It’s that time of the year again, which tennis fans eagerly await every year as the French Open is well underway. The clay court season is nearing its end, with the ultimate prize up for grabs.
The French Open is one with no shortage of historic moments in the past. The red clay of Roland Garros has witnessed many moments of magic over the years. Great players have graced the courts and have given fans some of the best tennis ever played.
Do you think you know everything about this iconic tournament? Here are some facts about the French Open –
1. The History
- Internationaux de France de Tennis, Roland-Garros is the official name of the French Open.
- The tournament is named after the pioneering French aviator who became the first-ever man to fly solo over the Meditarranean – Roland Garros. Sent to fight in the First World War, Garros was shot down and captured by Germans on the Western Front in 1918. The tournament is not, as many have come to think, called the French Open. The French call the tournament simply, ‘Roland Garros’.
- Originally launched in 1891, the French tournament – the International Championship of Tennis, as it was called – was only available to men to participate. It wasn’t until six years later that women were allowed to take part in 1897.