Legends whose name has gone down in history at the French Grand Slam
The French tennis championship was founded in 1891, although then it still did not bear the pilot and war hero´s name Roland Garros. It was not until 1925 that the Parisian tournament became an international competition open to players from other countries.
During the first years, the French tennis players ruled the tournament. Jean Borotra, René Lacoste and Henri Cochet, three of the four Musketeers, achieved up to ten titles between the 1920s and 1930s.
In the women’s competition, the French Suzanne Lenglen marked a turning point in the history of tennis.
(HILO) Hoy hace 119 nacía Suzanne Lenglen, 1ª mujer en convertirse tenista profesional.Fue campeona de 31 títulos de Grand Slam, 12 de ellos en solitario. Ganó 6 Wimbledon entre 1919 y 1925 y 6 Roland Garros entre 1920 y 1926. #MujeresEnLaSombra pic.twitter.com/N1TGKArLvz
— Carmen Matas (@Carmen_matas) May 24, 2018
Lenglen not only won six Roland Garros tournaments and six other Wimbledon tournaments, but brought a new style of play on the court and became one of the first sports stars in history.
Half a century later, the American Chris Evert would beat her record, winning seven Roland Garros between 1974 and 1986. Throughout her career, Evert won 18 Grand Slam titles, a track record that would any player would like to have.
Only for the best in the world
From the 30s of the last century, foreign tennis players started taking over the Phillippe Chatrier court, where the men’s final of Roland Garros is played.
Players from Germany, Sweden, Italy, Brazil, Spain, Czech Republic and especially they US and Australia took it in turns to stand the podium.
The 1970s had its own name: Björn Borg. The Swedish tennis player won six Roland Garros between 1974 and 1981 and wrote his very own page in the history of the tournament. When he was at the height of his career, after winning 11 Grand Slams, he decided to retire at only 26 years of age.
— Elena Berberana (@ElenaMoren_) June 11, 2012
The “Spanish Grand Slam”
Traditionally, Spanish tennis has been developed on this surface due to its sunny climate, where there are more clay courts than grass because you have to water it.
This has played in favor of the Spanish players at Roland Garros. The legendary tennis player Manolo Santana won two Roland Garros during the 60s, plus another one by Andreu Gimeno in 1972.
However, the Spanish tennis players began to stomp the clay in Paris during the 1990s and the 2000s: in 25 years there have been 15 Spanish victories. It started with Sergi Bruguera (1993 and 1994) and went on with Carlos Moyà (1998), Albert Costa (2002), Juan Carlos Ferrero (2003) and, of course, Rafael Nadal.
The Majorcan tennis player is called the King of Roland Garros because he has won 10 titles in Paris. His last one was last year: will he manage to make it this year again?