mardi 26 janvier 2010

Who was Roland Garros?

So the Australian Open (in Melbourne) is currently on, and I have to admit I don't particularly like watching tennis. The main reason for this is because I'm an impatient person and the matches can last hours and hours!! It's like waiting 3 hours for the end of a movie to find out the ending.

Anyway, the other night I found myself watching a match between the men's world #1 (Roger Federer) and Australia's #1 (Lleyton Hewitt). Needless to say, I'm sure there were a lot of viewers that night!

I was talking to my friend about all the different types of tennis tournaments, the tiers, and he told me that the top tier ones are:

Grand Slam tournaments
* The Australian Open
* The French Open
* Wimbledon
* The US Open

I then asked him why the Australian Open was held in Melbourne and not Sydney... of course he didn't know, but it's interesting because all the others are held in the largest cities of London, Paris and New York. Now, this is the interesting part! Even though I claim to have no knowledge or interest in tennis, I managed to pluck from the depths of my brain the names of all 4 locations! Somehow it must've infiltrated my brain through the media and stayed there. I 'love' how I remember random things like that but sometimes I can't remember the simplest (and most useful) day to day things.

* Australian Open - Melbourne - Rod Laver Arena
* French Open - Paris - Stade de Roland Garros
* Wimbledon - London - Wimbledon (obviously!)
* The US Open - New York - Flushing Meadows (I remembered this is where the 'Nanny' on the tv series came from too but I didn't know/remember the name of the stadium which is Billie Jean King National Tennis Center)

Since I knew that Rod Laver Arena is named after a tennis player (and it turns out Billie Jean King was too), I assumed Roland Garros was named after a French tennis player. I asked my friend and he didn't know so I just looked it up, and he was an aviator!

He has quite an interesting biography! Check it out on Wikipedia

Roland Garros
6 October 1888 – 5 October 1918

* He studied at HEC Paris (which, incidentally I was looking up the other day, for their MBA program and that costs €42,000!)
* He flew during World War I
* He escaped from a POW camp and was later shot down just before his 30th birthday :(
* Apart from the tennis centre in Paris, an airport (in La Réunion island) is also named after him


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