Tuesday, December 5th, 2017...2:21 am

French Open

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The French Open is the second of the four main tournaments talked about earlier in the blog. It is played for two weeks during late May until early June. The French Championships began in 1891, but were only allowing members of French clubs to play there. Up until 1897, there were only men tennis singles and doubles players that competed. It wasn’t until 1902, where mixed doubles was added to the events and 1907 before women’s doubles was an event. Only French club members were allowed to play at these tournaments until 1924.

Since there was such a long time before non French members could compete in this tournament, a separate tournament was created in 1912 until 1914 for international players. They brought back the championship after WWI was over from 1920-1922 and was located in Brussels, Belgium. The tournament was called World Hard Court Championships. This championship was ended due to the Paris Olympic Games and also the French Open was allowing players worldwide to compete there. By 1968, the French Open became the first Grand Slam tournament to allow professionals and amateurs to compete.



Court number 2 at the French Open.

The French Open had different prizes involved. One called the Prix Orange which is won by the players demonstrating best sportsmanship, the Prix Citron which is for the player with the strongest personality, and lastly the Prix Bourgeon prize for players with revelation of the year. Since 2006, the French Open has began on a Sunday with 12 singles matches being played on the main courts. The night before, there is a Benny Berthet exhibition day which is where people donate money and the profits go to different charities.
Finally by 2007, the French Open agreed on giving equal prize money to men and women in all of the rounds. This is also the only major tournament played on clay courts. The reason why its not a popular choice is because clay courts slow down the ball and give the ball a high bounce compared to hard and grass courts.

More information and picture from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Open


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