French Open

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This article is about the tennis tournament. For the golf tournament, see Open de France. For the badminton tournament, see French Open (badminton).
Les Internationaux de France de Tennis, Roland-Garros
Frenchopen.svg
Official website
Founded 1891; 123 years ago (1891)
Location Paris (XVIe)
France
Venue Tennis Club de Paris, at Auteuil (some of the years from 1895–1908)
Île de Puteaux (some of the years from 1891–1908)
Racing Club de France (some of the years 1891 to 1908 and also all years from 1910–1924, 1926)
Société Athlétique de la Villa Primrose in Bordeaux (1909)
Stade Français (1925, 1927)
Stade Roland Garros (1928–present)
Surface Sand – Île de Puteaux
Clay – All other venues (Outdoors)
Prize money 25,018,900 (2014)[1]
Men's
Draw 128S / 128Q / 64D
Current champions Spain Rafael Nadal (singles)
France Julien Benneteau / Édouard Roger-Vasselin (doubles)
Most singles titles 9
Rafael Nadal
Most doubles titles 14
Max Decugis
Women's
Draw 128S / 96Q / 64D
Current champions Russia Maria Sharapova (singles)
Chinese Taipei Hsieh Su-wei / China Peng Shuai (doubles)
Most singles titles 7
Chris Evert
Most doubles titles 7
Martina Navratilova
Mixed Doubles
Draw 48
Current champions Germany Anna-Lena Grönefeld / Netherlands Jean-Julien Rojer
Most titles (male) 7
Max Decugis
Most titles (female) 7
Suzanne Lenglen
Grand Slam
Last Completed
2014 French Open

The French Open, often referred to as Roland Garros (officially: Les internationaux de France de Tennis, Roland Garros; also called Tournoi de Roland-Garros) is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks between late May and early June at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, France. Named after the French aviator Roland Garros, it is the premier clay court tennis championship event in the world and the second of four annual Grand Slam tournaments;[2] the other three being the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam event held on clay and ends the spring clay court season.

Because of the slow-playing surface and the five-set men's singles matches without a tiebreak in the final set, the event is widely considered to be the most physically demanding tennis tournament in the world.[3][4]

History[edit]

Officially named in French Les internationaux de France de Roland-Garros or Tournoi de Roland-Garros (the "French Internationals of Roland Garros" or "Roland Garros Tournament" in English), the tournament is often referred to in English as the "French Open" and alternatively as "Roland Garros", which is the designation used by the tournament itself in all languages, including English. French spelling rules dictate that in the name of a place or event named after a person, the elements of the name are joined together with a hyphen.[5] Therefore the names of the stadium and the tournament are hyphenated as Roland-Garros.

In 1891, a national tennis tournament began to be held, that was open only to tennis players who were members of French clubs. The first winner was a Briton—H. Briggs who was a Paris resident. It was known as the Championnat de France, which is commonly referred to in English as the French Championships. The first women's singles tournament was held in 1897. The mixed doubles event was added in 1902 and the women's doubles in 1907. This "French club members only" tournament was played until 1924. This tournament had four venues during those years (1891-1924):

  • Île de Puteaux, in Puteaux, played on sand laid out on a bed of rubble.
  • The Racing Club de France (in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris), played on clay.
  • For one year, 1909, it was played at the Société Athlétique de la Villa Primrose in Bordeaux, on clay.
  • Tennis Club de Paris (club opened in 1895), at Auteuil, Paris, played on clay.

Another tournament, the World Hard Court Championships held on clay courts at Stade Français in Saint-Cloud from 1912 to 1914, then in 1920, 1921 and 1923, and at Brussels, Belgium in 1922, is sometimes considered as the precursor to the French Open as it was open to international competitors. Winners of this tournament included world no. 1's such as Tony Wilding from New Zealand (1913, 1914) and Bill Tilden from the US (1921). In 1924 there was no World Hard Court Championships due to the tennis being played at the Paris Olympic Games.

Suzanne Lenglen Court at Roland Garros.

In 1925, the French Championships became open to all amateurs internationally and at the same time commenced being a major championship (designated by the ILTF). This tournament was held at the Stade Français in Saint-Cloud (site of the previous World Hardcourt Championships) in 1925 and 1927, on clay. In 1926 the Racing Club de France hosted the event in Paris, again on clay (site of the previous "French club members only" Championship). In 1928, the Roland Garros stadium was opened and the event has been held there ever since.[6] After the Mousquetaires or Philadelphia Four (René Lacoste, Jean Borotra, Henri Cochet, and Jacques Brugnon) won the Davis Cup on American soil in 1927, the French decided to defend the cup in 1928 at a new tennis stadium at Porte d'Auteuil. The Stade de France had offered the tennis authorities three hectares of land with the condition that the new stadium must be named after the World War I pilot, Roland Garros. The new Stade de Roland Garros, and its Center Court, which was named Court Philippe Chatrier in 1988, hosted that Davis Cup challenge.

From 1946 through 1947, the French Championships were held after Wimbledon, making it the third Grand Slam event of the year.

In 1968, the French Championships became the first Grand Slam tournament to go open, allowing both amateurs and professionals to compete.[6]

Court number 2 at the French Open.

Since 1981, new prizes have been presented: the Prix Orange (for the player demonstrating the best sportsmanship and cooperative attitude with the press), the Prix Citron (for the player with the strongest character and personality) and the Prix Bourgeon (for the tennis player revelation of the year).

In another novelty, since 2006 the tournament has begun on a Sunday, featuring 12 singles matches played on the three main courts.

Additionally, on the eve of the tournament's opening, the traditional Benny Berthet exhibition day takes place, where the profits go to different charity associations.

In March 2007, it was announced that the event would provide equal prize money for both men and women in all rounds for the first time.[7] In 2010, it was announced that the French Open was considering a move away from Roland Garros as part of a continuing rejuvenation of the tournament.[8]

Surface characteristics[edit]

Clay courts slow down the ball and produce a high bounce when compared to grass courts or hard courts. For this reason, clay courts take away some of the advantages of big servers and serve-and-volleyers, which makes it hard for these types of players to dominate on the surface. For example, Pete Sampras, known for his huge serve and who won 14 Grand Slam titles, never won the French Open - his best result was reaching the semi-finals in 1996. Many players who have won multiple Grand Slam events have never won the French Open, including John McEnroe, Venus Williams, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport. Andy Roddick, who once held the record for the second-fastest serve (249 km/h) in the history of professional tennis and who has reached at least the semifinals of the other three Grand Slams multiple times, never reached the quarter-finals at the French Open (his best result was the fourth round in 2009).

On the other hand, players whose games are more suited to slower surfaces, such as Rafael Nadal, Björn Borg, Ivan Lendl, and Mats Wilander, and Justine Henin, have found great success at this tournament. In the open era, the only male players who have won both the French Open and Wimbledon, played on faster grass courts, are Rod Laver, Jan Kodeš, Björn Borg, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.

Expansion vs. relocation[edit]

In 2009 the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT) announced that it had determined that the French Open's venue had become inadequate, compared to other major tennis tournament facilities. As a result, it had commissioned the French architect Marc Mimram (designer of the Passerelle des Deux Rives footbridge across the Rhine River in Strasbourg[9]) to design a significant expansion of Stade Roland Garros. On the current property, the proposal calls for the addition of lights and a roof over Court Philippe Chatrier. At the nearby Georges Hébert municipal recreation area, east of Roland Garros at Porte d'Auteuil, a fourth stadium will be built, with a retractable roof and 14,600 seating capacity, along with two smaller courts with seating for 1,500 and 750.[10]

In 2010, faced with opposition to the proposed expansion from factions within the Paris City Council, the FFT announced it was considering an alternate plan to move the French Open to a completely new, 55-court venue outside of Paris city limits. Three sites reportedly being considered are Marne-la-Vallée (site of the Euro Disney resort), the northern Paris suburb of Gonesse near of the international airport Charles de Gaulle, and a vacant army base near Versailles.[11] Amid charges of bluffing and brinkmanship, a spokesman explained that Roland Garros is less than half the size of other Grand Slam venues, leaving the FFT with only two viable options: expansion of the existing facility or relocation of the event.[12]

In February 2011, the decision was taken to keep the French Open at its current location near the Porte d'Auteuil. The venue will undergo major renovations by 2018. Court n°1 will be demolished, while 2 new courts will be built. In addition, a retractable roof will be installed on the Philippe Chatrier court, and the size of the venue will be expanded by 60%.

Ball boys and ball girls[edit]

At the 2010 French Open there were 250 "ramasseurs de balles" which in English translates literally as "gatherers of balls". They are aged between 12 and 16 years old, and dress in matching shirts and shorts. The 250 ball boys and ball girls are chosen to take part in the French Open by an application and selection process, which in 2010 had approximately 2,500 applicants from across France.[13] Upon selection the ball boys and ball girls participate in preparatory training in the weeks leading up to the French Open to ensure that they are prepared for the day they set foot on the tennis court in front of a global audience.

Prize money and ranking points[edit]

For 2014, the prize money purse was increased to €25,018,900. The prize money and points breakdown is as follows:

Prize Money (2014)
Event W F SF QF 4R 3R 2R 1R
Singles Points (M/F) 2000 1200 / 1300 720 / 780 360 / 430 180 / 240 90 / 130 45 / 70 10/10
Prize money €1,650,000 €825,000 €412,500 €220,000 €125,000 €72,000 €42,000 €24,000
Doubles Points (M/F) 2000 1200 / 1300 720 / 780 360 / 430 180 / 240 90 / 130
Prize money* €400,000 €200,000 €100,000 €55,000 €31,000 €17,000 €8,500
Mixed
Doubles
Points NA NA NA NA NA NA
Prize money* €110,000 €55,500 €27,750 €14,000 €7,500 €3,750

* per team

Champions[edit]

The trophies are all made of pure silver with finely etched decorations on their side. Each new singles winner gets his or her name written on the plate holding the trophy.

Winners receive a replica of the won trophy. Pure silver replicas of the trophies are fabricated and engraved for each winner by the Maison Mellerio, located in the Rue de la Paix, Paris.

Current champions[edit]

Event Champion Runner-up Score
2014 Men's Singles Spain Rafael Nadal Serbia Novak Djokovic 3–6, 7–5, 6–2, 6–4
2014 Women's Singles Russia Maria Sharapova Romania Simona Halep 6–4, 6–7(5–7), 6–4
2014 Men's Doubles France Julien Benneteau
France Édouard Roger-Vasselin
Spain Marcel Granollers
Spain Marc López
6–3, 7–6(7–1)
2014 Women's Doubles Taiwan Hsieh Su-wei
China Peng Shuai
Italy Sara Errani
Italy Roberta Vinci
6–4, 6–1
2014 Mixed Doubles Germany Anna-Lena Grönefeld
Netherlands Jean-Julien Rojer
Germany Julia Görges
Serbia Nenad Zimonjić
4–6, 6–2, [10–7]

Records[edit]

Record Era Player(s) Num. Years
Men since 1891
Winner of most men's singles titles Before 1925:
(French club members only event)
France Max Decugis 8 1903, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1912, 1913, 1914
1925–1967: France Henri Cochet 4 1926, 1928, 1930, 1932 Note: Also won World Hard Court Championship in 1922
After 1967: Spain Rafael Nadal 9 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Winner of most consecutive men's singles titles Before 1925:
(French club members only event)
France Paul Aymé 4 1897, 1898, 1899, 1900
1925–1967: United States Frank Parker
Egypt Jaroslav Drobný
United States Tony Trabert
Italy Nicola Pietrangeli
2 1948, 1949
1951, 1952
1954, 1955
1959, 1960
After 1967: Spain Rafael Nadal 5 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Winner of most men's doubles titles Before 1925:
(French club members only event)
France Max Decugis 14 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1920
1925–1967: Australia Roy Emerson 6 1960, 1962 with Neale Fraser; 1961 with Rod Laver; 1963 with Manuel Santana; 1964 with Ken Fletcher; 1965 with Fred Stolle
After 1967: Canada Daniel Nestor
Belarus Max Mirnyi
4 2007 with Mark Knowles; 2010 with Nenad Zimonjić; 2011, 2012 with Max Mirnyi
2005, 2006 with Jonas Björkman; 2011, 2012 with Daniel Nestor
Winner of most consecutive men's doubles titles Before 1925:
(French club members only event)
France Max Decugis 13 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914
1925–1967: Australia Roy Emerson 6 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965
After 1967: Canada Daniel Nestor 3 2010, 2011, 2012
Winner of most mixed doubles titles – Men Before 1925:
(French club members only event)
France Max Decugis 7 1904, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1914 and 1920 with Suzanne Lenglen
1925-today: Australia Ken Fletcher
France Jean-Claude Barclay
3 1963–1965 with Margaret Court
1968, 1971, 1973 with Françoise Dürr
Winner of most titles (total: singles, doubles, mixed) – men Before 1925: France Max Decugis 29 1902–1920 (8 singles, 14 doubles, 7 mixed)
Winner of most titles (total: singles, doubles, mixed) – men 1925-today: France Henri Cochet 9 1926–1932 (4 singles, 3 doubles, 2 mixed)
Winner of most titles (total: singles, doubles, mixed) – men 1925-today: Spain Rafael Nadal 9 singles 2005-2008, 2010-2014
Women since 1897
Winner of most women's singles titles Till 1967:
(incl. French club members only era)
France Suzanne Lenglen 6 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926 Note: Also won World Hard Court Championship in 1914, 1921, 1922 & 1923
After 1967: United States Chris Evert 7 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986
Winner of most consecutive women's singles titles Till 1967:
(incl. French club members only era)
France Jeanne Matthey
France Suzanne Lenglen
4 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912
1920, 1921, 1922, 1923
After 1967: Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia/United States Monica Seles
Belgium Justine Henin
3 1990, 1991, 1992
2005, 2006, 2007
Winner of most women's doubles titles Till 1967:
(incl. French club members only era)
France Simone Mathieu 6 1933, 1934 with Elizabeth Ryan; 1936, 1937, 1938 with Billie Yorke; 1939 with Jadwiga Jędrzejowska
After 1967: Czech Republic/United States Martina Navratilova 7 1975 (with Chris Evert); 1982 with Anne Smith; 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 with Pam Shriver; 1986 with Andrea Temesvári
Winner of most consecutive women's doubles titles Till 1967:
(incl. French club members only era)
France Françoise Dürr 5 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971
After 1967: Czech Republic/United States Martina Navratilova

United States Gigi Fernández
5 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 with Pam Shriver; 1986 with Andrea Temesvári

1991 with Jana Novotná; 1992–95 with Natasha Zvereva
Winner of most mixed doubles titles – women Till 1967:
(incl. French club members only era)
France Suzanne Lenglen 7 1914, 1920 with Max Decugis; 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926 with Jacques Brugnon
After 1967: France Françoise Dürr 3 1968, 1971, 1973 with Jean-Claude Barclay
Winner of most titles (total: singles, doubles, mixed) – women Till 1967:
(incl. French club members only era)
France Suzanne Lenglen 15 1919–1926 (6 singles, 2 doubles, 7 mixed)
After 1967: Czech Republic/United States Martina Navratilova 11 1974–88 (2 singles, 7 doubles, 2 mixed)
Miscellaneous
Youngest winner Men: United States Michael Chang 17 years and 3 months
Women: Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia/United States Monica Seles 16 years and 6 months
Oldest winner Men: France Andre Vacherot 40 years and 9 months
Women: Hungary Zsuzsa Körmöczy 33 years and 10 months
Unseeded Winners Men: France Marcel Bernard
Sweden Mats Wilander
Brazil Gustavo Kuerten
Argentina Gastón Gaudio
1946
1982
1997
2004
Women: United Kingdom Margaret Scriven 1933

Television coverage[edit]

France Télévisions and Eurosport hold the broadcast rights to the French Open until 2014.

United Kingdom[edit]

ITV Sport holds broadcasting rights to show the French Open tennis tournaments until 2018.[14] The bulk of the daily coverage is broadcast on ITV4 although both singles finals plus other weekend matches are shown on ITV1.[15] John Inverdale hosts the coverage. Commentators include Jim Courier, Amelie Mauresmo, Sam Smith, Mark Petchey, Nick Mullins and Fabrice Santoro.

Studio presentation for the French Open on British Eurosport[16] is hosted by Annabel Croft with the segment Hawk-Eye presented by former British Number 2 Jason Goodall. (Goodall was briefly ranked ahead of Chris Bailey, Nick Brown, Andrew Castle, Nick Fulwood, Mark Petchey, and James Turner, in May 1989).

United States[edit]

NBC's coverage of the French Open began in 1975.[17] Other than a three-year stint on CBS, NBC has remained the American television network home of the French Open since 1983. NBC shows weekend morning early-round matches in the afternoon via tape-delay. If a match is still being played, it is shown live. ESPN2 or the Tennis Channel cannot show NBC's tape-delayed matches. NBC also shows a tape-delayed version of the men's semifinal, broadcasting it in the late morning of the same day. They broadcast both singles finals live.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Roland Garros 2012 – Event Guide / Prize Money". Retrieved 30 April 2012. 
  2. ^ Clarey, Christopher (30 June 2001). "Change Seems Essential to Escape Extinction : Wimbledon: World's Most-Loved Dinosaur". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2007. 
  3. ^ Clarey, Christopher (26 May 2006). "In a year of change at Roland Garros, the winners may stay the same". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 8 August 2007. 
  4. ^ "French Open – Countdown: Borg's view on RG". Eurosport. 22 May 2008. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2008. 
  5. ^ Ramat, Aurel (1994). Le Ramat typographique. Éditions Charles Corlet. p. 63. ISBN 2854804686. 
  6. ^ a b "Roland Garros: a venue open all year long. Past Winners and Draws". ftt.fr. Retrieved 7 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "Roland Garros Awards Equal Pay". WTA Tour. 16 March 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2007. [dead link]
  8. ^ "French Open could move away from Roland Garros in Paris". BBC News. 16 March 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2007. 
  9. ^ Mimram Footbridge. Culture Routes Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  10. ^ The Roland Garros Stadium of the Future. Roland Garros official Web site Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  11. ^ Martin, John (22 May 2010). French Officials Consider Relocation Options for the Open. New York Times Retrieved 18 August 2010.
  12. ^ Walker, Randy (1 June 2010). "French Open May Have to Leave Paris and 'Watch Tradition Grow". World Tennis magazine. Retrieved 17 August 2010.
  13. ^ Branch, John (1 June 2010). "Ball Kids Wake Up The French Open". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  14. ^ "French Open to stay on ITV until 2018". ITV Press Centre. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  15. ^ Deans, Jason (28 October 2011). "ITV nets French Open tennis TV rights". The Guardian (London). 
  16. ^ Laughlin, Andrew (30 January 2012). "Eurosport renews French, US Open rights deals". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  17. ^ Fang, Ken (23 May 2013). "NBC Begins Coverage of The 2013 French Open This Sunday". Fang's Bites. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Australian Open
Grand Slam Tournament
May–June
Succeeded by
Wimbledon

Coordinates: 48°50′49.79″N 2°14′57.18″E / 48.8471639°N 2.2492167°E / 48.8471639; 2.2492167