French Open Tournament History
Originating in 1891, the first French Open was famously won a British man, H. Briggs. However, a French player would go on to claim every French Open title until 1933 when Jack Crawford of Australia was able to snap the streak.
Women were ingratiated into the French Open in 1897 and also saw a similar French dominance in the earlier years. Recently, the French Open has become much more of an international tournament with Mary Pierce being the most recent French competitor to win the Women's Singles title in 2000.
The stadium is named after Roland Garros, a famous French pilot during WWI. He was the first pilot to shoot down another aircraft in history. Roland Garros also escaped a POW camp during the war, but was eventually shot down and killed in 1918.
French Open Location:
Located in the beautiful city of Paris, France, the French Open is played in one of the finest cities in the entire world.
French Open Court:
Played at the Roland-Garros Stadium, the French Open is the only Grand Slam played on a clay surface. Clay is the slowest tennis surface and thus makes for the most physically demanding matches.
French Open Traditions:
• The French Open has a strong tradition of utilizing young boys and girls as ball boys throughout the tournament. Seen as a prestigious honor for young tennis players, thousands of French children apply to be ball boys at the famous event.
• The French Open matches are always played in the daytime, with the Roland Garros Stadium not even outfitted with floodlights. So be sure to bring your sunscreen!
• The French Open also has a Children's Day event before the tournament that includes an exhibition match that benefits charities. Basically a dress rehearsal, the event showcases what is to come.
French Open Traditions:
• Rafael Nadal won his 7th French Open title last year over Novak Djokovic which has given him the most French Open titles in the professional open era, besting Bjorn Borg's 6 titles.
• Maria Sharapova defeated Sara Errani in the women's final year for her first ever French Open, meaning she has now won each of the 4 Grand Slam tournaments one time.
• Roger Federer has reached the French Open final 5 times, and has lost 4 of those to Rafael Nadal, the clear clay-court champion of our generation. Federer's only French Open victory was in 2009, when he was spared facing Nadal who was ousted in the 4th round.
Total Prize Money:
2013: Yet to be announced
2012 Men's Single: Rafael Nadal
2012 Women's Single: Maria Sharapova
2012 Men's Double: Max Mirnyi, Daniel Nester
2012 Women's Double: Serra Errani, Roberta Vinci
2012 Mixed Double: Sania Mirza, Mahesh Bhupathi