French Pro Championship

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In 1930 the "Association Française des Professeurs de Tennis (AFPT)" held its first pro tournament, titled "Championnat International de France Professionnel" (French Pro Championships) June 18–22, 1930,[1] and is considered as a part of the professional grand slam from 1927 to 1967 till the advent of Open Era.

From 1930 the French Pro Championship were always played at Paris, on outdoor clay at Roland Garros except from 1963 to 1967 where it was held at Stade Pierre de Coubertin on indoor wood. Ken Rosewall holds the record for 8 wins overall and 7 consecutive wins.

There was a tournament played on indoor cement in 1953 at the Palais des Sports. It is listed in the table below, but there is no suggestion that it was seen as a French Pro.

Champions[edit]

Year Champion Runner-up Score Name Surface
Professional Era
1930 Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh Republic of Ireland Albert Burke 6–1, 6–2, 6–1 Roland Garros Clay
1931 France Martin Plaa France Robert Ramillon 6–3, 6–1, 3–6, 6–2 Roland Garros Clay
1932 France Robert Ramillon France Martin Plaa 6–4, 3–6, 8–6, 6–4 Roland Garros Clay
1933a United States Bill Tilden France Henri Cochet 6–2, 6–4, 6–2 Roland Garros Clay
1934 United States Bill Tilden France Martin Plaa 6–2, 6–4, 7–5 Roland Garros Clay
1935 United States Ellsworth Vines Germany Hans Nüsslein 10–8, 6–4, 3–6, 6–1 Roland Garros Clay
1936 France Henri Cochet France Robert Ramillon 6–3, 6–1, 6–1 Roland Garros Clay
1937 Germany Hans Nüsslein France Henri Cochet 6–2, 8–6, 6–3 Roland Garros Clay
1938 Germany Hans Nüsslein United States Bill Tilden 6–0, 6–1, 6–2 Roland Garros Clay
1939 United States Don Budge United States Ellsworth Vines 6–2, 7–5, 6–3 Roland Garros Clay
1940–1949 Not Held
1950b United States Pancho Segura United States Jack Kramer Palais des Sports, Paris Cement Indoor
1951–1952 Not Held
1953b Australia Frank Sedgman United States Pancho Gonzales Palais des Sports, Paris Cement Indoor
1954–1955 Not Held
1956 United States Tony Trabert United States Pancho Gonzales 6–3, 4–6, 5–7, 8–6, 6–2 Roland Garros Clay
1957 Not Held
1958 Australia Ken Rosewall Australia Lew Hoad 3–6, 6–2, 6–4, 6–0 Roland Garros Clay
1959 United States Tony Trabert Australia Frank Sedgman 6–4, 6–4, 6–4 Roland Garros Clay
1960 Australia Ken Rosewall Australia Lew Hoad 6–2, 2–6, 6–2, 6–1 Roland Garros Clay
1961 Australia Ken Rosewall United States Pancho Gonzales 2–6, 6–4, 6–3, 8–6 Roland Garros Clay
1962 Australia Ken Rosewall Spain Andrés Gimeno 3–6, 6–2, 7–5, 6–2 Roland Garros Clay
1963 Australia Ken Rosewall Australia Rod Laver 6–8, 6–4, 5–7, 6–3, 6–4 Stade Coubertin, Paris Wood Indoor
1964 Australia Ken Rosewall Australia Rod Laver 6–3, 7–5, 3–6, 6–3 Stade Coubertin Wood Indoor
1965 Australia Ken Rosewall Australia Rod Laver 6–3, 6–2, 6–4 Stade Coubertin Wood Indoor
1966 Australia Ken Rosewall Australia Rod Laver 6–3, 6–2, 14–12 Stade Coubertin Wood Indoor
1967 Australia Rod Laver Spain Andrés Gimeno 6–4, 8–6, 4–6, 6–2 Stade Coubertin Wood Indoor
Open Era
1968 Australia Rod Laver Australia John Newcombe 6–2, 6–2, 6–3 Roland Garros Clay

Notes:

a In History of the Pro Tennis Wars, by Ray Bowers, Bowers gives a very detailed account of the first twenty years of the professional tennis tours, from a modest beginning in 1926 with Suzanne Lenglen and Vincent Richards as the main attractions, on through 1945, there is no mention of a French Pro tournament in 1933. The only professional competition played that year at Roland Garros was a USA-France meeting, September 22–24, in the Davis Cup format won by the USA 4–1 where Cochet overcame Bruce Barnes, Tilden defeated Plaa and Cochet, Barnes beat Plaa, and Americans then closed out the doubles. Many sources probably wrongly considered the Tilden-Cochet match as a final of a supposed French Pro.[2]

bIn 1953, from Saturday November 21 to Sunday November 22, a 4-man (Sedgman winner, Gonzales runner-up, Segura 3rd and Budge 4th) professional tournament was held in Paris on indoor red cement at the Palais des Sports but there is no mention anywhere that this tournament was a French Pro : in particular in the January 1954 edition of Tennis de France, the French magazine, run by Philippe Chatrier (future president of the ILTF) who made the report of this tournament by interviewing Frank Sedgman, winner of the tournament. Joe McCauley included this tournament in his list of French Pro tournaments but he precised in his book "History of Professional Tennis" mentions that it may not have been considered at the time as an official French Pro. In January 1950 in the same site Pancho Segura defeated Jack Kramer.

Bristol Cup[edit]

Before 1930 some tournaments were sometimes labelled "Professional Championships of France" : the Bristol Cup (held from 1920 to 1932), the most important pro tournament in the world in the 1920s, was sometimes referred as the French Pro [3] as well as the World Pro tournament held at Deauville in 1925.[4] Therefore two different tournaments were both considered as French Pro Championships in 1925 (World Pro at Deauville and Bristol Cup at Cannes) and from 1930 to 1932 (Roland Garros and Bristol Cup at Beaulieu).

Date Event and city Winner Runner-up Score
1920 Bristol Cup, Cannes France Romeo Acquarone
1921 December Bristol Cup, Cannes United Kingdom John C. S. Rendall
1922 19–23 December Bristol Cup, Menton United Kingdom John C. S. Rendall Italy J. Negro 6–1, 0–6, 6–4, 6–2 (or 6–1, 0–6, 6–4, 6–1)
1923 December ?-20 Bristol Cup, Menton United Kingdom John C. S. Rendall Italy J. Negro 6–2, 6–3, 7–5
1924 late December Bristol Cup, Cannes (Court Métropole) Republic of Ireland Albert Burke Germany Roman Najuch 7–5, 1–6, 6–4, 6–1
1925 December ?-26 Bristol Cup, Cannes (Court Métropole) Republic of Ireland Albert Burke Germany Roman Najuch 0–6, 4–6, 6–4, 6–4, 6–1
1926 13–16 December Bristol Cup, Menton Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh Republic of Ireland Albert Burke 3–6, 6–1, 6–2, 6–0
1927 Not Held
1928 9–12 January Bristol Cup, Menton Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh Germany Roman Najuch 6–3, 6–2, 6–4
1929 January Bristol Cup, Menton Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh Republic of Ireland Albert Burke 6–3, 6–1, 6–0
1930 January Bristol Cup, Menton Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh Germany Roman Najuch 6–3, 6–3, 6–4 (or 6–3, 6–4, 6–4)
1931 10–17 January Bristol Cup, Menton Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh Republic of Ireland Albert Burke 6–3, 6–1, 5–7, 6–4
1932 5–10 January Bristol Cup, Menton Czechoslovakia Karel Koželuh France Martin Plaa 6–1, 6–4, 1–6, 6–0

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Le Tennis en France 1875–1955
  2. ^ "Cochet As Professional". Retrieved September 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ Lowe's Lawn Tennis Annual
  4. ^ Ayres' Lawn Tennis Almanack 1925