Each year in late spring, spectators watch the drama unfold as the best in tennis come together to battle it out for the world’s greatest clay court championship, the French Open.
Held at the famous Roland Garros Stadium in Paris, France, this second tournament of the Grand Slam is held over two weeks and is the only one to be played on a clay court. Considered by many to be a much more difficult surface to play on than grass, due to the slower moving, yet higher bouncing ball, this court and tournament force players to demonstrate their true skill, and prove that they have what it takes to walk away with the top prize.
Since the first tournament in 1891, some of the sports greatest athletes have taken on the infamous clay courts, from Max Decugis to Rafael Nadal and Suzanne Lenglen to Chris Evert, in order to claim victory at one of the most physically demanding tennis tournaments in the world.
Some interesting facts about the French Open:
- Roland Garros is currently the smallest Grand Slam venue, though plans are in place for expansion. In 2019, tennis fans will be treated the new improvements.
- Each year, approximately 250 ball boys and girls (or Ramasseurs de balles) are selected to work the French Open. The successful applicants will undergo weeks of training to ensure they are up to the task.
- The famous ‘clay’ courts are actually white limestone covered with red brick dust.
- Rafael Nadal holds the record for most men’s singles titles with nine; Chris Evert holds the record for women with seven.
- The only French players to win the French Open are Yannick Noah in 1983 and Mary Pierce in 2000
Book Your Trip to the French Open
Call a Sports Travel Specialist at 1-800-465-1765 or