"I'll buy any spares" - Web Blog - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Fan blogs

"I'll buy any spares"

Image: Allsport

The French Open, Roland Garros as it called by the French, is a unique tennis event.

The years second Open, it has all the makings of a great two weeks.

While Australia hasn't done as well as we would have liked over the last decade, we still have had some good results here & on clay. Rafter making the semi-finals here in '97, Arthurs making a run here last year, Lleytons form on clay in Davis Cup & Phillippousis' Davis Cup Final efforts in Nice. So fingers crossed this may be our year.

Here is a little information for you on getting around & into the tournament.

To get to Roland Garros:


Line 9 : Mairie de Montreuil - Pont de Sèvres (Michel-Ange Auteuil,
Michel-Ange Molitor or Porte de Saint Cloud stations)

Line 10 : Gare d'Austerlitz Boulogne (porte d'Auteuil station)


Line 22 : Opéra - Porte de Saint Cloud (stop: terminus)

All are very clearly marked. From these Metro stops it’s about a 10min walk to the main gate.

To get into Roland Garros:

There are always scalpers hanging around the Metro. However I’ve that there is more of them around the main gates & they are easier to deal with.

Police and Roland Garros will tell you that you shouldn’t buy tickets from these touts & in theory you shouldn’t buy tickets from these guys. However the Police are always out the front of the gates and see you buying tickets, so if you are desperate & at this stage you probably are then it may be your only hope.

From what I know they never sell tickets on the day, so its pointless even lining up. You’ll waste valuable time.

With the scalpers listen to what people are offering. They can be flexible & a little understanding (sometimes). My observations indicate, they are willing to rip off the well healed American and charge us a reasonable price (though still too much). Never appear desperate to get in or else they won’t be flexible.

The scalper’s price for the first day or so is usually twice the cost price.

Once inside

All you need for the first few days is a ground pass (outside court). This in theory means you can only watch games on outside courts.

However they are not aware of the Bull method (bullcrap your way through) Do anything, spin yarns, pretend you are on fire whatever just do it calmly & with authority. Having a tray of food with you always helps in trying to get into these Show Courts.

Roland Garros has three Show Courts, and you’re meant to have a ticket to each one (ie centre court will not get you into Suzanne Lenglen crt). My method is as everyone is walking out, slip on in. At this time the ushers are too distracted. Pick the entrance gate with only one Usher & then bang pull out the old doosy “Sorry mate, I left your camera on the seat, I just need to go back & get it”

Show an old ticket for that court. Get talking with the ushers, butter them up and be polite to them. They'll recognise you next time and hopefully not ask for a ticket.

Once inside hopefully without a ticket, make sure each time you leave when you leave you get a passout. Hang on to these, it will save all the hassle next time.

They do change these pass outs each day, so ask people coming out if they are leaving & can you have their ticket.

Some of the French can be friendly enough to give you there ticket for that show court, afternoons are always best for this kind of shenanigans.

If you’re trying these methods, don’t go overboard and try for Front Row. This will bring attention to you and have officials asking questions causing embarrassment and probably resulting in missing the rest of the game.

Buying tickets inside for later on in the week

If you are inside the stadium and you are looking for tickets later in the week, checkout the ticket window at Suzanne Lenglen. These tickets are for the show courts and at COST price. This window also has scalpers lining up to buy more as well. You can probably offer to buy some more for them and make some money for yourself.

Remember this bloke could charge you up to three times that price tomorrow. PRICK.

Outside courts never pose this problem and you stand a very good chance of getting very good seats to these.

When to Go

Sunday 26th May.

A nominal fee of about €5 gets you inside and around the courts to see the guys having a hit out. This is a good day to get to the court and familiarise yourself with Roland Garros.

Monday 27th May.

The first day is usually a pretty busy day. A lot of great tennis happens during the first week. The middle week is also a long weekend in France and a lot of the French pile out to the courts.

So if your there during the week, make sure you've got a ticket for the weekend, because they are VERY hard to find.

The Crowd

Crowd support is nearly none existent here.

The French of course go for themselves, but have no idea of tennis ethics.

Supporting the Australians

Keep an eye out for fellow Australian fans & find out what courts they’re off to.

They can sometimes help with getting into other courts, but as well as that the more support we can offer in a group for the Aussies the better. You all know how much this can lift an Aussie player. You've seen it happen.

The Aussie players appreciate it as well. Just don’t go overboard by swearing or making a dick of yourself, represent your country well, because you will be on display.

Food & Drink

Make sure you bring a water bottle and food with you as its mighty expensive once your inside to buy stuff.

At Night

At night we usually all meet up at a bar in town so if anyone knows of a hotspot please mention it in the comments below or in the forums.

So there you have it. I’ll be there again this year for my 3rd consecutive French Open. I look forward to catching up with everyone.

Look for my regular updates in the forums.

Enjoy the tennis and come on you Aussie's. They won the 2002 Davis Cup let the Australians win the French Open.

Mon 24/06/2002 Nifty Neville fowler 61 views

1 Comments about this article

  • Nifty / Woz - where is the best place to stay in Paris for the French Open. You guys going this year - 2003?

    Posted by Conrad Hall Thu Mar 20, 2003 01:03am AEST

Post a comment about this article

Please sign in to leave a comment.
Becoming a member is free and easy, sign up here.