An evening première
When? Roland-Garros 2020
Tell us what was happening behind the lens…
Emilie Hautier: It was at the 2020 tournament, when there was an evening Oppo event. It was the first time there’d been any play at night at Roland-Garros! I knew it was a big deal, in view of the tournament officially including night sessions (planned for the 2021 tournament).
It was on Simonne-Mathieu court, a lovely new setting that I really like.
I felt like it was a ground-breaking moment.
What is more, there were very few photographers around, just two or three, so I felt really honoured to attend this “pilot” night session.
It was also a strange year because of the health crisis. The stadium was practically empty, it was September instead of the traditional May/June, and we were aware of how lucky we were to be there and to be part of this historic edition.
When I took the photo, I was looking down onto the court, which I find so beautiful because of its plants, its intimacy. The whole of Paris stretches out behind it, and I truly had the feeling that I was experiencing something extraordinary, something timeless.
What is your guilty pleasure during the tournament?
Emilie Hautier: I don’t really have any! maybe keeping an eye on social media, to see the tournament posts!
What is your favourite spot inside Roland-Garros stadium?
Emilie Hautier: The Orangery in the Auteuil gardens, with its 1900s architecture and its burstone walls! It’s a hospitality space, so I have photography jobs there. I also really like Philippe-Chatrier court: the concrete, the St Andrew’s crosses and its Art Deco feel.
Who is your favourite player?
Emilie Hautier: Rafael Nadal is truly the most awe-inspiring to photograph. He is the pure embodiment of strength, very visual.