I was in Rennes yesterday to see the tournament, I liked it, it was nice see players for real instead of looking at my screen for once. I arrived just when the first set between Bemelmans and Hajek finished. It was a nice match, I didn't know Bemelmans at all but was nicely surprised, he played really well, nice !
Then after De schepper/mannarino, well, it was a realy tight match but not that interesting, there was no rythm to it, de schepper hit really hard his serve (the guy is a giant) and won fairly easily his serves and when he had to play he made a lot of errors (unforced or not) but the few long exchanges we had were pretty nice and intense. Mannarino lost the second set because he was angry, he got frustrated over one or 2 mistakes and then kind of lost it he threw his racket a few times to the ground etc... then he calmed himself and battled to the end for the victory. Except for his behavior in the second set, he was really enjoyable to watch, nice and smooth play, pretty elegant.
After that, Roger-Vasselin VS Darcis, well, a strange match I must say, first set Darcis did everything he wanted to, no problem, RV make a lot a mistakes, pretty quickly the set was done. Then... i don't know waht happen RV started to play a lot better reducing his errors and Darcis kind of stopped playing, it was really weird, like he fought but not that hard, so RV won the 2nd set. And I didn't see the third because I wanted to see Mahut/clement play doubles.
so I went to another place (like 2km away) and then was really surprise to see the place... Basicly a crappy shed, there were two courts side by side, one side for practice while the competition was on the other one. Every now and then we were almost shook up by the trains who happened to pass by and the noise I can let you imagine, no room for the public to watch the matches, we were standing up above the players. Our french players seemed well at first but then we could see that they were upset with the noise and the conditions in which they were playing. I was at 15m max from the umpire, and I couldn't hear what he said half the time. Well, it was a really lousy place, and well, they didn't play that well either, they managed to steal the first set, how, I don't know because they were really behind in the tie break but they did.
After that I had to go back to the nice place to see Benneteau play. Muller/Bubka wasn't finished, It seemed to be a pretty nice match but I didn't enough to say much about it.
Then Benneteau, he didn't had to struggle that hard to win, his opponent fought the first set then he wasn't really there, but there were a good crowd cheering for julien, very nice. He played well without forcing his talent, a nice first round for him. after that he played a little with children and that was it, my day was over, I had to go back for a long hour driving home healing my back. The central court was really decent in terms of playing conditions but the seats were awfull, all day long seating there, today I'm all bruised everywhere
Anyway, I had a god day despite all the bad thing I said, I'll come back if I can.