French Open scheduling needs addressing
The reaction of the normally mild-mannered Alex Corretja said everything.
Andy Murray's coaching staff are usually stoically poker-faced, so much so one can't help wondering if it's in the contract, but when Murray hit two huge forehands onto either side of the baseline to win a point early in the third set against Tomas Berdych, the Spaniard almost needed restraining.
He roared, lifted himself from his seat and opened his arms as if to say "that's the way to do it." As a former French Open finalist, he should know.
Earlier a good amount of head-shaking/scratching/holding appeared to have Corretja in a state of fractured anxiety. His man was being eaten for petit-dejeuner by an inspired opponent and there was nothing he could do.
Berdych hit the ball so cleanly one imagined a new supersize sweet-spot on his racket of choice. He thoroughly deserved the win.
But Murray was lacklustre, with an increasing tone of stroppiness, and appeared generous in the extreme with his line and length.
Too much appeared up the middle into the hitting zone. Berdych stepped in, gave the ball a clobber, hard and flat, and that was invariably point over.
Murray argued that because Berdych got more first serves in, he often got the first hit in. That he most certainly did. He also said that the heavy conditions, not helped by the ball getting soaked in the wet covers at the back of the court, made it difficult to generate pace.
But the most interesting assessment was that of the winner.
"He didn't give me too much pressure in the rallies," said Berdych.
"I was always comfortable and had plenty of pace to do everything I wanted and that's why I won in straight sets.
"Maybe that's his style, sometimes to make the opponent go to sleep, but it didn't work today".
Again Murray was involved in late-night tennis, with darkness falling and spectators wrapped up in anything they could find. The scheduling at this tournament does need addressing.
Over the past few days organisers have been left red faced, and not just from the bitterly cold wind which has streaked across Paris.
Saturday was a grey day with constant drizzle and tumbling temperatures. But despite play being uninterrupted from 11 in the morning , the match of the day - between Justine Henin and Maria Sharapova - hit the court at 7.38pm in poor light with the stadium half empty.
Two sets were played in the light rain before the match was suspended at one set all with Sharapova having fought magnificently back into the match. The President's Box contained six people at this point.
It was the third night in a row with an incomplete match on Centre Court.
One leading coach described the scheduling as "average to deplorable" and called for more matches to be positioned on other courts.
"You have to assume all the matches go the distance," says the coach, knowing if that had been the case on Saturday, Henin and Sharapova wouldn't have even begun.
We've effectively had evening sessions without a roof or floodlights. And when you add a supervisor making decisions on the hoof, without the aid of any electronic light meter, it turns the tournament into a bit of a laughing stock.
All this could be avoided by having three matches per day on the show courts and utilising Court 1 and 7 a little more.
Tennis has enough issues without sidelining its star attractions.