From Suzanne Lenglen to Serena Williams: the great women of the Roland Garros



by LORENZO CIOTTI

From Suzanne Lenglen to Serena Williams: the great women of the Roland Garros

Here we are! There are only a few days left until the Roland Garros 2023 starts, and this will be a historic edition. There will be no Rafael Nadal, and it will be the first French Open since the retirement of Roger Federer and Serena Williams.

The women's singles of the Roland Garros is 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. In an era dominated by French players, Jeanne Matthey was 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.

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. 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.

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 and Barbora Krejcikova. The new ruler on the Parisian clay courts is Iga Swiatek.

Serena Williams Rafael Nadal Roger Federer