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Fun Facts About the French Open

French Open Fun Facts

When Was the First French Open?

The first French Open was held in 1891, when it was called the Championnat de France. The first tournament was only for men’s singles, and the women’s singles were launched in 1897. These tournaments were almost exclusively won by French nationals, as they were only open to tennis players who belonged to a French tennis club. What may come as a surprise is that the next addition to the competition was the mixed doubles tournament in 1902. The women’s doubles tournament was added in 1907, with the men’s doubles tournament finally added in 1925.

Which Country Has Won the Most French Opens?

When considering that the first 34 editions of the French Open were open only for members of French Tennis clubs, it may be a safe bet to say that France has won the most. France has had 38 men's singles champions, 30 women's singles champions, 27 men's doubles champions, 57 women's doubles champions and 69 mixed doubles champions (with doubles champions, it's important to note that these are individual players, meaning that champions from teams with one French national and one foreigner are counted). Altogether, France has won 221 titles.

The United States has produced 11 men's singles champions, 29 women's singles champions, 11 men's doubles champions, 61 women's doubles champions, and 43 mixed doubles champions, for a total of 155 titles.

Australia has produced 11 men's singles champions, 9 women's singles champions, 39 men's doubles champions, 11 women's doubles champions and 24 mixed doubles champions, for a total of 94 titles.

Great Britain has produced 2 men's singles champions, 8 women's singles champions, 2 men's doubles champions, 15 women's doubles champions and 11 mixed doubles champions, for a total of 38 titles.

Who Was Roland Garros?

Roland Garros was a French pioneering aviator and First World War fighter pilot. He helped develop the early fighter planes used in the First World War, and was awarded medals for his innovations that helped mount machine guns on fighter planes. Roland Garros was shot down in October 1918, a month before the end of the war, and one day before his 30th birthday. For his service to his country, the stadium that was built in 1928 for the French Open was named in his honour.

Who Were The Four French Musketeers?

Jean "the Bounding Basque" Borotra, Jacques "Toto" Brugnon, Henri "the Magician" Cochet and Rene Lacoste "the Crocodile" were four French tennis players who dominated the 20s through to mid-30s. The players all competed in the men's singles, men's doubles and mixed doubles tournaments.

In the men's singles, Cochet won in 1922, 1926, 1928, 1938 and 1932, Borotra won in 1924 and 1931, and Lacoste won in 1925, 1927 and 1929.

In the men's doubles, Borotra and Lacoste won in 1925 and 1929, Cochet and Brugnon won in 1927, 1930 and 1932, Borotra and Brugnon won in 1928 and 1934. The musketeers changed partners in the men's doubles a few times, and on three occasions all four musketeers played in the finals. At least one of the musketeers featured in a total of 10 different finals.

In the mixed doubles, Brugnon paired up with legendary women's player Suzanne Lenglen to win 5 titles in 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925 and 1926. Borotra paired with Marguerite Broquedis and won in 1924 and 1927. Cochet paired with British women's player Eileen Bennet Whittingstall, with whom he won in 1928 and 1929. Borotra paired up with Colette Rosambert to win in 1934, the last mixed doubles final to feature one of the musketeers.

Is Rene Lacoste Connected to the Clothing Brand?

Rene Lacoste also went by the nickname “the Crocodile”. He was in fact the founder of the Lacoste clothing brand. Rene got his nickname of the Crocodile a long time before he opened his retail clothing brand. He received the name for his fierce game and how he was quick to pounce on balls and hit hard. Clearly he was not upset with the nickname, as it went on to become the logo of his clothing brand. He started Lacoste as "La Chemise Lacoste '' in 1933 with Andre Gillier. Gillier was the president of one of the largest French knitwear manufacturers at the time, so they could easily start producing goods en masse.

The Lacoste brand has become so successful in its own right that many people nowadays have no idea that the creator of the brand was a tennis legend. Still, the brand has close ties with the tennis world, sponsoring a number of famous current and past players including Andy Roddick, Novak Djokovic, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Samantha Stosur, Nicolas Mahut and many more. Lacoste also sponsors a number of French and Spanish golfers.

What Was the Longest Match in the French Open?

In the French Open, all tournaments follow a best of three sets match format, with the exception of the men's singles, which follow a best of five sets match format. To win, players must win three sets. Players must have a 2 game advantage to win a set, so if the games are tied at 5-5, a player will need to win the following game, called the advantage game, and then win the next game to finish the set.

Because of this structure, there is a possibility for matches to continue for long periods of time. In the French Open, the longest match lasted a total of 6 hours and 33 minutes, the fixture had to be played over two days because of scheduling issues. This was in the first round, between French men's singles tennis players Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement in the 2004 French Open.

Santoro won the first two sets 6-4 and 6-3, but Clement came back to win 6-7 (5-7) and 3-6. In the fifth and final set, the two battled all the way until Santoro won 16-14.

Most Dramatic French Open Finals

In the 2021 French Open finals, Novak Djokovic beat Stefanos Tsitsipas after going behind 2-0. Tsitsipas struggled to win the first set, which ended in a close 6-7 (6-8). In the following set, he beat Djokovic 2-6 and started to look like the new champion of the French Open. Djokovic made his comeback and won the following three sets 6-3, 6-4 and 6-4 to win his second French Open title.

This hugely exciting final is definitely a thrill for all tennis fans to watch, but it is not the first time a player has come back from 2-0 to win the final.

In 2004 Gaston Gaudio beat Guillermo Coria in the finals, after going behind 2-0. Coria won the first two sets 0-6 and 3-6, before Gaudio came back to win 6-4, 6-1 and finally 8-6. The two Argentinian players put up a memorable fight that became one of the most famous finals in the history of the French Open.

In 1999, Andre Agassi defeated Andrei Medvedev after losing the first two sets 1-6 and 2-6. He won the following set 6-4, 6-3 and 6-4, to win his one and only French Open.

In 1984 Ivan Lendl beat John McEnroe after losing the first two sets. McEnroe won the first two sets by 3-6 and 2-6, looking like he was going to win his first French Open. Lendl came back from behind, winning the subsequent three sets 6-4, 7-5 and 7-5. McEnroe never reached another French Open final, never winning the Grand Slam in France.

10 years earlier, in 1974, Bjorn Borg went behind by two sets to Manuel Orantes. Orantes won the first two sets 2-6 and 6-7 (4-7), but Bjorg won the following sets 6-0, 6-1 and 6-1. The young Swedish player won his first French Open, and went on to win 5 more, putting his record at a total of 6 French Open titles.

In 1962, Rod Laver beat Roy Emerson after going behind by two sets. Emerson won the first two sets by 3-6 and 2-6, but Laver won the following three sets 6-3, 9-7 and 6-2.


The French Open is one of the most exciting tournaments and has been the stepping stone for many of the tennis world greats. Watching the event is highly exciting and most fans enjoy placing bets on their favourite tennis players.

While it is fun to make tennis bets, it is always important to make sure you only bet with as much money as you can afford to spare. If you are chasing your losses or have a problem keeping within your budget, you can look up organisations such as who can provide assistance.


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