All About The French Open
Every year in the last week of May until the first week of June, the French Open takes place in Paris, France. The French Open is the heavyweight main event of the Pro Tennis Tour. It is one of the four big Grand Slam Major Tennis Tournaments, but the French Open showcases the strongest tennis players because of the slow playing orange court. So let's fire up some frog legs and wash them down with some champagne (make sure it's non-alcohalic kids)... while we learn all about the French Open!
Rafael Nadal Courtesy of the ATP
Roland Garros Courtesy of ATP
Fame of the Name on a Plane
In Paris, the French Open's real name is "Roland-Garros", named after the famous french aviator. He is a hero in France as he was the very first person to fly an airplane over the Mediteranean Sea. What does that have to do with tennis? Nothing... yay!
The Clay Catch
The French Open is the only major tournament held on a clay court, and this surface usually helps the slower stronger players win their matches. The clay surface makes the ball slower and bounce higher, making life difficult for a serve and volley strategy. If you want to win the French Open, you got to be good with long rallies from the base line. Endurance and power is everything on the clay.
A lot fo legendary tennis players have never won the French Open, even though they dominated every other tournament in their time. Here is a list of tennis superstarsthat never won a French Open:
- John McEnroe
- Venus Williams
- Stefan Edberg
- Boris Becker
- Martina Hingis
- Lindsay Davenport
- Novak Djokovic
- Andy Roddick (never even made it to the quarter finals)
King and Queen of the Clay
Everyone knows the muscle-man Rafael Nadal is the King of the Clay Court because of his power and amazing baseline strategy. He has won the last 7 French Opens in a row and it doesn't look like anyone will beat him for years.
So who is the Queen? Justine Henin won the French Open 4 times, while the usual queens of tennis Serena and Venus Williamshave only won the French Open once. Justine is the French Open Queen!
The French Championships became the French Open in 1968, the first tennis tournament open to both professionals and amateurs
Only 5 French people have ever won the French Open... so much for home court advantage theories!
From 1939-1945, the French Open was cancelled due to World War II
Have your say...
Who do you think will win this year's French Open? Let us know in the comments below...