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French Championships (tennis)

This article is about the tennis tournament. For the golf tournament, see Open de France. For the badminton tournament, see French Open (badminton).

Les Internationaux de France de Tennis, Roland-Garros
Official website
Founded 1891;  (1891)
Location Paris (XVIe)
Venue Tennis Club de Paris, at Auteuil (some of the years from 1891–1908)
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 21,017,000 (2013)[1]
Draw 128S / 128Q / 64D
Current champions Rafael Nadal (singles)
Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan (doubles)
Most singles titles 8
Max Decugis
Rafael Nadal
Most doubles titles 14
Max Decugis
Draw 128S / 96Q / 64D
Current champions Serena Williams (singles)
Ekaterina Makarova / Elena Vesnina (doubles)
Most singles titles 7
Chris Evert
Most doubles titles 7
Martina Navratilova
Mixed Doubles
Draw 48
Current champions Lucie Hradecká / František Čermák
Most titles (male) 7
Max Decugis
Most titles (female) 7
Suzanne Lenglen
Grand Slam
Last Completed
2013 Roland Garros

The French Open, often referred to as Roland Garros (officially: Les internationaux de France de Tennis, Roland Garros; also called Tournoi de Roland-Garros) 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; 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 spring clay court season.

It is one of the largest events in tennis and by far the largest clay-court tournament.[2] 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.[3][4]


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 in English as the "French Open" and alternatively as "Roland Garros", which is the designation used by the tournament itself in all languages, including English. 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.[5] Therefore the names of the stadium and the tournament are hyphenated as Roland-Garros.

In 1891, a national tennis tournament began to be held, that was open only to tennis players who were members of French clubs. The first winner was a Briton—H. Briggs who was a Paris resident. It was known as the Championnat de France, which is commonly referred to in English as the French Championships. The first women's singles tournament 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. This tournament had four venues during those years:

Another tournament, the World Hard Court Championships held on clay courts at Stade Français in Saint-Cloud from 1912 to 1914, then in 1920, 1921 and 1923, and at Brussels, Belgium in 1922, is sometimes considered as the precursor to the French Open as it was open to international competitors. 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 the tennis being played at the Paris Olympic Games.

In 1925, the French Championships became open to all amateurs internationally and at the same time commenced being a major championship (designated by the ILTF). This tournament was held at the Stade Français in Saint-Cloud (site of the previous World Hardcourt Championships) in 1925 and 1927, on clay. In 1926 the Racing Club de France hosted the event in Paris, again on clay (site of the previous "French club members only" Championship). In 1928, the Roland Garros stadium was opened and the event has been held there ever since.[6] 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 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.[6]

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]

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 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. Many players who have won multiple Grand Slam events have never won the French Open, including John McEnroe, Venus Williams, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Martina Hingis and Lindsay Davenport. Andy Roddick, who once held the record for the second-fastest serve (249 km/hr) in the history of professional tennis and who has reached at least the semifinals of the other three Grand Slams multiple times, never reached the quarter-finals at the French Open (his best result was the fourth round in 2009).

On the other hand, players whose games are more suited to slower surfaces, such as Rafael Nadal, Björn Borg, Ivan Lendl, 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.

Court Philippe Chatrier

Expansion vs. relocation

In 2009 the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT) announced that it had determined that the French Open's venue had become inadequate, compared to other major tennis tournament facilities. As a result, it had commissioned the French architect Marc Mimram (designer of the Passerelle des Deux Rives footbridge across the Rhine River in Strasbourg[9]) to design a significant expansion of Stade Roland Garros. On the current property, the proposal calls for the addition of lights and a roof over Court Philippe Chatrier. At the nearby Georges Hébert municipal recreation area, east of Roland Garros at Porte d'Auteuil, a fourth stadium will be built, with a retractable roof and 14,600 seating capacity, along with two smaller courts with seating for 1,500 and 750.[10]

In 2010, faced with opposition to the proposed expansion from factions within the Paris City Council, the FFT announced it was considering an alternate plan to move the French Open to a completely new, 55-court venue outside of Paris city limits. Three sites reportedly being considered are Marne-la-Vallée (site of the Euro Disney resort), the northern Paris suburb of Gonesse near of the international airport Charles de Gaulle, and a vacant army base near Versailles.[11] Amid charges of bluffing and brinkmanship, a spokesman explained that Roland Garros is less than half the size of other Grand Slam venues, leaving the FFT with only two viable options: expansion of the existing facility or relocation of the event.[12]

In February 2011, the decision was taken to keep the French Open at its current location near the Porte d'Auteuil. The venue will undergo major renovations by 2018. Court n°1 will be demolished, while 2 new courts will be built. In addition, a retractable roof will be installed on the Philippe Chatrier court, and the size of the venue will be expanded by 60%.

Ball boys and ball girls

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.[13] 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 professional tennis court in front of a global audience.

Prize money and ranking points

For 2013, the prize money purse was increased to €21,017,000 from €18,718,000 in 2012. The prize money and points breakdown is as follows:[14]

Prize Money (2012)
Event W F SF QF 4R 3R 2R 1R
Singles Points (M/F) 2000 1200 / 1400 720 / 900 360 / 500 180 / 280 90 / 160 45 / 100 10/5
Prize money €1,500,000 €750,000 €375,000 €190,000 €100,000 €60,000 €35,000 €21,000
Doubles Points (M/F) 2000 1200 / 1400 720 / 900 360 / 500 180 / 280 90 / 160
Prize money* €360,000 €180,000 €90,000 €50,000 €28,000 €15,000 €8,000
Prize money* €105,000 €53,000 €26,500 €13,000 €7,000 €3,500

* per team


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.

Current champions

Event Champion Runner-up Score
2013 Men's Singles Spain Rafael Nadal Spain David Ferrer 6–3, 6–2, 6–3
2013 Women's Singles United States Serena Williams Russia Maria Sharapova 6–4, 6–4
2013 Men's Doubles United States Bob Bryan
United States Mike Bryan
France Michaël Llodra
France Nicolas Mahut
6–4, 4–6, 7–6(7–4)
2013 Women's Doubles Russia Ekaterina Makarova
Russia Elena Vesnina
Italy Sara Errani
Italy Roberta Vinci
7–5, 6–2
2013 Mixed Doubles Czech Republic Lucie Hradecká
Czech Republic František Čermák
France Kristina Mladenovic
Canada Daniel Nestor
1–6, 6–4, [10–6]


Record Era Player(s) Num. 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: Spain Rafael Nadal 8 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Winner of most consecutive men's singles titles Before 1925: France Paul Aymé (French club members only event) 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: Sweden Björn Borg
Spain Rafael Nadal
4 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
Winner of most men's doubles titles Before 1925: France Max Decugis (French club members only event) 14 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1920
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: France Max Decugis (French club members only event) 13 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914
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: France Max Decugis (French club members only event) 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)
1925-today: France Henri Cochet 9 1926–1932 (4 singles, 3 doubles, 2 mixed)
Women since 1897
Winner of most women's singles titles Till 1967: 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: 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: France Simone 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: 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: 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: 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)
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
Women: United Kingdom Margaret Scriven 1933

Television coverage

France Télévisions and Eurosport hold the broadcast rights to the French Open until 2014.

United Kingdom

ITV Sport holds broadcasting rights to show the French Open tennis tournaments from 2012 to 2014.[15] The bulk of the daily coverage is broadcast on ITV4 although both singles finals plus other weekend matches are shown on ITV1.[16] John Inverdale hosts the coverage. Commentators include Jim Courier, Amelie Mauresmo, Sam Smith, Mark Petchey, Nick Mullins and Fabrice Santoro.

Studio presentation for the French Open on British Eurosport[17] 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

NBC's coverage of the French Open began in 1975.[18] 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 will be shown live. ESPN2 or Tennis Channel cannot show NBC's tape-delayed matches. NBC also tape-delays the men's semifinal, broadcasting it in the late morning on the same day. They broadcast both finals live.

See also

Tennis portal
France portal


External links

  • Official Site
  • (French) Roland Garros on France2
  • (French) Roland Garros on : more than 600 hours of audio/visual archives
  • Satellite image of the venue (Google Maps)
  • Photos of Roland Garros
  • French Open – All winners and runners-up. Reference book
Preceded by
Australian Open
Grand Slam Tournament
Succeeded by

Coordinates: 48°50′49.79″N 2°14′57.18″E / 48.8471639°N 2.2492167°E / 48.8471639; 2.2492167

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