Fun Facts About the French Open
If you have ever been able to witness the French Open, you have surely witnessed some spectacular tennis being played. How can anyone ever forget seeing Rafael Nadal in his best form? Do you recall when Li Na when she made her historic entrance into the tournament as the first Chinese player to make it to the finals?
In the year 2015, many are looking forward to seeing the women battle it out on the court. Have you made plans to attend the French Open this year? As you get into the mood for this year’s tournaments, let’s just take a moment to look at some fun facts most people don’t know about this tournament.
Fun Fact 1: “French Open” isn't really the name of the tournament.
As much as people call it the French Open year after year, most people are shocked to find out that this really isn’t the name for the tournament at all. In fact, the real name of the tournament is Les Internationaux de France de Roland-Garros or Tournoi de Roland-Garros – The Roland Garros International tournament. Bet you can’t say that 10 times really fast.
Fun Fact 2: Althea Gibson is the first African-American to hold a Grand Slam title.
Not only that, but she went on to win in Wimbledon and this tennis player was also a professional golfer.
Fun Fact 3: The tournament is named after Roland Garros who was a French aviator.
Also, according to rules in French spelling, when they name a place or event after someone, their name must appear hyphenated. Therefore, you would see the name of the place and event as Roland-Garros.
Fun Fact 4: The tournament gives opportunities for all tennis players.
In 1968, it became the first Grand Slam to allow professional and amateurs to compete. This is why it is now called an “open” tournament.
Fun Fact 5: When it began, it was a men’s only tournament.
Though it only took about 6 years for women to be included, it all started in 1891 as an all male competition.
Fun Fact 6: Yannick Noah broke the 37 year curse for France in 1983.
He became something of a national hero by bringing home the title after 37 long years of France hosting and never winning.
Fun Fact 7: France doesn't fare so well in their own tournament.
Of all the years this event has been hosted by France, only five Frenchmen have won the single’s title. The last to date is back in the year 2000 by Mary Piece.
Have you enjoyed these fun facts? There are always plenty of things we can learn about our favourite sporting events. Some things we learn of will shock us while others may just confirm our suspicions. Make sure you enjoy this year’s French Open and keep your eyes peeled for more interesting and noteworthy lessons.