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The French Open – A Truly Exciting Grand Slam

This year’s French Open, otherwise known as the Roland Garros, saw Rafael Nadal win his seventh title defeating Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-3, 2-6 and 7-5.

The French Open is now one of the most popular tennis grand slams in the world and after Nadal won his seventh title anticipation is already high for next year.

Each year the French Open proves itself to be more than just a great clay court tournament. The tournament has a history and tradition going back over 100 years. It started off as a small tournament and has since grown into one of the world’s biggest tournaments attracting top players. When the championships began in 1891 only French tennis club players were allowed to enter, it wasn’t until 1925 that it was opened to amateurs from across the world.

The French Open was the first Grand Slam tournament, which saw both amateurs and professional tennis players permitted to compete after the rule banning professionals, was lifted in 1968. It is actually very rare that a French player wins the tournament; the last one was Yannich Noah who won the men’s single in 1983. Since World War II there has only been three French women players and two French male players that have successfully won singles titles at the tournament.

When Nadal won last month he lifted the trophy called ‘La Coupe des Mousquetaires’ (The Musketeers Trophy) which is named after the four famous French tennis players who won the 1927 Davis Cup. The original trophy weighs 14 kilograms and each winner gets to take home a replica made from a solid sheet of silver.

Nearly half a million spectators watch the tournament every year with attendance still growing. The top prize is just over a million dollars for both the men and women players and even the first round losers take home around $24,000.

The French Open really is one of the most exciting grand slams there is and next year all eyes are sure to be on Nadal as he attempts to win a record eighth title.

OCA News Editor