Monday, June 1, 2009
There's a lot of talk about tennis right now in Paris because the French Open is underway at Roland Garros. But while the superstars of today and tomorrow battle it out on the clay courts, I had the feeling of stepping back in time when I saw this sign. Paume is the old French term for tennis, made famous to the rest of us for that moment in French history, the Tennis Court Oath (or serment du jeu de paume), when members of the Third Estate pledged not to disband until a constitutional government had been formed. It came by that name because this revolutionary act took place on the tennis court at Versailles. Louis XVI was pretty much toast after that although it was another three years before he met his death.
Nowadays, the sports page is focused on just plain old tennis. That is, of course, you're a member of this presumably aristocratic club. Do you suppose they serve champagne between sets?