French Open

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Place: Paris, France

Tournament Type: Grand Slam

Surface: Clay

About the French Open

Venue: Tennis Club de Paris at Auteuil

Ranking Points: Winner — 2,000 Runner-Up — 1,200

Prize Money: €1.8m to the winner, €28,028,600 total

Duration: May 22, 2016 – June 5, 2016

The French Open, also referred to as Roland Garros or Internationaux de France de Roland-Garros was first held in 1891. Played on clay for almost all of its history — excluding a brief interlude on sand — the French has gained a reputation as the most grueling of the Grand Slams. The raw athleticism needed to endure best of five set matches on the red dirt has dashed the dreams of many players. Some of the greatest players in tennis history have never won Roland Garros. Pete Sampras was denied his career slam (winning at least one title at all four Grand Slams) because he never made it past the semifinals. Other greats who never hoisted the Coupe des Mousquetaires are John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, Venus Williams, and Martina Hingis.

The French Open has seen many changes in location over its one hundred plus year history. In all, it has inhabited four venues including its current home. The tournament even continued during World War II, though the results from 1941 – 1945 are not officially recognized.

The tournament and was named after the World War I pilot, Roland Garros and the main court is named after French tennis player, Philippe Chatrier. The French open is now the only Grand Slam that does not have a roof on its main court. With the addition of a retractable roof to Wimbledon’s center court, a roof being added to Arthur Ashe stadium for the U.S. Open, and an indoor option at the Australian Open, it is only Roland Garros where play remains at the whim of the weather.

The greatest champions at the French have been those with the most versatile games, and with the biggest groundstrokes. One man stands above all. Boasting a 70-2 record and 9 singles titles, Rafael Nadal is rightly known as the King of Clay and could easily anoint himself the ruler of the French Open. Other notable champions have included Bjorn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, and Chris Evert.

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