Explained why is the French Open called Roland Garros and its meaning

Explained why is the French Open called Roland Garros and its meaning

Know the reason and legendary player behind the French Open being called Roland Garros and its meaning

The second grand slam of the year held on clay is popularly known as French Open as well as the Roland Garros.

The only clay-court grand slam is held at a location with a long history, having hosted the competition since 1928.

Since the tournament has already started with it’s qualifiers, the clay iconic event is the talk of the town. Let us have a look at why is it called Roland Garros?

Why is the French Open called Roland Garros and its meaning

After France won the Davis Cup the previous year, the establishment of Roland-Garros, which first opened its doors in 1928, was made in order to retain the country’s dominance in tennis.

Emile Lesueur, the president of the Stade Francais at the time, requested that the stadium be named in commemoration of his brave former pupil Roland Garros when he passed away in World War I in 1918. Roland-Garros has remained the name of the arena ever since Lesueur’s eventual request was granted.


In French, names of places or events that honour living individuals must be hypenated.

Who was Roland Garros?

Despite being inextricably associated to a grand slam match, Garros had never played tennis; as a youth, he played rugby and football. At the age of 21, the Frenchman discovered his love of planes. Four years later, in 1913, he is said to have made the first flight over the Mediterranean.


During World War I, Garros exploited his fascination with aircraft to create a revolutionary method of mounting a machine gun on them. Garros was a fighter pilot who had achieved early success before being captured in 1915. He would escape after three years, despite being in poor health, and decide to return to combat practically right after.

The fact that his planes’ propellers had the inscription “Victory belongs to the most persevering” did not help explain his choice. On October 5, 1918, Garros passed away in battle but not before leaving behind an enduring legacy of inventiveness and tenacity.

An airport on the French island of Réunion is also named in his honour, in addition to the French Open memorial.


Who has won the most French Open?

Rafael Nadal has won the French Open 14 times, with five of those triumphs coming in a row, a record. Chris Evert, who has won the title seven times, is the women’s singles player at Roland-Garros with the most success.

Men’s singles winner in Open Era

Year Winner
2022 Rafael Nadal
2021 Novak Djokovic
2020 Rafael Nadal
2019 Rafael Nadal
2018 Rafael Nadal
2017 Rafael Nadal
2016 Novak Djokovic
2015 Stan Wawrinka
2014 Rafeal Nadal
2013 Rafael Nadal
2012 Rafael Nadal
2011 Rafael Nadal
2010 Rafael Nadal
2009 Roger Federer
2008 Rafael Nadal
2007 Rafael Nadal
2006 Rafael Nadal
2005 Rafael Nadal
2004 Gaston Gaudio
2003 Juan Carlos Ferrero
2002 Albert Costa
2001 Gustavo Kuerten
2000 Gustavo Kuerten
1999 Andre Agassi
1998 Carlos Moya
1997 Gustavo Kuerten
1996 Yevgeny Kafelnikov
1995 Thomas Muster
1994 Sergi Bruguera
1993 Sergi Bruguera
1992 Jim Courier
1991 Jim Courier
1990 Andres Gomez
1989 Michael Chang
1988 Mats Wilander
1987 Ivan Lendl
1986 Ivan Lendl
1985 Mats Wilander
1984 Ivan Lendl
1983 Yannick Noah
1982 Mats Wilander
1981 Bjorn Borg
1980 Bjorn Borg
1979 Bjorn Borg
1978 Bjorn Borg
1977 Guillermo Vilas
1976 Adriano Panatta
1975 Bjorn Borg
1974 Bjorn Borg
1973 IIie Nastase
1972 Andres Gimeno
1971 Jan Kodes
1970 Jan Kodes
1969 Rod Laver
1968 Ken Rosewall
Women’s singles winner in Open Era
Year Winner
2021 Iga Swiatek
2021 Barbora Krejcikova
2020 Iga Swiatek
2019 Ashleigh Barty
2018 Simona Halep
2017 Jelena Ostapenko
2016 Garbine Muguruza
2015 Serena Williams
2014 Maria Sharapova
2013 Serena Williams
2012 Maria Sharapova
2011 Li Na
2010 Fransesca Schiavone
2009 Svetlana Kuznetsova
2008 Ana Ivanovic
2007 Justine Henin
2006 Justine Henin
2005 Justine Henin
2004 Anastasia Myskina
2003 Justine Henin
2002 Serena Williams
2001 Jennifer Capriati
2000 Mary Pierce
1999 Steffi Graf
1998 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
1997 Iva Majoli
1996 Steffi Graf
1995 Steffi Graf
1994 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
1993 Steffi Graf
1992 Monica Seles
1991 Monica Seles
1990 Monica Seles
1989 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
1988 Steffi Graf
1987 Steffi Graf
1986 Chris Evert
1985 Chris Evert
1984 Martina Navratilova
1983 Chris Evert
1982 Martina Navratilova
1981 Hana Mandlikova
1980 Chris Evert
1979 Chris Evert
1978 Virginia Ruzici
1977 Mima Jausovec
1976 Sue Barker
1975 Chris Evert
1974 Chris Evert
1973 Margaret Court
1972 Billie Jean King
1971 Evonne Goolagong
1970 Margaret Court
1969 Margaret Court
1968 Nancy Richey