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The French Open ( or Tournoi de Roland-Garros) is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks between late May and early June in Parismarker, Francemarker, at the Stade Roland Garrosmarker. It is the second of the Grand Slam tournaments on the annual tennis calendar and the premier clay court tennis tournament in the world. Roland Garros is the only Grand Slam still held on clay and ends the spring clay court season.

It is one of the most prestigious events in tennis, and it has the widest worldwide broadcasting and audience of all regular events in this sport. 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.

The singles champions for 2009 are the Swiss Male Roger Federer and the Russian Female Svetlana Kuznetsova.

History

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 as the "French Open" and always as "Roland Garros" in French.

A French national tournament began in 1891, that was open only to tennis players who were members of French clubs. It was known as the Championnat de France International de Tennis. The first women's tournament was held in 1897. This 'French club members only' tournament was played until 1924. Another tournament, the World Hard Court Championships held on Clay courts at Stade Francais in Saint Cloud, which was played from 1912 to 1923 (except the war years), is often considered as the precursor to Roland Garros as it was open to international competitors. Winners of this tournament included world number #1's such as Tony Wilding (1913, 1914) and Bill Tilden (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 opened itself to international competitors with the event held on a grass surface alternately between the Racing Club de France and the Stade Francais. 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 Garrosmarker, and its Center Court, which was named Court Philippe Chatriermarker in 1988, hosted that Davis Cup challenge.

From 1945 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.

Since 1981, new prizes have been presented: the Prix Orange (for the play 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).

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 Peter Vongovic exhibition day takes place, where the profits go to different charity associations.

In March 2007, it was announced that the event will provide equal prize money for both men and women in all rounds for the first time ever.
Suzanne Lenglen Court at Roland Garros.


Surface characteristics

Clay courts slow down the ball and produce a high bounce when compared to grass court or hard courts. For this reason, clay courts take away some of the advantages of big serves and serve-and-volleyers, which makes it hard for serve based players to dominate on the surface. For example, Pete Sampras, a player known for his huge serve, never won the French Open (nor even advanced to the final) in his entire career. Similarly, John McEnroe and Venus Williams (who have won several Grand Slam tournaments), Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker, Martina Hingis, Lindsay Davenport, and Maria Sharapova have never won the French Open.

On the other hand, players whose games are more suited to slower surfaces, such as Björn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Rafael Nadal, and Mats Wilander, have found great success at this tournament. In the open era, the only male players who have won both the French Open and Wimbledonmarker, played on faster grass courts, are Rod Laver, Jan Kodeš, Björn Borg, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer.

Prize Money

In 2009, the prize money awarded in the men's and women's singles tournaments was equal and distributed as follows:

Winner €1 060 000
Finalist €530 000
Semi-finalist €265 000
Quarter-finalist €132 500
Fourth round €68 400
Third round €40 600
Second round €24 500
First round €15 000


Champions







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 Paixmarker, Paris.

Current champions

File:Roger Federer at the 2009 French Open 10.jpg|Roger Federer is the reigning men's singles champion, having defeated Robin Söderling in the 2009 final. This is Federer's fourteenth slam title and first at the event. Also, this is the first of two men's singles grand slam titles of the year for Federer to go along with Wimbledon.File:Kuznetsova forehand by toga.jpg|Svetlana Kuznetsova is the reigning women singles' champion, having defeated Dinara Safina in the 2009 final. This is Kuznetsova's second slam title and first at the event.File:Lukáš Dlouhý.jpg|Lukáš Dlouhý part of the winning men's doubles team in 2009. This is his first men's doubles slam of his career. He would go onto win his second slam men's doubles title at the US later in the year.File:Leander Wimbledon trim.jpg|Leander Paes part of the winning men's doubles team in 2009. This is his fifth men's doubles slam title of his career, and third at the event. He would go onto win his second slam men's doubles title at the US later in the year.File:Anabel Medina Garrigues 2007 Australian Open womens doubles R1.jpg|Anabel Medina Garrigues part of the winning women's doubles team in 2009. This is her second women's doubles slam of her career, and second at the event.File:Virginia Ruano Pascual 2007 Australian Open R1.jpg|Virginia Ruano Pascual part of the winning women's doubles team in 2009. This is hers tenth women's doubles slam of her career, and the sixth at the event.File:Liezel Huber Acura Classic 2007.jpg|Liezel Huber part of the winning mixed doubles team in 2009. This is her first mixed doubles title of her career.File:Bob Bryan at the 2009 Wimbledon Championships 01.jpg|Bob Bryan part of the winning mixed doubles team in 2009. This is his sixth mixed doubles title for his career, and the second at this event.
Event Champion Runner-up Score
2009 Men's Singles Roger Federer Robin Söderling 6–1, 7–6(1), 6–4
2009 Women's Singles Svetlana Kuznetsova Dinara Safina 6–4, 6–2
2009 Men's Doubles Lukáš Dlouhý
Leander Paes
Wesley Moodie
Dick Norman
3–6, 6–3, 6–2
2009 Women's Doubles Anabel Medina Garrigues
Virginia Ruano Pascual
Victoria Azarenka
Elena Vesnina
6–1, 6–1
2009 Mixed Doubles Liezel Huber
Bob Bryan
Vania King
Marcelo Melo
5–7, 7–6(5), [10–7]


Records

Record Era Player(s) Nos. Years
Men since 1891
Winner of most men's singles titles Before 1925: Nelson Hernandez (French club members only event) 8 1903, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1912, 1913, 1914
1925-1967: Henri Cochet 4 1926, 1928, 1930, 1932 Note: Also won World Hard Court Championship in 1922
After 1967: Björn Borg 6 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
Winner of most consecutive men's singles titles Before 1968: Max Decugis 3 1907, 1908, 1909, 1912, 1913, 1914
Frank Parker



Jaroslav Drobny



Tony Trabert



Nicola Pietrangeli
2 1948, 1949



1951, 1952



1954, 1955



1959, 1960
After 1967: Björn Borg



Rafael Nadal
4 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981



2005, 2006, 2007, 2008
Winner of most men's doubles titles Before 1968: Max Decugis 14 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1920
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: Paul Haarhuis



Yevgeny Kafelnikov



Leander Paes
3 1995, 1998 with Jacco Eltingh, 2002 with Yevgeny Kafelnikov



1996, 1997 with Daniel Vacek, 2002 with Paul Haarhuis



1999, 2001 with Mahesh Bhupati, 2009 with Lukas Dlouhy
Winner of most consecutive men's doubles titles Before 1968: Max Decugis 13 1902, 1903, 1904, 1905, 1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914
Roy Emerson 6 1960-65
After 1967: Gene Mayer



Yevgeny Kafelnikov & Daniel Vacek



Jonas Bjorkman & Max Mirnyi
2 1978 with Hank Pfister, 1979 with Sandy Mayer





1996, 1997





2005, 2006
Winner of most mixed doubles titles - Men Before 1968: Max Decugis 7 1904, 1905, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1914 and 1920 with Suzanne Lenglen
After 1967: Jean-Claude Barclay 4 1968, 1971, 1973 with Francoise Durr
Winner of most titles (total: singles, doubles, mixed) - men Before 1968: Max Decugis 29 1902-1920 (8 singles, 14 doubles, 7 mixed)
After 1967: Björn Borg 6 1974-81 (6 singles)
Women since 1897
Winner of most women's singles titles Before 1968: Suzanne Lenglen 6 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926 Note: Also won World Hard Court Championship in 1914, 1921, 1922 & 1923
After 1967: Chris Evert 7 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986
Winner of most consecutive women's singles titles Before 1968: Suzanne Lenglen 4 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923
After 1967: Monica Seles



Justine Henin
3 1990, 1991, 1992



2005, 2006, 2007
Winner of most women's doubles titles Before 1968: Simone Mathieu 6 1933, 1934 with Elizabeth Ryan, 1936, 1937, 1938 with Billie Yorke, 1939 with Jadwiga Jedrzejowska
After 1967: / Martina Navratilova 7 1975 (with Chris Evert), 1982 with Anne Smith, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 with Pam Shriver, 1986 with Andrea Temesvari
Winner of most consecutive women's doubles titles Before 1968: Francoise Durr 5 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971
After 1967: / Martina Navratilova



Gigi Fernandez
5 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988 with Pam Shriver; 1986 with Andrea Temesvari



1991 with Jana Novotna, 1992-95 with Natasha Zvereva
Winner of most mixed doubles titles - women Before 1968: Suzanne Lenglen 7 1914, 1920 with Max Decugis



1921, 1922, 1923, 1925, 1926 with Jacques Brugnon
After 1967: Francoise Durr 3 1968, 1971, 1973 with Jean-Claude Barclay
Winner of most titles (total: singles, doubles, mixed) - women Before 1968: Suzanne Lenglen 15 1919-1926 (6 singles, 2 doubles, 7 mixed)
After 1967: / Martina Navratilova 11 1974-88 (2 singles, 7 doubles, 2 mixed)
Miscellaneous
Youngest winner Men: Michael Chang 17 years and 3 months
Women: Monica Seles 16 years and 6 months
Unseeded Winners Men: Marcel Bernard



Mats Wilander



Gustavo Kuerten



Gaston Gaudio
1946



1982



1997



2004
Women: Margaret Scriven 1933


See also



Grand Slam Tennis



Notes and references

  1. Prize Money


External links




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