnant, and for the first time since nearly dying after giving birth during the 2017 US Open. She was so super impressive, especially against Barty and Goerges, and she so would’ve won the Sharapova showdown had she not gotten injured. I cried after she won her first match back, lol. We all know how I feel about Serena Williams. I think that, beyond tennis, she is one of the best people this world has ever seen. She is one of the most, if not the most, inspiring and empowering people ever. Everything she achieves is on a whole other level, we all know how what she’s doing is beyond what anyone would ever be capable of. I don’t wanna sit here and state the obvious, but Serena Williams is my biggest role model in life, so to finally have her back on the court (ok, I know there was IW and Miami but you know what I mean), there is no better feeling. Other Serena news this fortnight revolved around the catsuit, which I was obsessed with. She looked so strong and fierce, and her message behind it made it even better. And, in more Serena Williams fashion news, she launched her clothing line Serena during the tournament and I WANT EVERYTHING. Out here waiting for her to release the underwear in white before I go mad and place an order for more than I need but everything I want. Anyway, bring on Wimbledon because I can’t wait to see my favourite woman doing bits on the grass.

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A moment of silence for the loss of Yasmin’s favourite people from the top 150. Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka will officially drop outside of the top 150 and top 250 respectively in the rankings tomorrow. It hurts. Like, let me tell you, it hurts. But hey, look at what Sloane did this tournament, and in the last year. Ranked outside the top 950 a year ago, she’s now been in two slam finals and won one of them, and goes to world number four tomorrow, so there is hope for my two favourites and two members of the big five. It is going to be awful to see them unseeded and needing wildcards to get into tournaments, and we still don’t even know if Muzza will come back on the grass as expected. It hurt to see Stan lose that five setter, a lot. It’s going to hurt to see them struggle whilst they try to navigate their comebacks, but I’m sure they’ll get back to their best, or near-best, eventually.


Speaking of the big five, Rafa’s win today means that since the 2005 French Open, aka a solid thirteen years, all Grand Slams bar two have been won by the big five. Like, it’s a mental stat. It’s one we all knew, but when you really think about it, it is crazy. Five people have dominated the men’s game consistently for over a decade, since I was six bloody years old(!!) and it seems impossible, but that’s exactly what’s happened. The fact that there’s five of them helps, of course, because if a couple of them have a dip in form the others will be there to keep winning as we’ve seen, but it is crazy. And it helps contribute to the argument that nobody is able to step up and match them, that none of the younger generations have what it takes to beat them over five sets and two weeks. In all honestly, especially seeing Fedal’s 2016 seasons cut short and the recent struggles of Novak, Muzza and Stan, I love the dominance and want it to continue for as long as possible because it won’t last forever, so let’s lap it up whilst we can.


Mahut’s child is my new favourite person. After the French doubles duo’s win yesterday, the most heartwarming scenes ensued. See it for yourself, melts my ice heart. And that doesn’t include the dancing, his reaction in the players’ box during the TB, and him throwing towels to fans.


Federer’s fashion almost overshadowed the entire men’s final. Rumours began spreading just before and during today’s final that Fed didn’t resign with Nike after their contract ended in March, and instead signed a ten year deal with Uniqlo. Ten years?! Is mans expecting to play until he’s 46?! I’ll happily take that. I mean, we don’t know for sure yet and he was pictured in a Nike top in Stuttgart today, so maybe we have to wait for his press conference after his first match there to hear more, or for his match to see what he shows up in. It just doesn’t add up, he happily shared his contribution in the process of designing his outfits and having input in the look other players had during the AO, and he’s one of the most important athletes for Nike to continue to invest in, so it really doesn’t add up. We’ll wait and see. This whole thing over Nike owning the RF logo makes it extra interesting but, yep, we shall see.


At the beginning of the tournament, Marco Trungelliti seemed to be the fairytale story. When he lost to Marco Cecchinato, we didn’t know he was about to take over the fairytale. Ceck’s run to the semi final, beating players like PCB, Goffin and Djokovic on the way was some next level Ja’mie ‘I am so random, I can’t believe I just did that’ moment. He played some incredibly impressive tennis, may we never ever forget that fourth set tiebreak against Djokovic which was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen and had me screaming in disbelief in my tiny lil uni room (I dread to think what my flatmates thought was happening) at my laptop. It’s a shame this whole old match fixing thing could ruin that and has been the disclaimer attached to his amazing run here. Going back to Trungelliti, or road trip boy as I call him, his story was a sweet lil heart warmer and he deserved his lil fifteen minutes of fame after. I hope the media attention can help him get WCs into other tournaments.


Lil Zverev and the Yorkshire man. This is book two. Sascha fell in love with a Yorkshire reporter’s accent this tournament and it was the highlight of his press conferences. I bet you any money it’s going to be milked again at Wimbledon and the BBC or Eurosport or some British broadcaster will set up an interview segment between the two.

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Dominic Thiem stepped it up. After two years of losing in the semi finals, to Djokovic and Nadal each respective year, he went one better and made the final. He played so well in the final, like so well. The scoreline did not do his performance any justice, and what Ken Rosewall said to him in his speech at the end was so uncalled for. Do not publicly call out a young man who has just played impressively and achieved his best ever slam result when he’s obviously already feeling disappointed. I was one of many who thought Thiem’s decision to play Lyon the week before RG was ridiculous and would be detrimental to him during the slam, but I happily hold my hands up and admit defeat because Thiem announced himself more than ever here. We’ve always known him to be a threat on clay, and Rafa’s only threat in the last two years, but by making his first Slam final here which, let’s be real, is the best possible result anyone not named Rafa Nadal can hope for in RG whilst the King of Clay is still active, he’s shown that he has what it takes to be consistent and go the distance.


Rafa won, but not without some drama. In the third set, whilst serving at 2-1 30-0, everything suddenly stopped. He ran to his bench with his left hand, aka his playing hand, twisted up and convulsing. His fingers were literally bending backwards like when you see possessed people in horror movies. It was scary to watch, so imagine how scary it would’ve been to be him and feel that. I think he was still a bit in shock about it by the match point. It seems like it was just cramp, but I really feel for him because imagine feeling that out of nowhere, it being so bad you have to run to your bench and rip all your tapings off and call for supervisors and medics, and worrying that this could not only cost you the final but maybe the next few months of the season. He won the entire tournament dropping only one set to Diego Schwartzman, who was seriously impressive this fortnight and deserves a shoutout (apart from the fact that he ruined my bet on Rafa winning the title without dropping a set, ffs broke student me needed that) but he did struggle in some moments of some matches. Rafa seemed a little subdued today, not sure if he was conserving his energy because of the heat and humidity, something he mentioned to the umpire so must’ve been having an effect on him, not sure if it was because he was still shocked and worried about his hand. I expected him to fall to his back or knees when he won, but he didn’t. He honestly looked a little shell shocked and relieved to have won, and it seemed like those feelings took over his natural celebrations. But you could see how much it meant to him when he had a little sob watching the trophy. I can’t tell you how hard I had to hold in sobs myself whilst watching it. Love you Rafa. Now at 17 slam titles, 11 being here at RG, what a GOAT.


Some mentions for Svitolina, Ostapenko, Venus and Kvitova. People that a lot of the tennis world expected to do better here. Ostapenko, last year’s winner, essentially won the wooden spoon this year, but funnily enough this was probably the least surprising of the four mentioned losses. Penko’s game is one of those all-or-nothing styles that can see her lose first round or go all the way depending on the given day, and we’ve now seen each extreme here in Paris. It is sad that she didn’t feel 100% and did make a point to tell the tournament that she didn’t want to play on the first day because she wasn’t feeling good enough, because knowing her she could’ve defended her title if she had a couple extra days rest before the first round, but that’s tennis. Elina has always been compared to Zverev regarding slams, but this comparison doesn’t work for me because for the gals, Slams don’t change too much since they remain best-of-three, but for the guys it steps up to best-of-five, I’ve spoken before about how I’d like to see equality and best-of-five for the gals too, but Zverev’s issue seemed to be with holding it out over five sets, whereas Svitolina’s must be a thing about slams themselves. I love Elina, she is my literal body goals and I swear if I don’t look like her by the end of Summer now I have more time to gym I am not going to be happy. I love her game and I want her to do well more than anything, so it was sad to see her lose. Venus deserves better than to lose first round in two slams in a row, but she does well on the grass so I’m excited to see her do bits at Wimbledon, like her sister. Kvitova’s story is still so impressive, a year ago she came here as her first tournament back after a home invasion in which she was stabbed in her playing hand, something that was career-threatening and could’ve been life-threatening, won her first match and then lost. Since then she’s won so many titles, especially this year, and she had a clay court winning streak Rafa would be impressed by. Four lovely ladies who deserved to go further but, hey, there’s always next year. Also a mention for Madison Keys, however in a more positive context, who impressed me so much and seems like the nicest gal, and earned that semi final run with her admirable play over the course of the tournament.


Djokovic looked close to his best, and then suddenly at his lowest. Over the clay court swing, Novak was looking more and more impressive, getting close to the high level he used to be at, and then he lost his QF to Cecchinato in four sets, having had break and set points multiple times that could’ve put him in an opportunity to win the match. The thing is, he played so amazingly well in that match anyway, but because it was a match he just should’ve won, especially on paper, it hurt him. He went to press in an unusually small room straight after, said little but did say that he didn’t know if he’d even play grass. It seemed like a wild claim he made in the heat of the moment whilst upset and angry, and he has every right to. Some people were pretty hard on him for his reaction but, as Nadal would say, he’s just a human person. If I was a tennis player I’d be making claims that I was retiring and quitting the sport after a tough loss, only to return to a tournament a week later and bang it out, so I totally understand that Novak was having a moment. Who doesn’t? Who can honestly say they don’t get really upset and annoyed about something and make a bold statement or wild claim after because you’re so frustrated your judgement is clouded and you can’t logically think about it until you’ve calmed down? I can probably think of ten examples in my life from the last week, lol we love a drama queen, so his reaction was completely warranted and he deserved to have it without anyone making judgemental comments. He does seem at a very high level again though, so here’s hoping he does come and play grass because he’s on the way back up and is already a big contender for me in the rest of the year’s slams. I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the Muzza Novak finals and Djokovic winning literally everything.


Heading to grass, there are more uncertainties and questions than ever. The big five are expected to be at Wimbledon, but there are doubts as to whether they’ll all show up. And, if they do, who will struggle and who will impress? Will Federer cruise to another Wimbledon title? Will Rafa go further this year? Will Rafa pull out of Queen’s again? Will Muzza even come back? Will Stan continue to struggle? Will Novak uphold his previously mentioned wild claim and, if he doesn’t, how will he fare in the tournament? Will he take an Eastbourne WC again? Can he please because I’m going? Then there’s Serena who looked like she could’ve easily taken the RG crown yesterday had she not got injured and withdrawn – how will she do in Wimbledon? Will she go unconventional and play a warm up tournament to get extra match play to prepare and ensure her a Wimbledon victory? Can she take an Eastbourne WC because I’m going? Please? Please please please? Will she wear another cat suit? Will she finally drop the white underwear set in her Serena clothing line so I can throw my money at it? Plus we have comebacks from Kyrgios, probably Raonic, Federer if you consider his choice skipping of clay for a second year in a row time that he has to ‘come back’ from. I’m very interested to see how Kygs does. How will Sharapova do, she seemed to be a factor for big titles again until Muguruza defeated her pretty easily. I’m so excited for the grass court season because not only am I heading back to Wimby this year, my happy place, I’m also finally showing up to Eastbourne which makes a lot of sense since it’s half an hour away. And the fact that Denis Shapovalov is playing, my new fave in the absence of Muzza and Stan, honestly just makes me the happiest gal ever. Also, allows me to be safe in the knowledge that I won’t be the youngest person there by years. Thanks Denis x

I’m so intrigued about the grass part of the season because there are all these questions about so many players, and the draws seem so much more open nowadays. More importantly, I’m so excited to go watch some tennis in the sun drinking Pimms and living my best life. See y’all on the grass!

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It’s late af and I can’t think of any more, I’m sure I’ll have some pop into my head and regret not writing them but it’s more ~authentic~ and makes these thoughts actual parting ones. Congrats Simo and Rafa, you two are some of the sweetest ever.


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