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  Thursday, 7 June, 2001, 12:22 GMT 13:22 UK
Paris in bloom for ladies' day
Ball boys and girls hand out flowers at Roland Garros
Women spectators are handed flowers on the way in
By BBC Sport Online's Alex Perry in Paris

A bit of added colour is being brought to Roland Garros on Thursday, the day of the women's semi-finals.

The organisers are unofficially dubbing it ladies' day with a pleasant surprise for each woman who enters the grounds.

Every woman who comes through the gates on Thursday is being given a flower - with the tournament's ball boys and ball girls given the honour of handing out the blooms.

Nearly 10,000 roses are being distributed, with the guests of honour at the semi-finals given a bouquet, while the match officials are also to receive special floral arrangements.

A Belgian tennis fan at Roland Garros
Belgian fans are relishing their players' success
But the blooms are in danger of being outshone by the Belgian fans who are out in force to support Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters.

The pair go head to head in the first semi-final, and should both be inspired by the raft of Belgian tricolors, and the bountiful swathes of red, gold and black in evidence.

It's a win/win situation for the Belgians - although they may face something of a dilemma as to which of their favourites to support.

Support is also likely to be fairly even in the second semi-final between Martina Hingis and Jennifer Capriati.

The Roland Garros crowds seem to have forgotten Hingis' tantrum at the end of the 1999 final when she stormed off after losing to Steffi Graf.

Then she was booed by the Parisian spectators - but this year Hingis has been on her best behaviour and the crowds have shown their appreciation.

The only possible dampener on the day could be the weather.

After a glorious first week, the second week at Roland Garros has been considerably colder, and dark clouds have been hovering ominously overhead.

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