The Athletic Reporter
September 12, 2005 Sports News the Way You Want It. Completely Made Up. Issue 127
French Open Participant Didn't Realize He'd Be Getting That Red Crap All Over Him
Originally posted 5/30/2005

Above: Spain's Alberto Martin, whose socks and wristbands will never again be nice and white, no matter how many times he runs them through the laundry
PARIS - Spain's Alberto Martin, a participant in the French Open tennis tournament in Paris, complained to friends this week that if he'd realized that he'd be getting that annoying red clay crap all over his shoes, he might not have played. "I heard that the tournament was played on clay," Martin said, "but I didn't realize that it got all over, on your shoes and clothes and stuff. That was really annoying."

"The clay court surfaces at Roland-Garros date back to the stadium's opening in 1928," said Michel Grach, media director for the French Tennis Federation. "Sure, the stuff gets all over everything and you can't get it out, but a suitcase full of dusty red clothing is a small price to pay for decades of tradition."

"Don't tell anybody I said this," said America's Lindsay Davenport, the world's top-ranked female player, speaking on the condition of anonymity, "but I always figured the French made their tennis surface really gross and dirty so that all the foreigners who played in the French Open would be as gross and dirty as the French people. Don't repeat that, though, or I could get in a lot of trouble."

Martin, who lost in the first round to fellow Spaniard Carlos Moya, also said it was lucky that as a professional tennis player, he gets all his gear for free. "Otherwise," Martin said, "somebody here would owe me some shoes."

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