PARIS (AP) - So “King of Clay” Rafael Nadal’s record 32nd consecutive French Open victory was fit for a prince. Well, actually, Prince.
The American musician known for hits such as “Purple Rain” and “1999” was nearly hidden in the stands Monday, sitting in the very back row of the presidential box in the main stadium at Roland Garros and clutching a shiny cane.
Stayed till the last note of Nadal’s easy win, too.
When the match ended, Prince rose to leave. As he walked toward the exit, though, he paused and paid his respects by applauding.
- Howard Fendrich, http://twitter.com/HowardFendrich
MAKING A STATEMENT: Sara Errani’s French Open news conference in her native Italian followed the usual script Monday - a dozen minutes of mostly mundane questions and answers about her fourth-round victory; about cramping in her right thigh; about a boisterous crowd; etc. - and then it most decidedly did not.
Errani, the runner-up at Roland Garros in 2012, pulled out a piece of white paper, unfolded it, and began reading a statement in Italian, addressed to members of her country’s media. Without looking up, the 27-year-old chastised reporters for not quoting her properly and for sensationalizing what she’s said.
Errani did not refer to any particular affront. She began by saying she was doing this “in light of events both in the past and recently.”
“I am a shy girl and I don’t love being the center of attention,” Errani said, adding that she’s always been willing to speak to reporters and recognizes she’s lucky to travel the world getting paid to play tennis.
But, she continued, “It’s happened too often that my statements or my answers have been manipulated, distorted or changed to try to find a shocking headline, make news or create gratuitous controversies.”
Errani also said a recent mention of her family in the media was in “poor taste and unfair.”
“I would like it, if when I respond to questions, people just write what I say,” she said.
After two minutes, Errani was done.
She grabbed a piece of tape and attached her sheet of paper to the wall behind where players sit during news conferences.