Our favourite moments from the French Open:
Simon Cambers: I am going to cheat and pick two. First, the sight of Rafa Nadal leaping into the arms of his uncle Toni moments after winning the title will stay with me for a long time. The two men have been coach/uncle and pupil and nephew for more than 20 years and no matter what, they have never split, never been tempted to give up on each other. Mixing family and business is not easy and theirs is a relationship that has its difficulties – Rafa said as much in his book – but the sheer joy on both their faces was truly fantastic to see. With so much money in the sport, it is all too easy to be cynical so it is really nice to witness a simple moment of joy.
Secondly, Mikhail Youzhny’s message of “Sorri” – drawn in the clay with his foot – having lost the first eight games to David Ferrer. The Russian was embarrassed by his plight but still found a way to express himself. But as Ferrer went on to reach the semi-finals, perhaps no apology was necessary.
Mark Hodgkinson: When David Goffin took a bow during his match with Roger Federer. Who, outside of Belgian tennis, knew much about ‘lucky loser’ Goffin before the French Open began? It was in keeping with the mood of a fun match with Federer that, after winning one good point, Goffin bowed to all sides of the stadium. Goffin used to have a Federer poster on his wall, and here he was troubling his boyhood idol. He was having fun, and rightly so. The entertainment continued during the post-match intervies, with hugs, smiles and compliments.
Alexandra Willis: When Sharapova was announced as the runner-up. Tennis players may be ferocious titans on the court, but this moment of pure comedy showed that off it, they’re perfectly capable of showing a sense of humour. Having obliterated Sara Errani in straight sets to win her first Roland Garros title, Maria Sharapova was somewhat surprisingly announced to the Philippe Chatrier crowd as the runner-up. But instead of scowling and pulling a face, Sharapova was in hysterics, as was Errani, who showed her fun side by doing a little victory dance in her seat, despite the fact that moments earlier she’d been on the verge of tears. Well played to both of them.