A legend that began some 126 years ago, Roland Garros is the name of the French Open tennis championship – a tournament hosted on unique clay courts. Here is a quick look through the history of Roland Garros.
In the years before the First World War, Roland Garros was a French Rugby player. During the war, he was an aviator who died in 1918 when his plane was shot down in the Ardennes. Ten years after his death, his influential friend Emile Lesieur named a tennis stadium in honour of Roland Garros – giving the French Open its eponymous name.
In 1979, Roland Garros underwent its first major expansion – going from five to ten courts. Today, the French Open is played on over 20 courts, with illustrious names taking to center court to battle it out for ultimate glory in the grand slam’s final.
The French Open has seen astounding play by some of the biggest names in tennis. With 10 titles in Men’s Singles – Rafael Nadal is often considered the informal King of Clay. Among the ladies, Chris Evert holds the overall record with 7 titles in Women’s Singles. Monica Seles holds the record for the youngest winner of the French Open – taking the title at the tender age of 16 years and 6 months.