The French Open is the second Grand Slam tournament of the tennis calendar and is played at Roland-Garros in Paris. Get the all the information from the French Open here.
The competition usually begins in the final week of May and is played on the red clay of Roland-Garros. Often called the most gruelling of the four Grand Slam tournaments, the tournament is also called the ‘Championnats Internationaux de France de tennis and Tournoi de Roland-Garros‘ in French.
The first ever French Open competition was held in 1891 and was called the French Championships, and only those players could participate in the tournament who were members of the club.
It was in 1925 that the French Championships was opened to all amateurs, and became called a major as a result. The first ever French Internationals was played at Roland-Garros in 1928, a court named after a World War One pilot.
In 1968 this tournament became the first major to become an open competition. A new court, Court Phillipe Chatrier, was brought out 1988 and has been one of their Centre Courts since then.
The Prix Orange (for the player showing the best sportsmanship and cooperative attitude with the media), the Prix Citron (for the player with the strongest character and personality) and the Prix Bourgeon (for the tennis player revelation of the year) were all awards introduced in 1981.
Given the difficulties associated with playing on clay, winning the French Open is said to be a difficult task for serve and volley players but what’s even tougher is to win the double of Wimbledon and French Open.
Rod Laver, Jan Kodeš, Björn Borg, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are the only players in the Open Era to have won both, the Roland-Garros and Wimbledon.
The current prize money at the French Open is €28 million, with with the singles winners pocketing a cool €1.8 million apiece. The doubles winners take home €450,000 while the mixed doubles victors get €114,000 for their effort.
Rafael Nadal has won the most number of men’s singles French Open titles with 10 to his name, while Daniel Nestor and Max Mirnyi’s three doubles titles is most for a men’s doubles team.
In the women’s section of the draw, Chris Evert has won seven single’s titles, while Martin Navratilova has won seven doubles titles in the women’s half.