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Today was the day for men’s semi-finals!! Unlike last year, Rafa had entered the semis strongly, without having dropped a set yet! (How awesome is that?). So the four semi finalists were Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.

From experience last year, we knew that we couldn’t estimate how long the matches would take. So in order to make sure we don’t go to bed on an empty stomach, we decided to do some grocery shopping so we could make dinner that night, no matter the time! 😛

Luckily it was a Friday, the day the weekly market in the 16th is on. The best thing of all, the market was just across the street from the apartment!
The apartment we were staying at is on the 7th floor. And Parisian lifts are never in a hurry, ever. So that meant we had time to take a couple of photos.

View of the staircase


Parisian lift


Parisian lifts are very interesting. There is a gate and a door. And they are usually small. And not very fast. 🙄

Its difficult to wrap my mind around the idea that these markets are temporary ones, usually taking place once in a week. I mean, the stalls were all professionally set up, so the effort to constantly set up and remove the stalls must require quite some effort. Hence the idea of makeshift stalls doesn’t make sense to me. Nonetheless, variety of things at the market is impressive for a one-day-a-week market.

Flowers to start the market with


Have never seen this fish before


Cherries!


Vegtables with flowers. Are the flowers edible too?


Types of mushrooms


More flowers




More fishes. It looks as though the big fish is midway swallowing a smaller fish.

Gigantic vegetables



Langoustines



We were intrigued by this. I think they are not lobsters (or are they?) but not quite sure what they are. So we were having a discussion when the stall owner saw us and he was kinda ‘fascinated’ by us. I think he thought we had never seen such animals before. So he poked these “lobsters” with his stick to make them move. Well, to make him happy, I gave a small shriek, looking very excited. 😳 And he gave a satisfied smile, glad he managed to ‘spook’ me. 😆

I enjoyed myself thoroughly at the market! Loved the sights, glad to have this shopping experience. The stall owners were all very kind and patient with us 🙂 And I was very happy with the ingredients we had bought for dinner for the night.

Before we headed to Roland Garros, I remembered I had forgotten to bring sunblock for the body. Hence we dropped by the pharmacy to get sunblock. The lovely lady at the pharmacy introduced me to various types of sunblock they have and she said if its for normal sightseeing activity, a sunblock with low SPF would do. ‘Oh, but we are going to Roland Garros.’ ‘Ahhh, in that case, you would need something with a higher SPF. You are very lucky to get tickets for Roland Garros, Madame.’ Indeed, we were so lucky to get the tickets for Roland Garros.

The first semi-finals match was between Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer and it was scheduled to start at 1pm. We were about an hour early. However, along the walk from the metro to the entrance, which is a good 15 minutes walk, I realised something. I had forgotten to bring our passports or any other ID for verification!!! 😮 Identification verification is a must and our only option was to return to the apartment to get the passports. 😡 😡 😡

By the time we returned to Roland Garros, there was less than 10 minutes to the start of the match. Phew! At least we didn’t miss the entrance of the players!
Rafa’s amazing record at Roland Garros!

Rafa!!!!


I would have rooted for Daveed if it wasn’t Rafa across the net. When its Rafa at one side of the net, whoever is on the other side is the ‘enemy’. 😉

Daveed!


Delighted to see Rafa again!! Albeit at a distance away!

Rafa!


In the process of buying the tickets, I had decided to buy the tickets for the finals first. Hence I had secured excellent tickets for the finals. But that meant I had lousy seats for the semis. 😥 Still I was very lucky to get the tickets for the semis because judging from the seats we got, there weren’t many left when I was in the queue for them. 🙂
Rafa getting into his routine.

The hot pink, at the start of the tournament, brought back best forgotten memories of RG2009. Am I glad that hot pink totally worked for RG2012.



Warming up.

Rafa serve


Daveed serve


Team Nadal:


And match on!

Tour Eiffel in the background


Opposite us, we could see lots of vacant seats. A huge shame I must say! Whoever cares for those who can’t be bothered to turn up? There are lots of people who would love to fill up those seats.


It was a sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny day. Rafa was playing well. 😎 A match I watched without much frazzling. 😛 Love hearing the sound of Rafa & Daveed sliding on clay!
Daveed changed into a bright pink shirt. And then it got really cloudy. A huge dark cloud lingered over Philippe Chatrier and refused to go away. Temperature started to drop. 😯

Daveed in his pink shirt


And the rain came! 😮


Luckily the rain delay wasn’t very long. Soon, the match resumed.


I have to admit, the crowd wasn’t very enthusiastic about this match, probably because everyone had assumed that Rafa would win. But like most Rafa fans know, the opponent could always be dangerous. So I was really happy when Rafa won! He was the first finalist through, without dropping a set at that! I’m sorry for Daveed, but Rafa was playing really really well.

Throwing his wristband to the crowd


Just another routine 🙂



Love Rafa’s voice!

Rafa’s interview


Under the towel


On his way for more interviews


Court maintenance before the next semis start.

While waiting for the next match to start, we started taking photos of each other. Turned out a Rafa fan was sitting behind us and she was curious as to where I had bought my Vamos Rafa shirt. I told her it was brought at the Nike store at Champs Elysees and she could try her luck there. I wondered if there were new designs at the Nike store.

Vamos Rafa!


This made me miss my Rafa cap which I had left at home


Soon, it was time for the other semi finals match – Roger Federer vs Novak Djokovic.

Federer



It was very cloudy at this point and rather chilly. Hence the jacket that Fed wore for the warmup.

Federer warm up



Just after the warm-up was done, it started drizzling. So a delay was called for and we left the court.
The drizzle didn’t progress into a rain so the rain delay wasn’t for very long.
Somewhere along the way to the entrance of the court, we saw Carlos Moya.

I had assumed that he was leaving after showing his support for Rafa. But I suspected that Rafa would not leave so early. And I was right! Because sometime through Federer and Djokovic match later on, I had come out to see if I could spot Rafa (I didn’t believe he would leave at the same time as Moya) and after the 3rd time of doing that, I saw Uncle Toni!! 😮 😮 There was actually a group of Rafa fans waiting all along and some in that group had spotted Rafa! The spot where we had waited last year for Rafa’s autograph was blocked with all kinds of plants, presumably to prevent us fans from doing the same thing again. 😡 There were a few cars in that area and it seemed that Rafa was in the first car whereby the newly introduced plants were. 😦 Pffftttt, how dare RG do such things to the fans. 😡 😡 😡 But that sighting allowed me to watch the rest of the match without much on my mind.

So the players had to restart the warmup. And this time round, the sun came out blazing. I was convinced the sun that came out led to sunburnt skin on my scalp. 😥


Team Federer



Oh boy, was the crowd all hyped up?! As usual, the French had adopted Federer as their tennis player while the Djokovic fans thought it was a football match going on. 🙄 As per last year, I was rooting for Federer because I wanted a Fedal finals! But very soon, it was obvious that this year was not to be a repeat of last year. Federer’s backhand was just killing him and those on his side. And Djokovic’s fans just got louder and louder. In the end, it was game, set, match Djokovic.

We had expected Federer vs Djokovic to last longer. We were both supremely disappointed! 😥 I was in two minds about Nadal vs Djokovic. It would be a great chance if Rafa could banish the losses to Djokovic for good but on the other hand, it would be disastrous if something terrible happened and Rafa couldn’t protect his Roland Garros crown. The fact that Djokovic would be going for his 4th consecutive slam was a big motivation for him. I could only take comfort in the fact that Rafa had faced Djokovic twice in the leading clay tournaments and defeated him twice. 🙂
Still I have faith in Rafa! Vamos!

Back to the apartment, we cooked and talked about mainly tennis. Golly, it was tiring to be at the tournament the whole day. But I’m not complaining. I was looking forward to the some sightseeing tomorrow and the finals the day after while hoping for the weather to hold up.

Ending this post with some photos with interesting effects.