The weather forecast for the second day of tennis was… not good. Cloudy with an 80% chance of showers. But maybe it will be okay, right? We had tickets in Susan Lenglen, the smaller of their two large stadiums. It looked pretty exciting since we were going to see Nadal in his first big match since he quit tennis for six months due to injury.
The early matches didn’t look all that interesting, so we started on the side courts. Melanie Oudin started the day against Zheng. Oudin looked like she was not in good shape and Zheng was a machine. She got crushed. The final point of the game came just as the light sprinkles turned to steady, soaking rain.
We ran out and hid under an overhang and waited for the rain to end. When it became apparent that we were in for the long haul, Dana decided we needed to find food. This was our only day not to get lunch in the suite, so we started cruising the booths and found a sandwich. We stood in line, in the rain, for most of an hour to have a tuna sandwich that was 90% bread and 10% some kind of tuna. By the time we finished our lunch, the rain had lessened so we took off for the stadium in the hope they would play soon.
We saw one match with Grigory Dimitrov, aka Little Fed, aka Sharipova’s main squeeze. He’s kind of a newcomer, but he can really hit a ball! The match got interrupted once for a shower and one more time because of serious rain. Azarenka played a newcomer named Beck off and on until Azarenka decided the rain had become too strong. She started off the court with lots of boos, but the sky started to open up. When the rain hit, the grounds keepers sprang into action. Within seconds, they had the entire court covered in blue sheets of plastic to keep off the rain. Then we settled in to wait.
Eventually, the rain let up and they uncovered the court and groomed it for the match. Nadal and his opponent came out to warm up. It started to sprinkle as they finished the warmup, and seconds later they called the match. The rain started in ernest again. We waited around for a half hour and things didn’t slow down, so we took off.
We had two New Zealanders with us on the tour. They hung onto us as we navigated the subway system. We had hundreds of people mashed in together in the subway system trying to get out of the rain. It was an experience. But we got home without problem.