ROME – Open Court has been advocating for this for awhile. And it’s finally happening.
Roland Garros is adding mixed doubles to its legends events this year, which are already best in class amongst the Grand Slams.
And, rather than schedule them as fill-ins on the various courts (especially first up in the morning), as often happens, they’re using Court Suzanne Lenglen as the headquarters for the matches, which begin on June 6 and wrap up June 11.
Sadly, we don’t see the brother-sister team of Marat Safin and Dinara Safina anywhere in there. Even though Safin has played the event before.
On the men’s side, it more often than not is “whoever Mansour Bahrami wants” on the guest list, and is mostly French former players.
And – best news! The Argentine dream team of Gabriela Sabatini and Gisela Dulko is back, as is the Italian fabulousness of Flavia Pennetta and Francesca Schiavone.
And … just because we couldn’t feel any older this morning … Caroline Wozniacki will make her debut.
(Okay, it’s not quite like Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova playing the legends at Wimbledon – after which Hingis returned to the Tour. But it’s still a bit of a shock).
Here’s the list for the women.
And for the men:
–Arnaud Clément and Fabrice Santoro (defending champions)
–Michael Chang (a debut, I believe)
The two-week format here in Rome, with the place being basically a desert island midway through the second week, has just highlighted that the two-week Grand Slams do in terms of filling out the schedule, and the courts, for people with grounds passes or who want to wander around.
Juniors, mixed doubles, and the legends are a big part of that.