“No doubt, the Parisian summer is well and truly over.
Autumn has enveloped the city in its damp gray blanket that makes tennis balls swell and bones shiver.
Warm clothes, leggings, long sleeves and down jackets, are the order of the day for players who are sometimes tempted to keep their parka on during the first few minutes of training as the cold wind strikes the faces between two ball strikes.
"Roland at the end of September, it was the risk"
Roland at the end of September was the risk.
The earth is heavy, as are the balls and the shoulders which undergo these fall constraints, but we are here, at the start of this 2020 edition, and happy to be there.
The tournament also has to face new government decisions that have lowered the spectator level to 1,000 people per day.
In other words, a drop of water in the ocean, these 1000 souls scattered over the 12 hectares of the site.
The disappointment can be read on the faces of the organizers who have worked for months to ensure that Roland Garros returns under the best auspices.
The conditions are therefore not optimal, but everyone puts water in their wine.
Adaptation has gradually become the watchword of this year 2020, and the tennis festival must prevail in this direction.
"It's never easy to play against a compatriot"
Apart from the modern structure and the new roof of the Philippe-Chatrier, not to mention the unfortunate disappearance of the legendary number 1 court, the stadium has not changed that much.
I was expecting something almost unrecognizable, but I finally got back to my 15-year-old habits pretty quickly, apart from a few Covid precautions.
My tournament will start on Monday against my French colleague Chloé Paquet.
It's never easy to play against a compatriot.
The atmosphere becomes a bit special, sometimes as heavy as the clay of the Porte d'Auteuil.
You have to stay focused, even more impermeable than usual to what is happening on the other side of the net.
In short, try to follow once again the catchphrase of the moment: stay, whatever happens, in your bubble.
Alizé Cornet is the author of "Sans Compromis", Ed. Amphora, 19.50 euros.