French Open Records: Roland Garros Unique Facts | Stats | Winners
With the French Open commencing on the 22nd of May, the tennis world is full of anticipation on who will take the French crown. Sportco brings you some interesting facts and records related to the French Open.
French Open: Records & Interesting Facts
1. The French Open is also known as Roland Garros. The tournament and the venue are named after French aviator Eugene Adrien Roland Georges Garros.
2. It is the only Grand Slam tournament played on clay and until 1975, the only major tournament not played on grass.
3. Roland Garros is famously known as the only Grand Slam tournament to be played on clay courts. But the secret is that the courts are not really made of clay. The court is composed of layers of sand, volcanic rocks topped with three inches of white limestone and red brick dust which gives the courts “THE CLAY EFFECT”.
4. It is the third oldest event of the four majors – having first been held in 1891 first.
5. In 1968, the French Championships was the first Grand Slam to go “open”, allowing both professionals and amateurs to compete.
6. The last Frenchman to win Roland Garros or any Grand Slam was Yannik Noah in 1983. The most recent winner at the French Open was Mary Pierce in 2000.
7. The last unseeded player to win the French Open Men’s singles was Gaston Gaudio in 2004, before Nadal’s legacy begin. Jelena Ostapenko, was the last unseeded woman to win the French crown when she shocked Simona Halep in the 2017 finals.
8. 'King of Clay', Rafael Nadal has won the most singles title won in French Open history. A record 13 titles from 2005-2008, 2010-2014, 2017-2020. Nadal has even set the record of the most consecutive singles titles and the most championships won. When it comes to French Open Records, no one even comes close to Rafa.
9. Chris Evert holds the record of the most singles title won in the women's category, from 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986.
10. Michael Chang became the youngest singles champion in 1989 at the age of 17 years and 3 months, while Monica Seles at the 16 years and 6 months in 1990.
11. French Open officials honoured Rafael Nadal by erecting a statue made entirely out of steel at the Roland Garros venue.
12. The longest match played at Roland Garros was 6 hours and 33 minutes at the 2004 French Open. Fabrice Santoro defeated Arnaud Clement in the 1st round after 2 days: 6-4, 6-3, 6-7 (5), 3-6, 16-14. This was the longest match in history until Wimbledon 2010 when John Isner defeated Nicolas Mahut after 11 hours.
13. Iga Swiatek became the first Pole and the lowest-ranked player to win the French crown in 2020.
Hope you enjoyed our trivia on some interesting facts and records related to the French Open? Stay tuned for more coverage of the Roland Garros only on Sportco.