Friday, May 20, 2011

French Open Fun Facts

Yannick Noah was the last frenchman to win Roland Garros in 1983. Suzanne Lenglen is the only player to win all three events more than one time. Welcome to French Open fun facts.

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.
  • Anastasia Myskina ('05) is the last female defending champion to lose in the first round the following year.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  1. Great list! Elena Dementieva never did get a hang of that serve, did she. Too bad. I've never been able to understand how Chris Evert, as an American, was able to win so many French Open titles...a surface that the Americans supposedly haven't mastered.

  2. Thanks Paula. Chrissy was a master on clay. So consistent, so effortlessly smooth. The more I go back and watch her or read about her accomplishments, the more I'm impressed.

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