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Roland Garros
Frenchopen.svg
Official web
Location Paris (XVIe)
 France
Venue Stade Français (1891–1927)
Stade Roland Garros (1928–)
Surface Grass (1891–1927) Clay (1928–) (Outdoors)
Men's draw 128S / 128Q / 64D (2009)
Women's draw 128S / 96Q / 64D (2009)
Prize money 16,150,460 (2009) [1]
Grand Slam

The French Open (French: Les Internationaux de France de Roland Garros or Tournoi de Roland-Garros, IPA: [ʁɔlɑ̃ ɡaʁɔs]) is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks between late May and early June in Paris, France, at the Stade Roland Garros. It is the second of the Grand Slam tournaments on the annual tennis calendar and the premier clay court tennis tournament in the world. Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam still held on clay and ends the spring clay court season.

It is one of the most prestigious events in tennis,[2] and it has the widest worldwide broadcasting and audience of all regular events in this sport.[3][4] 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.[5][6]

The singles champions for 2009 are Swiss male Roger Federer and Russian female Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Contents

History

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 as the "French Open" and always as "Roland Garros" in French.

A French national tournament began in 1891, that was open only to tennis players who were members of French clubs. It was known as the Championnat de France International de Tennis. The first women's tournament was held in 1897. This 'French club members only' tournament was played until 1924. Another tournament, the World Hard Court Championships held on Clay courts at Stade Francais in Saint Cloud, which was played from 1912 to 1923 (except the war years), is often considered as the precursor to Roland Garros as it was open to international competitors. Winners of this tournament included world number #1's such as Tony Wilding (1913, 1914) and Bill Tilden (1921). In 1924 there was no World Hard Court Championships due to the tennis being played at the Paris Olympic Games.

In 1925, the French Championships opened itself to international competitors with the event held on a grass surface alternately between the Racing Club de France and the Stade Francais.[7] 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 1945 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.[7]

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).

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 Peter Vongovic exhibition day takes place, where the profits go to different charity associations.

In March 2007, it was announced that the event will provide equal prize money for both men and women in all rounds for the first time ever.[8]

Roland Garros 08 .JPG
Suzanne Lenglen Court at Roland Garros

Surface characteristics

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 serves and serve-and-volleyers, which makes it hard for serve based players to dominate on the surface. For example, Pete Sampras, a player known for his huge serve, never won the French Open (nor even advanced to the final) in his entire career. Similarly, John McEnroe and Venus Williams (who have won several Grand Slam tournaments), Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, and Maria Sharapova have never won the French Open.

On the other hand, players whose games are more suited to slower surfaces, such as Björn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Rafael Nadal, and Mats Wilander, and on the women's side, 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.

Prize money

In 2009, the prize money awarded in the men's and women's singles tournaments was equal and distributed as follows:[9]

Winner €1 060 000
Finalist €530 000
Semi-finalist €265 000
Quarter-finalist €132 500
Fourth round €68 400
Third round €40 600
Second round €24 500
First round €15 000

Champions

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.

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Current champions

Event Champion Runner-up Score
2009 Men's Singles Switzerland Roger Federer Sweden Robin Söderling 6–1, 7–6(1), 6–4
2009 Women's Singles Russia Svetlana Kuznetsova Russia Dinara Safina 6–4, 6–2
2009 Men's Doubles Czech Republic Lukáš Dlouhý
India Leander Paes
South Africa Wesley Moodie
Belgium Dick Norman
3–6, 6–3, 6–2
2009 Women's Doubles Spain Anabel Medina Garrigues
Spain Virginia Ruano Pascual
Belarus Victoria Azarenka
Russia Elena Vesnina
6–1, 6–1
2009 Mixed Doubles United States Liezel Huber
United States Bob Bryan
United States Vania King
Brazil Marcelo Melo
5–7, 7–6(5), [10–7]

Records

Record Era Player(s) Nos. Years
Men since 1891
Winner of most men's singles titles Before 1925: France Max Decugis (French club members only event) 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: Sweden Björn Borg 6 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
Winner of most consecutive men's singles titles Before 1968: France Max Decugis 3 1907, 1908, 1909, 1912, 1913, 1914
United States Frank Parker

Czech Republic Jaroslav Drobny

United States Tony Trabert

Italy Nicola Pietrangeli
2 1948, 1949

1951, 1952

1954, 1955

1959, 1960
After 1967: Sweden Björn Borg

Spain Rafael Nadal
4 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981

2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Winner of most men's doubles titles Before 1968: France Max Decugis 14 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1920
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: Netherlands Paul Haarhuis

Russia Yevgeny Kafelnikov

India Leander Paes
3 1995, 1998 with Jacco Eltingh, 2002 with Yevgeny Kafelnikov

1996, 1997 with Daniel Vacek, 2002 with Paul Haarhuis

1999, 2001 with Mahesh Bhupati, 2009 with Lukas Dlouhy
Winner of most consecutive men's doubles titles Before 1968: France Max Decugis 13 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914
Australia Roy Emerson 6 1960-65
After 1967: United States Gene Mayer

Russia Yevgeny Kafelnikov & Czech Republic Daniel Vacek

Sweden Jonas Bjorkman & Belarus Max Mirnyi
2 1978 with Hank Pfister, 1979 with Sandy Mayer


1996, 1997


2005, 2006
Winner of most mixed doubles titles – Men Before 1968: France Max Decugis 7 1904, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1914 and 1920 with Suzanne Lenglen
After 1967: France Jean-Claude Barclay 4 1968, 1971, 1973 with Francoise Durr
Winner of most titles (total: singles, doubles, mixed) – men Before 1968: France Max Decugis 29 1902-1920 (8 singles, 14 doubles, 7 mixed)
After 1967: Sweden Björn Borg 6 1974-81 (6 singles)
Women since 1897
Winner of most women's singles titles Before 1968: 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 Before 1968: France Suzanne Lenglen 4 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923
After 1967: Yugoslavia Monica Seles

Belgium Justine Henin
3 1990, 1991, 1992

2005, 2006, 2007
Winner of most women's doubles titles Before 1968: France Simone Mathieu 6 1933, 1934 with Elizabeth Ryan, 1936, 1937, 1938 with Billie Yorke, 1939 with Jadwiga Jedrzejowska
After 1967: Czechoslovakia/United States Martina Navratilova 7 1975 (with Chris Evert), 1982 with Anne Smith, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 with Pam Shriver, 1986 with Andrea Temesvari
Winner of most consecutive women's doubles titles Before 1968: France Francoise Durr 5 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971
After 1967: Czechoslovakia/United States Martina Navratilova

Puerto Rico Gigi Fernandez
5 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 with Pam Shriver; 1986 with Andrea Temesvari

1991 with Jana Novotna, 1992-95 with Natasha Zvereva
Winner of most mixed doubles titles – women Before 1968: France Suzanne Lenglen 7 1914, 1920 with Max Decugis

1921, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926 with Jacques Brugnon
After 1967: France Francoise Durr 3 1968, 1971, 1973 with Jean-Claude Barclay
Winner of most titles (total: singles, doubles, mixed) – women Before 1968: France Suzanne Lenglen 15 1919-1926 (6 singles, 2 doubles, 7 mixed)
After 1967: Czechoslovakia/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: Yugoslavia Monica Seles 16 years and 6 months
Unseeded Winners Men: France Marcel Bernard

Sweden Mats Wilander

Brazil Gustavo Kuerten

Argentina Gaston Gaudio
1946

1982

1997

2004
Women: United Kingdom Margaret Scriven 1933

See also

Grand Slam tennis

Notes and references

External links

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


Simple English

The French Open is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments. It is played in Paris, France. The first competition was held in 1891. [1]

The French Open is famous for being the only Grand Slam played on a clay court. [2] On a clay court the ball bounces much slower and higher than on hard or grass courts. This makes it more difficult to win the point and rallies (the number of shots in a point) usually last longer. Players that excel on clay courts are called clay-court specialists.

The tournament is played in the summer for two weeks.. It starts near the end of May and finshes during the first few days of June.

Sometimes, the French Open is called the Roland Garros tournament. Roland Garros was a well-known aviator from World War I who had the main tennis court named after him. [3]

The winners in 2009 were Roger Federer and Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Records

  • Men - Björn Borg has won 6 times.
  • Women - Chris Evert has won 7 times.

Sources

  1. French Open History - URL accessed 15 March, 2009
  2. International Tennis Federation - URL accessed 15 March, 2009
  3. French Open Venue - URL accessed 15 March, 2009



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