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
|2003||Juan Carlos Ferrero|
|1998||Arantxa Sanchez Vicario|
|1994||Arantxa Sanchez Vicario|
|1989||Arantxa Sanchez Vicario|
|1972||Billie Jean King|