FFT Press Release, March 1, 2017
Year after year, “Rendez-vous at Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines” proves to be a roaring success! In 2017, the event is being held in China, India, Brazil, Japan and South Korea, as well as breaking new ground by heading out to the USA.
The event sees the best boys’ and girls’ junior players from the above-mentioned six countries participating in tournaments. The winners then have the chance to play for a wild-card into the main draw of the Roland-Garros junior singles, which is being held this year from 4 – 10 June 2017.
All of the matches are played on clay, giving youngsters an excellent opportunity to hone their tennis skills on this particular surface in each of the countries taking part in the event. The French Tennis Federation, which organises the French Open at Roland-Garros every year – the foremost tournament on clay – is counting on this event to promote the surface throughout the world.
“Rendez-vous at Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines” begins in Yokohama, Japan (at the Yokohama Country and Athletic Club), from 28 February – 3 March. The qualifying phase will then continue in Florianopolis, Brazil, at the Lagoa Iate Club from 9 – 12 March, then Nanjing, China, at the China Tennis Academy from 14 – 17 March. Next stop is Miami, USA (the Boca West Country Club) from 19 – 22 April, followed by Delhi in India (the Delhi Lawn Tennis Association) from 20 – 22 April and finally Seoul (the Seoul Ansung Tennis Club) from 27 April – 1 May.
The winners from each country will then meet in Paris for the final phase of the event. The two finals (boys’ and girls’) will be held at Roland-Garros on Saturday 27 May, as part of Kids’ Day ahead of the beginning of the tournament.
The various qualifying phases will enjoy the support of various ambassadors, namely renowned TV presenter Christel Takigawa in Japan, Arantxa Sanchez in India, while in South Korea there will be actor/author/composer Yoon Jong Shin, along with his wife Jeon Mi-Ra, a former professional tennis player.
New for this year, there will be pre-qualifying phases held in three of the participating countries: in China (Dongguan and Nanchang), India (Calcutta and Pune) and Brazil (over 20 tournaments slated for 13 cities across the country). The winners of these pre-qualifiers will then get to play in their respective countries’ tournament finals.
As part of the event, the Roland-Garros men’s and women’s singles trophies will be undertaking quite a voyage. The Coupe des Mousquetaires and the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen will be on display in several iconic locations in China, the USA and South Korea. Fans will also be able to have their photo taken with these famous trophies.
“Rendez-vous at Roland-Garros in partnership with Longines” is an integral part of the international development of the Roland-Garros tournament. The French Tennis Federation has set up cooperation agreements with its counterparts in China, India, Brazil, South Korea and Japan, with French coaches being sent to these countries while local coaches and management employees head in the opposite direction to be trained in France, with a view to promoting clay-court tennis. As an example, Bernard Pestre and François Duport, from the French Tennis Federation’s National Technical Directorate, will be heading to India and China respectively this year to carry out training sessions and organise clinics on clay as part of this operation.