Merci beaucoup. While hope has been dashed on the men’s side with Gael Monfils and a host of other players (Gilles Simon, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to name a few) bowing out of the Roland Garros draw, tomorrow Marion Bartoli will take the court in a semifinal against Francesca Schiavone carrying her nation’s flag and the hope of a long-suffering people. Mary Pierce was the last homegrown hero to take this title back in 2000 (before her it was Francoise Durr in 1967), and Pierce — who had an even more topsy-turvy relationship with the French crowd (and stranger dad) than Bartoli — wasn’t necessary the apple of Paris’ eye. Pierce also reached the final in 1994 and 2005. TSF Vault: Mary Pierce
That title might belong to Yannick Noah, the Frenchman who was a one-Slam wonder with his stunning win at RG in 1983. He would reach just one other Slam semi in his career — at the 1990 Aussie Open. But as noted back in 2008, he’s beloved in France.
Checking in: Men’s draw | Women’s draw
PS from the GS. The French youngster that had potential champ Maria Sharapova 1-6 1-4 down in the second round, Caroline Garcia, survived a doozy in her second round match in the girls singles draw, beating Catalina Pella of Argentina 4-6 6-2 9-7. | More: Girl’s draw
(Images via the AP)