Roland-Garros, second day of qualifying. While the court n°7 pushed Laurent Lokoli – finally beaten by the Swiss Alexander Ritschard – and the veteran Fernando Verdasco cleared the obstacle Damir Dzumhur on the 14th, a handful of privileged people gained height next to the Philippe-Chatrier. Literally, since the organization of the tournament had invited journalists, photographers, influencers and tennis personalities for “an unforgettable and dizzying experience”. 20 Minutes was there, of course.
The principle: take place on a nacelle – firmly harnessed, of course – and climb 50 m high, to admire the view. The more adventurous – not us – were even able to lengthen their seat to find themselves almost parallel to the ground once in the air. “We are brainstorming to try to make Roland-Garros exist a little differently, says Sarah Pitkowski, director of communication for the federation. We want to convey more clearly the values of the tournament, namely elegance, audacity and fighting spirit. From the sky, it is perhaps the best way to see this Roland-Garros space and this unique panorama, so you have to climb very high! »
I believe I can fly
We won’t say names, but we saw one or two signs of the cross at some of our neighbors before takeoff. Not the kind of Mansour Bahrami, disconcertingly relaxed. “I had already done it five or six years ago at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, and it’s quite fabulous,” he smiles. It’s something you don’t see every day! And anyway, when you’re sitting up there, it’s like you’re in a 30 or 40 story building. We are safe, there is no problem. We’re not going to get ourselves into trouble! »
In trouble, no. But in appetite, yes, since once the guests arrived at their destination, everyone was able to enjoy a “luxury snack, like the elegance and quality that the tournament wants to offer”, according to Sarah Pitkowski. On the menu: glass of champagne (or glass of water), fruit salad and macaroons stamped with the RG logo, with a view of the Chatrier, the Auteuil greenhouses, the Bois de Boulogne and the Eiffel Tower. An experience organized for a day.
A day for the general public?
“For the moment, we are on an exceptional operation, underlines Sarah Pitkowski. To do it for the general public, we are not there yet. Up to 600,000 spectators are expected at the tournament. For logistical reasons, we had to do it when we didn’t have the full crowd yet. Where the crane is installed, there will be a whole catering area, so, in terms of security, it is no longer feasible. »
Will the animation be renewed in the future? “To see”, slips the former player, before evoking a future ski slope in a joking tone: “We can imagine everything, we move the lines! All doors are open. ” Definitively, sky is the limit.