History

Roland Garros history

The first International Championship of France in tennis was held in the 1891st year. At the Racing Club de France five prize applicants met, and within one day the first winner of the tournament was determined – the Briton Briggs. This is how, one day, the tournament started, which preserves the reputation of one of the major tennis tournaments in the world for more than a hundred years.

By the way, do not deceive yourself about the fact that the first winner of the tournament in France became a foreigner, namely the British. For those times it was no more than a pronounced exception to the rule, since before the beginning of a new era in the history of the French tennis championship (until 1925), it was only the French who won it. Only one exception was already described below victory for Briggs in the first draw of the tournament.

It is interesting that women had not long to wait for their time, as already in 1897, they were able to play the prize on the Parisian courts. Accurate information about how much time the debut tournament took place, eventually becoming known around the world under the name Rolland Garros, women do not have, but it seems that, like men, they were able to keep pace in finding out about the relationship on the court in one day. The reason for this assumption is one, but quite weighty – only three tennis players took part in the first tournament! As a result of short battles, the first winner of the tournament was Adin Masson, who by the way won the tournament during the first three years of its existence. In total, it has five victories in the French championship. By the way, most often in the singles tournament only three people won – Steffi Graf, Suzanne Lenglen and Chris Event. So the name Adin Mosson is written in the history of tennis is not by accident.

Interest in tennis in France continued to grow, and in the first decade of the century the tournament acquired in principle the outlines that it has now, that is, other types were included in the competition program – the strongest in it were also men and women couples. . So the tournament went the right way, and developed in step with the times. By 1925, the leaders of French tennis realized the need, and with it the expediency of creating a full-fledged international tournament. At the same time, the first International French tournament among amateur tennis players was held. Thus, the tournament has reached a new level, and at the same time, the stage has been preparing to climb the inaccessible hitherto and all French tennis in general.

After the war, the Americans were the strongest in world tennis, and they did not know their equal in the Davis Cup. From 1920 to 1926, the United States seven times in a row became the winners of this prestigious tournament, whereas in 1927, there was a real thunder in the tennis world. Over the past two years, the French reached the final battle, but lost it almost without a chance (0: 5 in 1925, and 1: 4 in 1926). It seemed that Philadelphia, once accustomed by its children to victories, would once again rejoice in the triumph of their favorites, but the valiant Four Musketeers, as representatives of the great French team, without exaggeration, were then nicknamed by the tense match with a minimal advantage – 3: 2. Of course, in their homeland they were greeted as winners of the war, and such joy could be understood. nLooking ahead a little bit, let’s say that the French team that became known under the gallant name Four Musketeers (it would not be superfluous to list these people by name – Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cauche and Rene Lacoste), subsequently won the Davis Cup six times in a row, but this is the subject of a separate story and narration.

But let’s go back to the moment of the first and unexpected victory in French Open history. The French returned to their homeland as national heroes, but this was a victory not only for individuals, but also for the whole tennis of this country. Immediately the question arose of where to take the so respected rival to the Davis Cup, as the US team, next year, where to defend the trophy won on American courts? The way out was found quickly – the government of Paris allocated three hectares of land for the construction of the stadium to the Tennis Federation of the country. At the same time, the city authorities asked only that their only condition be implemented – the new arena should have been named in honor of one of the heroes of the First World War that ended not so long ago. The nomination of the pilot, Rollan Garros, was chosen, which is worth a few words to say separately. This name is currently known to almost all tennis fans in the world, but about who owns it, not everyone knows.

But before embarking on a small lyrical digression regarding the person of the person, whose name is now the French Open tennis championship, we will make a small remark about the times of the military. If during the First World War the tournament was not held (from 1915 to 1919, inclusive), then during the Second World War it was possible to conduct the tournament more or less (although only French players played at that time). Despite the fact that the stadium was essentially taken over by the Vichy Regime, in 1941 and 1942, Bernard Destremo celebrated his victory on the Rolland Garrosa courts, which later went to war. He later became a prominent politician in France, a diplomat, in the government of Jacques Chirac. He was secretary of state for foreign affairs. After retirement, he seriously took up literature, having written several respected historical works in addition to his autobiography. Unfortunately, the sixth of June 2002 of this remarkable man was gone. From 1943 to 1945, Yvon Francois Marie Pietre won the tournament, by the way, the last French winner of Wimbledon (he won this tournament in 1946). These are the really wonderful people who won on the Rolland Garros during the war years, but the official statistics do not take into account their achievements, although it seems that it would be worth it to make at least as a memory to those brave people who were whistled around the bullets and shells, did not forget about sports, as the best propaganda of not just a healthy way of life, but also a reminder that once everything will return to normal, and the world will come back to the world again.

Well, now, as promised, we will tell you about the person of the person, whose name is now one of the epic tennis centers in the world. Rolland Garros was one of those many Frenchmen who, as best they could, resisted the German invaders. He was very well versed in airplanes and everything connected with them. Knowing these machines from the inside, he thought of a way to improve the combat power of the aircraft. He was tempted to place machine guns in such a way that it was possible to simultaneously carry out several tasks – to control the machine and fire at enemies. His innovations came to court, his reputation established, especially since, thanks to his innovations, he himself shot down several German aircraft. By the way, it was he who became the first person who flew over the Mediterranean Sea by plane, having flown from France to Tunisia. In 1915, he was shot down and taken prisoner, after which his secret was revealed by opponents, and the combat power of German aviation immediately increased significantly. However, in 1918, he managed to escape, and he immediately continued to fight with the enemy where he felt, perhaps even more confidently than on earth – in heaven. But the fate of wartime is harsh. She did not understand who is who, and a month after her return to aviation, Rolland Garros was shot down. This is how the flight of one of the heroes of the First World War was interrupted. But his name remains on the lips, and will always be on them, as a memory of the dedication and feat of the common man.

Slightly deviating from the thread of the story about the largest soil tournament in the world tennis calendar, we return to the true path. So, with a proper stadium, and international status, having survived the Second World War, the French championship became more and more famous outside the country. In 1968, the tournament was the first of four championships, united under the name of Grand Slam tournaments, acquired the status of open, that is, began to take with open arms, not only amateurs, but also professionals. Thus began the era of the French Open, or Rolland Garros. Under this name, this tournament is probably even better known than under the official one.

In the tennis world, the French Open is one of the toughest tournaments. As you know, competitions are held on clay courts, which slow down the ball’s rebound, respectively, making the time for jokes, and therefore matches, longer. Playing on the ground is very specific, and the story knows many examples of big champions (Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker, Pete Sampras), who won everywhere on the French courts, which for them remained unconquered. Probably not without reason the biggest disqualification in the history of tennis (eight years, however, this decision was appealed to the arbitration court, and it was two years) was made based on the results of the doping test at this tournament (Argentinean Mariano Puerta suffered).

The two main courts of Rolland Garros are the Phillip Shatrie Court and the Suzanne Lenglen Court. The first holds about fifteen thousand spectators, the second – about ten. By the way, the leaders of the French Tennis Federation are going to build another court for fifteen or sixteen thousand spectators with a closing roof. The fact is that Madrid seriously claims to eventually take the place of Paris, becoming the unpaved capital of the tennis world. But the French, as we have said, have their aces up their sleeve in order to respond adequately to the ambitious plans of the Spaniards.

At the moment, Rolland Garros is, like other Grand Slam tournaments, not only a sporting event, but also a show. Only revenues from TV broadcasts annually bring in the order of fourteen million euros to the organizers of the tournament. But behind all this glamor zeros on contracts with sponsors, the initial value of the tournament, as one of the most difficult competitions not only in the tennis, but also in the whole sports world, has not disappeared. So now the victory in this tournament with slow courts remains one of the most prestigious for tennis professionals. As before, the victory in this tournament is, first of all, not money and glory, but a status, and it is pleasantly pleasing and causes respect for the championship.