Facts You May Not Have Known About The French Open

Roland Garros

STARNBERG, May 16, 2021 (by Lucian Constantin)

With the French Open set to take place at the end of May and run through the first few weeks of June, one of tennis’ biggest competitions is set to take center stage in which a number of the world’s best players will all look to compete and win the second major of the year.

Bettors can certainly look to make a number of predictions when making their NJ Bets on the Roland Garros action, as individuals such as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic will all be competing to try and win the prize and add another Grand Slam to their increasing trophy cabinets.

Of course, the Spaniard will be heavily fancied as a favorite to lift the Roland Garros trophy once again, as he has already won the competition a record 13 times and is the current holder, having defeated Djokovic in straight sets (6-0, 6-2, 7-5) last year.

However, Federer has already fired warnings to his rivals that he aims to be back at the top after knee surgery has kept him out for over a year in what will be a highly anticipated return to the court for the Swiss star, thus making this year’s French Open all the more exciting and interesting.

Despite the incredible array of talent that will be on offer on the clay court over the course of a few weeks in the near future, now is the perfect time to learn about some of the facts surrounding the French Open, including some that may not be well known, unless you are a tennis enthusiast or history boffin!

Clay isn’t ‘Clay’

As mentioned, the French Open is famous for being played on clay, although the actual surface is not actually clay. The courts are in fact surfaced with a white limestone that is covered and coated in powdered red brick dust that helps to give the courts that bright terracotta color. An estimated 44,000kg of crushed red brick is thought to be used each and every single year the Roland Garros competition takes place.

Who is Roland Garros?

Many will know the French Open by its alternate name – Roland Garros – which happens to be the stadium in which the matches are played. However, unlike other arenas around the world, the stadium is not named after a former tennis player (such as the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne).

Roland Garros – whose full name was Eugene Adrien Roland Georges Garros – was a World War I pilot and a pioneering French aviator who managed to complete the first solo flight across the Mediterranean Sea; a feat that many are able to do today without even thinking about it.

Historic changes to the French Open

As to be expected over time, there have been a number of historic changes to the way that the French Open is played.

In the first six years that the Roland Garros was introduced, the competition was only opened up to male competitors, with female tennis players unable to compete until 1897. Furthermore, non-French tennis club members were only allowed to participate from 1925 onwards, when it became known as the ‘French Open’.

2020 also saw the latest change as the introduction of Wilson tennis balls were used for the first time, with each ball being used having been designed for the clay court.

Coupe des Mousquetaries

The Coupe des Mousquetaries – the Musketeers’ Cup – is the grand prize for the winner of the Men’s Singles event, although it is kept at the stadium in a special trunk that has been designed by the designer, Louis Vuitton. The winner will take home a small replica, with the Coupe des Mousquetaries referencing the four French tennis stars who reigned supreme over the tournament until 1933: Jean Borotra, Rene Lacoste, Jacques Brugnon and Henri Cochet.