Roland Garros: Lenglen, Graf, Evert and the women who wrote history



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Roland Garros: Lenglen, Graf, Evert and the women who wrote history

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 recent history o the Roland Garros brings the names of Justine Henin, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. But also the last winners like Garbine Muguruza, Simona Halep, Ashleigh Barty, Iga Swiatek and Barbora Krejcikova.

Steffi Graf who took the honors and the titles (6 trophies won in Paris: 1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999), before passing the scepter to another icon of the mid-90s, Monica Seles. At a time when the world was about to enter into the darkest period of its recent history, the Second World War, Hilde Sperling won three titles (1935, 1936, 1937), and formed with Gottfried von Cramm, one of the greatest mixed doubles team.

Helen Wills Moody, four-time champion (1928, 1929, 1930, 1932), and considered one of the greatest tennis players of all time. Margaret Smith (5 titles: 1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1973), preceded the era of Chris Evert, who with 7 titles (1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986) is the most successful player in the history of women's singles at Roland Garros.

The American expressed her best tennis in Parisian Slam, battling with Martina Navratilova, one of her great rivals. In an era dominated by French players, she was followed a few years later by Jeanne Matthey, a champion for four consecutive editions (1909, 1910, 1911, 1912).

Adine Masson, instead, was one of the first great tennis players of this tournament. Active between the end of the 1800s and the beginning of the 1900s, she won five editions of the French open, just over the course of two centuries (1897, 1898, 1899, 1902, 1903), including the first absolute edition of the Parisian women's singles event.

But the women's singles of the Roland Garros is more linked to a legendary name: La Divine Suzanne Lenglen: her achievements still echo in the history of tennis. She was able to win six titles in Paris, dominating on the court and dictating law even in terms of fashion. Her untimely death marked an era.