War on Clay: French Open
This is the second Grand Slam of the year, and is held between May and June, named after the famous French Aviator Roland Garros, this tournament requires, endurance, strength, persistence and most importantly a real champion will. This event which captures and enthralls the imagination of the viewer’s world wide is known French Open. Unlike other major Grand Slams, this is the only tournament which is held on spring clay court. This most valued tennis event enjoys maximum number French viewer ship. This tournament apart from its flair and glory shares a great and colorful history too.
The event of French tennis for men started in 1891, while for women the introduction in tennis was made in 1897. At that part of time it was not a major international tournament. It was in 1925, when French championship invited champions and players from all around the world the tournament started to grow in stature. From 1946 to 1947 French Open was held after the Wimbledon making it the third grand slam of the year, but till that time it only invited amateurs it was in 1968, when French officials decided to invite both the professionals and amateurs to come and participate making it officially the first grand slam to do that. In another major change in the tournament which makes it different from other three Grand Slams, from year 2006 it started its opening day on Sundays, making it the only Grand Slam to begin on Sunday and in year 2007, for the first time the prize money which was given to women was equal to the price of men.
The court used for playing French Open is clay court; it is different from other courts because of the way it is made. The clay court is made using crushed shale and brick this feature makes it slower than the grass court and this is where patience and skills of the players come handy. The tennis ball comes slower on the clay court, which negates the advantage to the players who enjoys fast serving games. This is the main reason why some of the great champions who have conquered the grass have failed on the clay, and the most famous example of this is great Champion Pete Sampras who was never able to lift a French Open trophy in his most celebrated career.
Before 1968, this tournament was not open for International players this is the reason why the maximum number of time the trophy was lifted by the French men Max Decugis, however after 1968 the tournament saw new champions Bjorn Borg who won this tournament for six times, out of which four times in won the tournament consecutively. Apart from the Legend of Bjorn Borg another champion who has stamped his authority on French Open with style and flair is Rafael Nadal, who also has lifted the trophy six times.
The great Roger Federer has managed to win this tournament once, though it has to be noted that his greatest rival Rafael Nadal was not defeated by him in that tournament. In Women championship the record for highest number of title is held by United States Chris Evert, she won the tournament seven times.