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Joel Drucker: Act III Begins

It was Tuesday at Roland Garros. The first wave quarterfinal matches were just beginning. The energy around the grounds was completely different than it had been as recently as 48 hours prior.

A good place to see this personified was inside the narrow cylinder more formally known as the player’s lounge. Back then, on that Sunday, it still bustled with agents, players, family members, equipment company reps, tournament directors and further assorted flotsam and jetsam. Lots of cell phones and lots of talk -- much of it in the pursuit of wealth.

But 48 hours later, commerce had given way to competition. Tables sat empty. Walkways, so recently cluttered, were open. A few past players shuffled by, speaking quietly to one another, likely well aware that the tournament was in a new phase, a stage that warranted reverence beyond financial rewards. Act III of the 2017 Roland Garros was underway.

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