Something was sparkling in the sunshine on the centre court on Thursday, but it wasn't teenager Nicole Vaidisova's form that was catching the eye. Elsewhere there were mechanical malfunctions, records broken and a vote for the most popular player - it's D
TENNIS 2006 French Open Vaidisova N. - Kuznetsova S.
Nicole Vaidisova glammed herself up to the nines for her semi-final match-up with Svetlana Kuznetsova on Thursday, as she looked to rival Maria Sharapova for the title of 'most expensive looking player on the women's circuit.'
The 17-year-old Czech opted for a jewellery box full of, well, jewels, including possibly the largest pair of earrings ever seen on a tennis court, a jangly necklace and a silver bracelet (that from a distance looked like it could have come from Tiffany's).
With all that to carry around the court, it came as no surprise to Postcard when the dazzling teenager fell to a three set defeat at the hands of her less-laden Russian opponent.
NO SCORES ON THE DOORS
For the first time ever in a Grand Slam semi-final, the scoreboard on the Court Chatrier completely broke down on Thursday and was rendered useless for the whole of the first set in Justine Henin-Hardenne's match against Kim Clijsters.
TENNIS 2006 Roland-Garros historique
Image credit: Imago
And in a typical display of Parisian hospitality, the crowd began whistling and jeering the technical blip.
A rather strange record has been broken during this year's tournament, as Novak Djokovic's retirement (due to a back injury) on Thursday represented the eighth retirement in the men's draw this year.
TENNIS 2006 French Open Djokovic N. - Nadal R.
Image credit: dpa
This represents a record number of men's retirement at Roland Garros in the Open era, surpassing the previous mark of seven, set in 2003.
It was also the first time that a men's quarterfinalist has had to retire at Roland Garros in the Open era.
WHAT'S UP DOC?
Every day, three doctors and six nurses are on hand to treat minor problems of the spectators and tournament personnel at Roland Garros. Divided up in the three infirmaries within the complex, they receive around 200 visits a day.
"Because of the weather last week we especially encountered ENT cases, particularly throat infections and other sinus problems," Doctor Boulanger, head of the service, helpfully explained.
"Whereas over the past few days, sunburn has been common, as well as pollen allergies."
HEROES AND VILLAINS
As reported earlier on this week in Postcard, the heroes and villains of the tournament were set to be subjected to a vote in an attempt to identify the popular and not-so-popular players at this year's tournament.
TENNIS 2006 Roland Garros Federer
Image credit: Imago
Roger Federer was elected as the most popular player for his general fair play and all-round niceness, whilst French madam Tatiana Golovin was voted as the most annoying.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
138 - The number of aces hit so far this year at Roland Garros. Topping the men's list are three Croats - Ivo Karlovic (57), Ivan Ljubicic (43) and Mario Ancic (38).