| Defending champion Serena Williams stretches to return one to Barbara Rittner in Roland Garros Monday
Paris: Tim Henman had an off day on Monday at the French Open, but his father, Tony, decided to take in some tennis on the tournament’s first day.
Dad wound up playing usher.
While he was watching Americans James Blake and Taylor Dent play their match on Court VII, some spectators tried to wander into the seating area reserved for journalists and people accompanying players.
The elder Henman — wearing a tie of purple and green, the colours of the All England Club — politely asked two fans whether they had badges allowing access to those seats. When they said they didn’t, he asked them to leave. And they did.
Then a few schoolkids tried to get past, and the scene was repeated. Blake, seeded 24th, beat Dent 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).
Tim, seeded 25th, faces Vladimir Voltchkov in the first round on Tuesday.
Don’t ask Serena Williams how much she weighs. She insists she has no idea.
“I haven’t stepped on a scale in about six, seven years,” said the world’s No. 1 player, when asked if she’d slimmed down ahead of this year’s French Open.
“I will never step on a scale, so I’m not sure if I lost weight or not,” Serena said after easily winning her first-round match against Barbara Rittner.
Weight denial, she said, is “an American thing.... Pretty much everyone thinks they’re overweight”. Serena said she could stand to lose seven kilograms.
“Muscle weighs a lot,” the 5-foot-8 Serena said, adding that she tips the scales at 61 kilos. That’s two kilos heavier than she’s listed in the WTA Tour media guide.
Paes’ new role
Leander Paes, who will feature in the doubles and mixed doubles events, will also be seen in a new role here.
He will be the expert commentator on DD Metro’s exclusive live coverage of the semi-finals and finals from June 5 to 8.
In an agreement reached in Mumbai Sunday with Raymedia Ltd. of London, who will produce the special coverage on DD Metro, Paes will provide his analysis exclusively for this channel, a press release said Monday.
Even before winning his first match on Monday, Wayne Ferreira won some recognition.
This year’s French Open marks the South African’s 50th straight Grand Slam tournament — a run that started at Wimbledon in 1990. (PTI)