Thursday, May 27, 2010

OUT! I think. Sorry I can't see the ball. Monfils match in French Open the darkest ever!

Sunset in Paris was at 9:40 p.m. on Wednesday evening. The match was halted at 9:56 p.m. local time. Patrick McEnroe, Pam Shriver and Darrin Cahill said it was the darkest conditions they had ever seen at a professional tennis match. It was so dark outside that the Shot Spot technology wasn't working because there were no shadows with which to gauge the positioning of the ball.

SHOOT: Jeepers this sounds ridiculous. Would have love to have seen it, but I guess no one did!
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Look closely at the picture above. If you squint closely you can see France's top player, Gael Monfils, standing in the foreground while serving to Italy's Fabio Fognini. Squint even closer and you might be able to find the ball Monfils was tossing into the air.

It was after 9:50 p.m. Wednesday in France and the pair were playing the fifth set of a bizarre second-round match at the French Open. A few minutes later, after Monfils saved three match points, play was suspended for darkness. The ball had barely been visible for the previous two games.

Monfils could barely move due to cramping and hobbled around the court. On his serve he stayed flat-footed and looked as if he was serving a volleyball in middle school gym class instead of in a Grand Slam tennis match. He was lucky nobody could see well enough to do anything but try to get the ball in play because if Fognini had run him even a little, it was doubtful he'd have been able to get to anything.
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