French Open: date, place, state, history

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Stade Roland Garros © Federico Pestellini / IMAGO

The Grand Slam tournament, also known as “Roland Garros”, is named after an aviation pioneer, and starts the clay court year after year. Worth knowing about the fashion, schedule and historical background of the French Open.

Munich – Den The French Open is one of the four Grand Slam tournaments, making it one of the most prestigious events in the tennis world. It is traditionally this year’s second Grand Slam tournament between the Australian Open and Wimbledon and takes place from late May to early June. The meeting place is the French capital Paris. The French Open is played on clay. This makes the French Open the only major tournament taking place on this surface. Following Guy Forget’s resignation as tournament director of the French Open last year, former world number one and two-time Grand Slam winner (Australian Open and Wimbledon 2006) Amelie Mauresmo took the helm. Mauresmo is the first woman to hold this position.

French Open – Statistics and facts

  • Edition: 121. French Open
  • Date: May 22 to June 5, 2022
  • Meeting place: Stade Roland Garros, 2 Av. Gordon Bennett, 75016 Paris
  • Tournament leader: Amelie Mauresmo
  • Surface: sand
  • Defending champion (men’s singles): Novak Djokovic (SRB)
  • Defending champion (women’s singles): Barbora Krejčíková (CZE)
  • Defending champions (men’s doubles): Pierre-Hugues Herbert (FRA) / Nicolas Mahut (FRA)
  • Defending champions (doubles): Barbora Krejčíková (CZE) / Kateřina Siniaková (CZE)
  • Defending Champion (mixed): Desirae Krawczyk (USA) / Joe Salisbury (GBR)
  • Website: www.rolandgarros.com

French Open mode

128 athletes compete in the first main round of the individual competitions of the French Open. In doubles, there are 64 teams competing for the trophies. “Best of Five” is played, that is, three winning sets. A change in the style of play at the Grand Slam tournaments will be used for the first time at this year’s French Open: The organizers of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Roland Garros in Paris, Wimbledon in London and the US Open in New York have agreed on a uniform tiebreak rule agreed. For some time now, a different rule has been applicable to all events in the decisive set. From now on, the tie-break is played to ten points with a difference of two points. This innovation applies to all single and double competitions as well as junior and wheelchair competitions. So there is now also a tie-break in the decisive set in Paris – called “jeu decisif” there.

French Open – the schedule for 2022

  • Sun 22 May 2022 – Mon 23 May 2022: 1st round singles, men and women
  • Tuesday, May 24, 2022: 2nd round singles, men and women
  • Wed 25 May 2022 – Sat 28 May 2022: 3rd round singles, men and women
  • Sun May 29, 2022 – Mon May 30, 2022: 4th round singles, men and women
  • Tuesday, May 31, 2022 – Wed, June 1, 2022: Quarterfinals singles, men and women
  • Thursday, June 2, 2022: semifinals, singles, women
  • Fri, June 3, 2022: Semifinal singles, men
  • Sat 4 June 2022: Final singles, women
  • Sun, June 5, 2022: Final singles, men

This (scheduled) schedule may change at short notice.

French Open – the trophy in the men’s singles competition

“La Coupe des Mousquetaires” is the winning trophy awarded to the winner of the men’s singles at the French Open. The current design of the trophy was created in 1981, when the then president of the Fédération Française de Tennis, Philippe Chatrier, commissioned jewelers from Paris to redesign it. The trophy honors the French Quartet of Jean Borota, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and René Lacoste, who dominated men’s tennis in the late 1920s and early 1930s. The quartet is known as “The Four Musketeers” and has won the Davis Cup six times in a row. The silver trophy, which is decorated with vine leaves at the top and has swan-shaped handles, is 21 centimeters high, 19 centimeters wide and weighs 14 kilos. The winners since 1891 are engraved on the marble floor. The trophy is moved only once a year, on the day of the men’s final.

French Open – the trophy in the women’s singles competition

The women’s trophy “La Coupe Suzanne Lenglen” commemorates France’s most successful player in history. Suzanne Lenglen was the sport’s superstar in the 1910s and 1920s and was considered almost invincible. The trophy has been awarded to the winner since 1979 and is on display at the National Sports Museum. However, something went wrong with the engraving of the winners’ names. British photographer Ella Ling, for example, discovered through a photo she took in 2019 that Brit Sue Barker, who won the title in 1976, is listed as Australian. The engraver also had an accident the following year when Slovenian Mima Jausovec, winner of 1977, was engraved with “Jausevec”.

French Open – the story of this year’s second Grand Slam tournament

The tournament’s roots go back to 1891. Women were allowed to play from 1897. However, participation was almost exclusively reserved for the French until 1925. Therefore, the competition was originally called “the French competition”. With the admission of foreign players, however, this had to change, which is why the “French Open” (ie “French open”) was founded. Like the Olympics, for a long time there were no professionals wanted at the French Open. This was first changed in 1968, which is why this opening is still known today as the beginning of the “Open Era”. The record winner for men is the Spaniard Rafael Nadal, who has already won the tournament thirteen times. American Chris Evert celebrated seven victories in women’s singles.

French Open – several winners in men’s singles

  • Rafael Nadal, ESP, 13 titles: 2005-08, 2010-14, 2017-20
  • Max Decugis, FRA, 8 titles: 1903/04, 1907-09, 1912-14
  • Björn Borg, SWE, 6 titles: 1974/75, 1978-81
  • Henri Cochet, FRA, 5 titles: 1922, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1932
  • André Vacherot, FRA, 4 titles: 1894-96, 1901
  • Paul Aymé, FRA, 4 titles: 1897-1900
  • Maurice Germot, FRA, 3 titles: 1905/06, 1910
  • René Lacoste, FRA, 3 titles: 1925, 1927, 1929
  • Mats Wilander, SWE, 3 titles: 1982, 1985, 1988
  • Ivan Lendl, CZE, 3 titles: 1984, 1986/87
  • Gustavo Kuerten, BRA, 3 titles: 1997, 2000/01
  • André Gobert, FRA, 2 titles: 1911, 1920
  • Jean Borotra, FRA, 2 titles: 1924, 1931
  • Gottfried von Cramm, GER, 2 titles: 1934, 1936
  • Frank Parker, USA, 2 titles: 1948/49
  • Jaroslav Drobny, EGY, 2 titles: 1951/52
  • Ken Rosewall, AUS, 2 titles: 1953, 1968
  • Tony Trabert, USA, 2 titles: 1954/55
  • Nicola Pietrangeli, ITA, 2 titles: 1959/60
  • Manuel Santana, ESP, 2 titles: 1961, 1964
  • Rod Laver, AUS, 2 titles: 1962, 1969
  • Roy Emerson, AUS, 2 titles: 1963, 1967
  • Jan Kodes, CZE, 2 titles: 1970/71
  • Jim Courier, USA, 2 titles: 1991/92
  • Sergi Bruguera, ESP, 2 titles: 1993/94
  • Novak Djokovic, SRB, 2 titles: 2016, 2021

French Open – several winners in women’s singles

  • Chris Evert, USA, 7 titles: 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986
  • Steffi Graf, GER, 6 titles: 1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999
  • Justine Henin, BEL, 4 titles: 2003, 2005-2007
  • Margaret Court, AUS, 3 titles: 1969, 1970, 1973
  • Montagica Seles, YUG, 3 titles: 1990-1992
  • Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, ESP, 3 titles: 1989, 1994, 1998
  • Serena Williams, USA, 3 titles: 2002, 2013, 2015
  • Martina Navratilova, USA, 2 titles: 1982, 1984
  • Maria Sharapova, RUS, 2 titles: 2012, 2014

French Open – what not everyone knows

  • A few weeks after the French Open for tennis players, for the first time there will be a major for paddle players in Europe on the Roland Garros stage: from 11 to 17 July 2022, Stade Roland Garros will host the first European major as “Paris Premier Padel Major “under the umbrella organization International Padel Federation (FIP). The new major international event will be broadcast by leading TV stations such as ESPN and Sky.

    Despite his (former) refusal to undergo a corona vaccination, tournament manager Amelie Mauresmo expects or hopes that Novak Djokovic will compete: “As things stand, there is nothing stopping Djokovic from participating. ”

    The frequently used name “Roland Garros” for the Grand Slam tournament is actually not the name of the big event, but the name of the tennis court where the game is played. This goes back to the fighter pilot of the same name who became a legend in France during World War I and loved tennis. In 1911, he won the prestigious Grand Prix d’Anjou flying competition and the Paris-Rome and Paris-Madrid aviation race. On September 23, 1913, he was the first person to fly across the Mediterranean: it took eight hours from Fréjus in southern France to Bizerte in Tunisia.

  • Unlike other major events, the French Open has started on a Sunday and not on a Monday since 2006. In the meantime, 32 matches will be played on this first match day.

    When the French Open took place for the first time, only five players met on the grass courts of the Racing Club de France in the early summer of 1891 to play out of the French tennis champion. Only with the switch to Stade Roland Garros will the French Open be played on clay (= sand).

    The first winner of the French Open was British. H. Briggs, whose first name is unknown to this day. He was only allowed to participate in the 1st Championnat de France international tennis because he was a member of a French tennis club.

    At 17, Monica Seles became the youngest French Open champion in 1970. Michael Chang was the same age when he defeated Stefan Edberg in five sets in the 1989 final.

    Germany’s most successful player at the French Open was Steffi Graf. Between 1987 and 1999, she won women’s singles at Roland Garros six times. Thus she replaced Hilde Sperling. Sperling won the French Open three times in the 1930s (1935, 1936 and 1937).

    With its 8.5 acres, the Stade Roland Garros is the smallest of all Grand Slam tennis parks – less than half the size of those in Melbourne, London and New York. Stade Roland Garros is home to a total of 20 tennis courts, including the three stadiums Court Philippe Chatrier, Court Suzanne Lenglen and Court Simonne Mathieu.

    To prevent pigeons and small birds from flying over the tracks between the events, the organizers of the French Open use three birds of prey to drive the small, flying troublemakers away from the facility.

    In 2020, the Corona pandemic was used to install a retractable roof in Court Philippe-Chatrier.

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