It’s that time of the year again, the time when the best in world from tennis take on each other to accomplish the glory of achieving a “grand slam” – the French Open 2016. After playing on the hard courts of Australia in January, the focus now shifts to clay court – arguably the toughest of all courts in tennis.
The clay court for any tennis follower has always been a peculiar topic of discussion – it’s hard to say what kind of gameplay is successful on this court. While a fast and speedy Nadal has 9 French open titles to his name, the classy Byorn Borg whose game was quite contrary to Nadal has 6 to his title tally.
French Open provides the viewers with intense battle between tennis’ best and while it is true that the conditions to play are quite uncomfortable at times due to clay which sticks to the player’s shoes and it gets difficult to cover the clay ground, it is also a reason perhaps why French open beholds with itself so much of importance.
Let’s look at a few key moments from French Open history :
- The French open that is also referred to as “Roland Garros”, is a tennis grand slam held from late may to early 1st week of June.
- The first French open was held in the year 1891 and at that time it was only open to members of the French club.
- The first women’s singles tournament was however held in 1897, mixed doubles in 1902, women’s doubles in 1907.
- In 1925, the French open became open to tennis players all across the globe, even those who were not part of the French club.
- The French open continued to take place during World War II from 1941 to 1945. These 4 years were however not recognized by the French governing body Federation Francaise de tennis.
- Since 2006, the French open began to start on Sunday, featuring 12 single matches played across 3 courts.
- French open 2016 starts from 22nd of May i.e. Sunday.
Tennis has had many greats but it is considered that no player takes the leap from good to extraordinary and get in the tennis books of “all time” greats unless they don’t have the “all slam” i.e. all the 4 grand slams in Australian, French, Wimbledon and US.
There have been many greats that have won 3 grand slams but have failed to get their hands on the French open – which undisputedly gives the tournament a great importance among the tennis players across globe, maybe the toughest grand slam of all to crack.
Some legends who couldn’t win French open are : John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg, Jimmy Connors, Novaj Djokovic (thus far), Frank Sedgman, John Newcombe, Venus Williams, Martina Hingis to name a few.
French open requires a game contrary to what tennis players are naturally blessed with; usually tennis players like to serve big volleys and be quick across the court but the clay court unables them to play in this fashion – thus adapting to the clay court is the toughest part of a tennis player’s game. The French open 2016 will give you the perfect glimpse into how tough it is to play on a clay court – don’t miss Rolland Garros 2016.