Roland Garros: Paris, source of clay-court tennis from 1891



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Roland Garros: Paris, source of clay-court tennis from 1891

The Roland Garros 2022 is finally upon us! A long-awaited edition: Rafael Nadal, despite the physical problems, will be there, and will want to defend himself from the assaults of Novak Djokovic, who is looking for his 21st Grand Slam in Bois de Boulogne.

The new one who advances is represented by Carlos Alcaraz, revelation of the season and true heir of the Big 3. In the women's singles who will be able to stop Iga Swiatek from writing history? And speaking of history, the tournament venue is located at the Stade Roland Garros, a facility named after a French air force pilot in the First World War, and is located near Bois de Boulogne.

In 1891 the first tournament was organized by the Union des Sociétés Françaises de Sports Athlétiques on the courts of Racing Club de France. The first event took place in one day, in which five players took part.

From 1891 and, until 1924, the tournament was reserved only for French tennis players, or for the members of a French tennis club. Since 1925, the tournament has been open to tennis players from all over the world. René Lacoste, Jean Borotra, Henri Cochet, Jacques Brugnon and Suzanne Lenglen, the four Musketeers and La Divine, rewrote a new page of tennis in '20s.

Fred Perry and Nicola Pietrangeli came before and after the Second World War, but with the beginning of the Open Era, all the great tennis players could return to play on the clay courts of the newly-named French Open, even those professional players considered by the Fédération Française de Tennis as traitors to the sporting spirit.

The tournament that was open to all players of the world and took place in the Saint-Cloud park in 1925. After the victory of the four Musketeers in the Davis Cup of 1927, it was decided to build the Stade de Roland Garros on a three-hectare site, near Porte d'Auteuil, inaugurated in 1928.

The advent of Bjorn Borg and Chris Evert before, then of Steffi Graf and Gustavo Kuerten marked the following years. With the advent of the 2000s, it became clear that the tournament facilities had become inadequate by current standards, especially compared to cutting-edge tournaments like the Australian Open, Wimbledon and now the US Open, all Slams with at least one roof retractable.

After years of battles and reproaches, a retractable roof on the Philippe Chatrier, the lights and a general modernization are ready to amaze all the fans who will have the chance to get into the Roland Garros Stadium.