I thought I'd take a few hours to compile a bunch of interesting facts about the French Open tonight, since there's nothing good on TV, so here goes:
- Did you know that Svetlana Kuznetsova blew match points against the eventual champion in the fourth round in two consecutive years? For anybody else it would be surprising, but for Svetlana, not so much. In '04 Anastasia Myskina saved MP at 5-6 in the third, and in '05 Justine Henin saved two match points at 3-5 in the third set.
- A defending men's singles champion has never lost in the first round the following year. Three have lost in the second round (Kuerten, '98, Agassi, '00, Ferrero '04)
- Anastasia Myskina ('05) is the last female defending champion to lose in the first round the following year.
- Only 5 singles players have won the French Open before they turned 18: Michael Chang ('89), Mats Wilander ('82), Monica Seles ('90), Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario ('89), Steffi Graf ('87)
- 1989 is the only year in the history of the French Open that both singles winners had not yet turned 18.
- Elena Dementieva holds the French Open record for most double faults in a match (for a female player), and most double faults for a tournament. In 2004, she double faulted 16 times in the first round and 64 times for the tournament.
- American Vince Spadea double faulted 22 times in a third round loss to Sebastien Grosjean in the 3rd round, 2002.
- Steffi Graf (94) has played more singles matches than anybody else in the history of the tournament. Guillermo Vilas (73) has played more than any other man.
- Bjorn Borg (6) has the most titles and finals appearances of any man.
- Chris Evert (7) has the most titles of any woman.
- The French Open didn't allow foreigners to compete for the title until 1925. Aussie Jack Crawford became the first non-French player to win in Paris in 1933 when he beat Henri Cochet in the final.
- The French Open moved to the Roland Garros site in 1928, and Henri Cochet beat Rene Lacoste in the final that year.
- In 2004, Arnaud Clement and Fabrice Santoro played what used to be the longest match in the history of tennis in the 1st round. The 6-hour 33-minute match is still the longest in French Open history, even though John Isner and Nicolas Mahut now hold the record for tennis's longest match at 11-hours 5-minutes.
- The last all-American men's singles final was contested in 1991, when Jim Courier defeated Andre Agassi in 4 sets. Might it be the last one we ever see?
- Althea Gibson was the first black player to win the French Open in 1956, when she defeated Angela Mortimer 6-0, 12-10 in the final.
- Bjorn Borg won 41 sets consecutively from 1979-1981. Rafa's best is 30, but he's currently on a 21-set streak heading into this year's event.
- Chris Evert is the last singles player to win the French while over the age of 30. She was 31 years and 5 months old when she won her seventh title in 1986.