Take A Closer Look At France’s Grand Slam Tournament

By Christine
April 20, 2022

Let’s get up close and personal with French Open history, facts and background. It’s one of our favorite tennis events of the year and you’re about to find out why!

It’s all in the name

The French Open is by far and away the most popular name for this tournament in English speaking countries, however, in France, they call it the Internationaux de France de Tennis. Another common name is the Roland-Garros. What’s with that Roland name? Read on to find out…

Stade Roland-Garros, the venue du jour

The French Open is held in Stade Roland-Garros in Paris. Operating since 1928, this tennis centre has long been the hub for major tournaments in the country.

French Open history begins in 1891… Or does it?

French Open history is a disputed topic. Most people say that the French Open’s origin story starts with the first Championnat de France (French Championships) in 1891. But it was pretty different to the French Open we know today. For a start, it was only open to French clubs’ players. And, unlike the French Open, it was played in a variety of venues.

Meanwhile, other experts claim that the more closely related tournament is the World Hard Court Championships, which began in 1912 and ran for just nine years up until 1923.

Like the French Open, it was played on clay courts. It was similar to the Championnat de France in that it was held in several different venues, mostly in Paris. But the big thing about the World Hard Court Championships is that it was open to international players, like the French Open we know and love today.

The French Open and women

In 1897, the French Championships hosted its first women’s singles tournament. And, taking it that that was the precursor to the French Open, that was when women first rose to a more prominent position in the Open.

Following that, the mixed doubles took place for the first time in 1902 and five years later, we get the first ever women’s doubles in 1907.

Speaking of women and the French Open, the Grand Slam era star of the French Open has got to be Chris Evert. She’s the most decorated winner of the French Open, with seven titles under her date between 1974 and 1986. This is a record yet to be bested!

French Open history and the Grand Slam

Did you know that the French Open was the first Grand Slam tournament? The Tennis Open era officially started with the French Open of 1968.

In the Grand Slam calendar, the Australian Open comes first, followed by the French Open as the second Grand Slam, in late May. Next up is Wimbledon and then the US Open brings up the rear.

It’s also said that the French Open is the most technically difficult of all the Grand Slam tournaments. This is down to the clay courts on which it’s played. It’s made of of five layers in total, at the bottom you’ve got drain rock, crushed gravel and coal residue. Then it’s topped off with crushed white limestone and red brick dust.

This composition provides a high bounce and a slow pace, which can prove challenging for many, even at the highest echelons of the sport. For example, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Venus Williams and many more big stars have never won the French Open.

Betting online on the French Open

The French Open is a massive event, so it’s easy to find places to wager on it. However, if you’re looking for a really good online option, we’d recommend bet365. That’s because you can bet way in advance or while the tournament is taking place. Choose from a large range of markets, get great odds and there’s often excellent promotions around the the event too.

Plus, you can use this bet365 bonus code to get a very nice new player offer too.

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