I overheard a discussion between a few of my co-workers regarding some facts about the French Open. I realized my knowledge and history of this prestigious event could use a refresher. Maybe yours too?
1.Roland Garros was built specifically in 1928 to defend the Davis Cup. The “les Quatre Mousquetaires or “Four Musketeers” consisting of Jacques “Toto” Brugnon, Jean Borotra (the “Bouncing Basque”), Henri Cochet (the “Magician”), and René Lacoste (the “Crocodile”) were largely responsible for France retaining the Cup until 1933. The champions trophy is aptly named “La Coupe des Mousquetaires”.
2.Roland Garros, a pioneer aviator completed the first solo flight across the Mediterranean Sea. An engineer inventor of the first forward-firing aircraft machine gun, and World War I hero. The first pilot to shoot down five enemy aircraft, and to be called an “ace” for doing so who was killed in aerial combat in 1918.
3.Center Court or “Court Philippe Chatrier” is named for long time president of the Fédération Française de Tennis.
4.The Roland Garros surface is invariably characterized as “red clay”, the courts are in fact surfaced with white limestone frosted with a few millimeters of powdered red brick dust.
The current facility is due to undergo a major expansion expecting to be complete in 2017.
5. Rafael Nadal holds the French Open record with 8 French Open titles.