French Open

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"French Championships" redirects here. For other uses, see French Championship (disambiguation).
This article is about the tennis tournament. For the golf tournament, see Open de France. For the badminton tournament, see French Open (badminton).
Internationaux de France de Tennis, Roland-Garros
Frenchopen.svg
Official website
Founded 1891; 125 years ago (1891)
Editions 115 (2016)
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 28,028,600 (2015)
Men's
Draw 128S / 128Q / 64D
Current champions Serbia Novak Djokovic (singles)
Spain Feliciano López
Spain Marc López (doubles)
Most singles titles 9
Spain Rafael Nadal
Most doubles titles 13
France Max Decugis
Women's
Draw 128S / 96Q / 64D
Current champions Spain Garbiñe Muguruza (singles)
France Caroline Garcia
France Kristina Mladenovic (doubles)
Most singles titles 7
United States Chris Evert
Most doubles titles 7
Czechoslovakia / United States Martina Navratilova
Mixed Doubles
Draw 32
Current champions Switzerland Martina Hingis
India Leander Paes
Most titles (male) 7
France Max Decugis
Most titles (female) 7
France Suzanne Lenglen
Grand Slam
Last Completed
2016 French Open

The French Open, often referred to as Roland Garros (French: [ʁɔlɑ̃ ɡaʁɔs]), 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,[1] 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 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.[2][3]

History[edit]

Officially named in French Internationaux de France de tennis and Tournoi de Roland-Garros (the "French Internationals of tennis" 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. 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.[4] Therefore, the names of the stadium and the tournament are hyphenated as Roland-Garros.

In 1891 the Championnat de France, which is commonly referred to in English as the French Championships, was begun. It was only open to tennis players who were members of French clubs. The first winner was a Briton—H. Briggs—who was a Paris resident. The first women's singles tournament, with four entries, 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, using four different venues during that period:

  • 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, is sometimes considered the precursor to the French Open as it was open to international competitors. It was held on clay courts at Stade Français in Saint-Cloud from 1912 to 1914, then, after World War 1, was contested there again in 1920, 1921 and 1923, with the 1922 tournament held at Brussels, Belgium. 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 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 was designated a major championship by the ILTF. It was held at the Stade Français in Saint-Cloud (site of the previous World Hardcourt Championships) in 1925 and 1927, on clay courts. In 1926 the Racing Club de France hosted the event in Paris, site of the previous "French club members only" Championship, also on clay. In 1928, the Roland Garros stadium was opened and the event has been held there ever since.[5]

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.

During World War II the tournament was held from 1941 through 1945 on the same grounds but these editions are not recognized by the French governing body, Fédération Française de Tennis.[6] 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.[5]

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] However, as of the 2016 tournament the competition still takes place at Roland Garros.

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. Other notable players who have won multiple Grand Slam events have never won the French Open, including John McEnroe, Frank Sedgman, John Newcombe, Venus Williams, Stefan Edberg, Jimmy Connors, Louise Brough, and Virginia Wade; McEnroe and Edberg lost their sole French Open finals appearances in five sets.

On the other hand, players whose games are more suited to slower surfaces, such as Rafael Nadal, Björn Borg, Ivan Lendl, and Mats Wilander, Justine Henin and Chris Evert, 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, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer. Borg's French Open—Wimbledon double was achieved three times consecutively (1978, 1979, 1980) and regarded by Wimbledon officials as "the most difficult double in tennis"[9] and "a feat considered impossible among today's players."[10]

Expansion vs. relocation[edit]

From 2004–2008 there were off and on plans to build a covered stadium with a roof.[11][12][13] There have also been various proposals to expand the facility or to move the French Open to a completely new, 55-court venue outside of Paris city limits. In 2011 it was decided to keep the tournament at Roland-Garros.[14][15]

The expansion project calls for a new stadium to be built alongside the historical Auteuil's greenhouses and expansion of old stadiums and the tournament village.[16] In May 2015, the city council voted against the expansion project, but on 9 June 2015 Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo announced the signing of the construction permits, with work scheduled to begin in September of that year and concluding in 2019.[17][18] In December 2015, the Paris Administrative Court once again halted renovation work. The French Tennis Federation is appealing the decision.[19] Opponents however vow to continue to fight the expansion plans in the courts.

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.[20] 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 2015, the prize money purse was increased to €28,028,600. If a player makes it to the indicated round, they will receive the points and money listed (provided they don't make it to a further round). Men and women often receive different point values based on the rules of their respective tours. Players receive the The prize money and points breakdown is as follows:

Prize Money (2015)
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 €1,800,000 €900,000 €450,500 €250,000 €145,000 €85,000 €50,000 €27,000
Doubles Points (M/F) 2000 1200 / 1300 720 / 780 360 / 430 180 / 240 90 / 130
Prize money* €450,000 €225,000 €112,500 €61,000 €33,000 €18,000 €9,000
Mixed
Doubles
Points NA NA NA NA NA NA - -
Prize money* €114,000 €57,000 €28,000 €15,000 €8,000 €4,000 - -

*per team

Champions[edit]

Past champions[edit]

The trophies, designed and made by Maison Mellerio dits Meller, 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 base of the trophy. Winners receive custom-made pure silver replicas of the trophies they have won.[21]

Current champions[edit]

Event Champion Runner-up Score
2016 Men's Singles Serbia Novak Djokovic United Kingdom Andy Murray 3–6, 6–1, 6–2, 6–4
2016 Women's Singles Spain Garbiñe Muguruza United States Serena Williams 7–5, 6–4
2016 Men's Doubles Spain Feliciano López
Spain Marc López
United States Bob Bryan
United States Mike Bryan
6–4, 6–7(6–8), 6–3
2016 Women's Doubles France Caroline Garcia
France Kristina Mladenovic
Russia Ekaterina Makarova
Russia Elena Vesnina
6–3, 2–6, 6–4
2016 Mixed Doubles Switzerland Martina Hingis
India Leander Paes
India Sania Mirza
Croatia Ivan Dodig
4–6, 6–4, [10–8]

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 13 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1920[22]
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 Maurice Germot 10 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1920[22]
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 2005–2008, 2010–2014 (9 singles)
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 Simonne 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]

Broadcast rights to the French Open (as of 2016) are as follows:[23]

France[edit]

FranceTV Sports & EuroSport 1&2. France Télévisions and Eurosport hold the broadcast rights to the French Open in 2016.

United Kingdom[edit]

ITV 1, ITV2, British EuroSport. ITV Sport holds broadcasting rights to show the French Open tennis tournaments until 2018.[24] The bulk of the daily coverage is broadcast on ITV4 although both singles finals plus other weekend matches are shown on ITV1.[25] John Inverdale hosts the coverage. Commentators include Jim Courier, Amélie Mauresmo, Sam Smith, Mark Petchey, Nick Mullins and Fabrice Santoro.

Studio presentation for the French Open on British Eurosport[26] 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]

Tennis Channel & NBC. NBC's coverage of the French Open began in 1975.[27] Tennis Channel owns pay television rights to the tournament. Coverage of morning window (U.S. time) matches were sub-licensed to ESPN for broadcast by ESPN2 from 2007 through 2015.[28] In August 2015, ESPN announced that it would discontinue its sub-licensing and drop coverage of the French Open beginning in 2016, with network staff citing that because of the structure of the arrangement, its coverage "did not fit our successful model at the other three Majors"—where ESPN is the exclusive rightsholder.[28] Tennis Channel chose to retain these rights under its new owner Sinclair Broadcast Group, nearly doubling the amount of coverage Tennis Channel will air from Roland Garros.[29][30]

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. Other broadcasters 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. It broadcasts both singles finals live.

Other areas[edit]

  • Indian Subcontinent - Neo SPorts & MNC Sports.
  • Canada - RDS (French) & TSN (English)
  • Australia - FoxSports
  • Europe - EuroSport 1 & 2
  • African nations - Super Sports & BeinSport
  • Caribbean - ESPN Caribbean
  • South America - ESPN Latin
  • New Zealand - Sky NZ
  • Middle East - beIN Sports
  • Fiji & Pacific Islands - FoxSports


See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Last French Men's Singles champion: Yannick Noah (1983).
  2. ^ Last French Women's Singles champion: Mary Pierce (2000).

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ 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 16 October 2007. Retrieved 8 August 2007. 
  3. ^ "French Open – Countdown: Borg's view on RG". Eurosport. 22 May 2008. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 22 May 2008. 
  4. ^ Ramat, Aurel (1994). Le Ramat typographique. Éditions Charles Corlet. p. 63. ISBN 2854804686. 
  5. ^ a b "Roland Garros: a venue open all year long. Past Winners and Draws". ftt.fr. Retrieved 7 August 2007. 
  6. ^ Henry D. Fetter (6 June 2011). "The French Open During World War II: A Hidden History". The Atlantic. 
  7. ^ "Roland Garros Awards Equal Pay". WTA Tour. 16 March 2007. Archived from the original on 23 June 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2007. 
  8. ^ "French Open could move away from Roland Garros in Paris". BBC News. 16 March 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2007. 
  9. ^ Atkin, Ronald. "Wimbledon Legends – Bjorn Borg". Wimbledon.com. Retrieved 4 February 2012. 
  10. ^ "Strokes for Agassi: He belongs among the 10 greatest ever", Bruce Jenkins, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 September 2006
  11. ^ "Roland Garros set for roof". Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  12. ^ "French Open Adds Day; Clay Stays the Same". Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Only 13 matches completed before rain halts play". Retrieved 29 March 2015. 
  14. ^ Christopher Clarey (28 May 2013). "Renovation Plans in Limbo, Roland Garros Faces Future". The New York Times. 
  15. ^ Andrew Roberts (14 February 2011). "French Open Tennis Will Stay in Paris at Upgraded Roland Garros". Bloomberg. 
  16. ^ "Modernising Roland Garros stadium". Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT). 
  17. ^ Kamakshi Tandon (29 May 2015). "Paris city council votes against French Open expansion project". Tennis,com. 
  18. ^ "Roland Garros Revamp Gets Green Light". NDTV. 10 June 2015. 
  19. ^ "French Federation to Appeal against Roland Garros´ Modernization suspension!". Tennis World. 26 March 2016. 
  20. ^ Branch, John (1 June 2010). "Ball Kids Wake Up The French Open". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  21. ^ "An A to Z of Roland Garros". www.rolandgarros.com. Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT). 
  22. ^ a b "French Open winners". Rolland Garros. Retrieved 2 February 2015. 
  23. ^ "TV channels broadcasting French Open 2016". Retrieved 14 September 2016. 
  24. ^ "French Open to stay on ITV until 2018". ITV Press Centre. 6 June 2014. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  25. ^ Deans, Jason (28 October 2011). "ITV nets French Open tennis TV rights". The Guardian. London. 
  26. ^ Laughlin, Andrew (30 January 2012). "Eurosport renews French, US Open rights deals". Digital Spy. Retrieved 3 July 2013. 
  27. ^ Fang, Ken (23 May 2013). "NBC Begins Coverage of The 2013 French Open This Sunday". Fang's Bites. Retrieved 26 May 2013. 
  28. ^ a b "ESPN drops the French Open, NBCSN could step in". Awful Announcing. Retrieved 3 August 2015. 
  29. ^ Umstead, R. Thomas (14 March 2016). "Tennis Channel Extends French Open Pay TV Rights". Multichannel News. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 
  30. ^ Ourand, John & Kaplan, Daniel, - (3 August 2015). "ESPN bids French Open adieu after 13 years". Sports Business Journal. Retrieved 16 March 2016. 

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