5 things you may not know about Roland Garros

I overheard a discussion between a few of my co-workers regarding some facts about the French Open. I realized my knowledge and history of this prestigious event could use a refresher. Maybe yours too?

1.Roland Garros was built specifically in 1928 to defend the Davis Cup. The “les Quatre Mousquetaires or “Four Musketeers” consisting of Jacques “Toto” Brugnon, Jean Borotra (the “Bouncing Basque”), Henri Cochet (the “Magician”), and René Lacoste (the “Crocodile”) were largely responsible for France retaining the Cup until 1933. The champions trophy is aptly named “La Coupe des Mousquetaires”.

2.Roland Garros, a pioneer aviator completed the first solo flight across the Mediterranean Sea. An engineer inventor of the first forward-firing aircraft machine gun, and World War I hero. The first pilot to shoot down five enemy aircraft, and to be called an “ace” for doing so who was killed in aerial combat in 1918.

3.Center Court or “Court Philippe Chatrier” is named for long time president of the Fédération Française de Tennis.

4.The Roland Garros surface is invariably characterized as “red clay”, the courts are in fact surfaced with white limestone frosted with a few millimeters of powdered red brick dust.
The current facility is due to undergo a major expansion expecting to be complete in 2017.

5. Rafael Nadal holds the French Open record with 8 French Open titles.



Rome Masters 2012 – Internazionali BNL d’Italia

The Rome Masters is the 5th masters 1000 event of 2012, as well as the 3rd and final one of this years clay season. The Internazionali BNL d’Italia features the best players at the beautiful Sports Complex the Foro Italico in Rome. The event has been more than just tennis, it is a total entertainment experience featuring fine dining, high fashion and celebrity musical performances. The festive atmosphere has made it one of the most elegant stops on the ATP World Tour.

With Roger Federer Winning the Madrid Masters on the controversial blue clay – Its hard to say who has an advantage at this years Rome Masters. I can only assume Federer will be looking to continue the pace from his recent win in Madrid. With Federer telling reporters that he is taking anti-inflammatory medication during Madrid. He said briefly after the win in Madrid, “The truth is my body hurts after this tournament.” Roger Federer with his body in the condition it is, has managed to defeat his opponent Fernando Verdasco in the second round (May, 15th) of play in the Internazionali BNL d’Italia. (6,3 | 7,6)

Serena Williams is considered to be a favored to win the Rome Masters and having most of the chances to return back to the top five. 30-year-old Serena has been seeded as No. 9th seed at Rome Masters, where she will face tough challenge against best players on the tour Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova. After her win at the Mutua Madrid Open we will surely see how she measures up against her opponents on the Roman red clay.

For this year we can only hope that we see a final round worthy to the match between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in last years Rome Masters.

With Novak Djokovic being the defending champion its hard to say who has the best chance at winning Internazionali BNL d’Italia but lets take a look at what Novak had to say about his return to the city of Rome. In an interview for Novak Djokovic mentions his comfort for the clay court in Rome by saying “After a strange week in madrid on the blue clay that I did not like very much. I am back in Rome where I feel comfortable, it feels like home.” Djokovic goes on to say that he is expecting some great serves and long rallies for this years Masters in Rome. (for the video @ tennis tv click here)


Red vs. Blue: How are you voting?

Clearly the 2012 bid for the White House isn’t the only red and blue controversy heating up this Spring.

The new blue clay frustrated Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and others who called the TV-friendly surface slippery and dangerous. Both threatened to boycott the tournament next year if the blue clay remained.

Serena Williams isn’t buying it saying “Women are way tougher than men. That’s why we have the babies. You guys could never handle kids,” Williams told Reuters after she won the Madrid title Sunday. “We ladies don’t complain, we just do our best. On the WTA we are real performers, we are not going out there and being weenies.” Williams overpowered the top-ranked Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-3 to win the women’s final.

Roger Federer rallied to beat Tomas Berdych 3-6, 7-5, 7-5 and win the Madrid Open for a third time on Sunday. Federer had no issues with the blue clay. He was focused on Berdych who had beaten him 3 of their last five meetings.

Ion Tiriac who owns the Madrid Masters tournament said that keeping them or not for 2013 championship would be the ATP’s decision.

The blue surface has been criticized for being too slick, due to over-pressing the base in order to insure minimal bad bounces.

Federer & Williams Win Mutua Madrid Open | Blue Clay Controversy

It is quite apparent that the Mutua Madrid Open has created a sufficient amount of controversy. With the blue surface, being said to be fast, slick and a bit too slippery, why would the Mutua Madrid Open willingly create a dis-advantage for players? Each player must contend with the conditions of the slick blue surface, so in actuality their was no advantage to any of the players this past weekend.

Roger Federer was able to combat the court and the Czech, Tomas Berdych, winning the Mutua Madrid Open this Sunday (3-6 | 7-5 | 7-5) Roger Federer was also able to match Rafael Nadal’s record of 20 Masters titles with this latest victory. Roger did explain that he was more fond of the traditional clay, but with everyone being skeptical of the clay, he reserved his judgement and played the game.

Roger Federer raising the trophy for his latest victory at the Mutua Madrid Open May 13th, 2012


Will Smith Congradulates Roger Federer on his Mutua Madrid Open Victory with the suite from his latest movie "Men in Black Three"

Serena Williams created a statement for the young “pretenders” of women’s tennis when she powered to a crushing (6-1 | 6-3) victory over world number one Victoria Azarenka to win the Madrid Open on Sunday.

Serena Williams wins the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open

The subject of the clay has caused many to believe Mutua Madrid Open implemented this new surface as a way to put all the players at a level playing field. But with the blue colored clay being such a drastic choice, the question you truly need to ask yourself is; Was this clay a branding technique for Mutua Madrid? With the Mutua Madrilena Company sporting a surprisingly suspect blue logo and website, was this a ploy to exploit the Mutua Madrilena Brand.

Blue Clay was introduce by Ion Ţiriac, the owner of the Mutua Madrid Open, in 2009 on one of the outer courts of the Open. It has been said that the depth, compression and thickness of the particles all played a roll in the “slippery” court. But with Ion Tirac being a former tennis player himself, the controversy of the court might create long term effects with his hosting of the event, but this blue clay can and may be perfected so that it could be a “lasting tradition” in the Mutua Madrid Open. Yes it has stirred up quite a lot of talk but like all publicity stunts it requires quite a lot of talk to create a lasting impression.


Midwest Sports Blog Launch

We at Midwest Sports are proud to announce that we are taking a leap forward with the launch of our company blog. We will use this blog to gain a greater understanding of our customers, but return the favor by letting our customers know the Midwest Sports team.

Midwest Sports has spent years of research and focus on providing quality tennis products and top-notch customer service. We have since become a one stop shop for everything on and off the tennis court. With the technology breakthroughs in social media platforms, we have now taken on new ways of providing more for our customers.

Goals for 2012

Our main goal for 2012 has been to create a sense of community for our already loyal customers and new customers looking for a quality service. We like to think of ourselves as a modern ma’ and pa’ shop, we not only have all the bells and whistles. But we have a knowledgeable staff who can provide real answers to real tennis issues. Midwest believes that having the right information to make the right purchase is the heart and soul of this company. We know how important it is to feel confident on the tennis court.

Whats new with Midwest?

If you did not know already Midwest Sports offers you, the customer, the ability of searching for the right products for your specific skill set. With our simple and easy to read Information center you have the all the tools you need to make that next tennis racquet, tennis shoe, or tennis bag purchase.

Here is a list of everything our Tennis Information Center features:

  • How to select the best racquet
  • Selecting the best string
  • Finding your string tension range
  • Selecting the right grip size for your racquet
  • How to replace your tennis racquets grip
  • Increasing your grip size
  • Replacing your bumper guard and grommet set
  • How to select the right tennis shoe
  • Last but not least the rules of tennis


Offers and Contests

With the launch of our blog we would like to offer the chance for you the reader to join us in the conversation. So get involved and stay in touch because we will be announcing a new offer each month. As your tennis equipment provider it is our job to keep you up to date with all the latest information regarding tennis equipment, tennis news, tennis technology, and more. Follow our latest news and offers by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+