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Sunday, May 27, 2012
It begins with ... Les Quatre Mousquetaires!

By Joanne C. Gerstner

Roland Garros

PARIS -- The opening day of a Grand Slam tournament has the feel of the first day of school, mixed with a circus. People were excited, even a touch nervous, walking into the grounds of Roland Garros on Sunday morning.

Where would their seats be located? Why does the air smell so good? (A yummy mix of cinnamon, chocolate and fresh crepes.) The happy vibe extended into the biggest courtyard on the grounds, the one honoring the Les Quatre Mousquetaires. The Four Musketeers are four legends of French tennis -- Grand Slam champions Rene Lacoste, Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon and Henri Cochet, who are all still famous today. The four have large memorial statues placed around the fountain in the busy courtyard.

Someone decided to have some fun with Cochet's statue, giving him a wild and colorful crown of intertwined balloons. The statue looked more like someone heading to a summer Jimmy Buffett concert than a dignified French tennis star in action.

Roland Garros fans were clearly amused by his new capeau, taking pictures with the statue and laughing as they walked by.