Most memorable moments of French Open tennis tournament

Roland Garros or French Open has been the grand slam of unforgettable contests. Riveting tennis, amazing comebacks, controversial moments and emotional displays during periods of high drama and thrill have combined to create some of the most unforgettable French Open matches. Here are our top picks for most memorable moments of French Open matches:

1. Steffi Graf defeats Martina Hingis 1999 final

Graf v hingis french open

Graf’s comprehensive win over martina Hingis in this final offered all the elements of controversy, unforgettable match, crow involvement, tension, star quality, display of emotions, sentimental value and comeback. Hingis was top seeded then and had won first set with 2-0 lead in second set when things turned. Hingis was serving for match at 5-4 when Graf made a comeback and won three straight games to level. She dominated the third set after winning second set and ended up being the champion. Hingis complained a lot about umpiring during the match which also cost her penalty. Graf after winning the match said that this was her final French Open and announced her retirement two months later.

2. Michael Chang defeated Ivan Lendl, 1989

Chang v Lendl

It is the most memorable fourth round of French Open as Michael Chang’s upset of Ivan Lendl left everyone in shock. Chang’s 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 victory had a little bit of everything including stunning upset despite Chang’s cramps, remarkable comeback and underhand serve on crucial point. This match became much more unforgettable as Chang went on to win the tournament at the age of 17, becoming the youngest make to win a Grand Slam.

3. Chris Evert defeated Martina Navratilova 1985 final

Evert v Navratilova

This was the 65th and best of the 80 matches played between Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert. At this point, Navratilova was leading 33-31 against Evert and had won 15 of previous 16 meetings. But Evert was able to win this match 6-3, 6-7, 7-5 to reclaim world No.1 rank at age 30.

4. Rafael Nadal defeated Novak Djokovic 2013 semifinal

Nadal v Djokovic

At that time, Nadal had won 7 French Open titles but Novak Djokobic was world No. 1. It was the greatest resilient shown by both players that highlighted this match. Nadal’s 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7(3), 9-7 victory over Djokovic in this semifinal is memorable for its riveting nature and high level of play.

5. Robin Soderling defeated Nadal 2009

Soderling french open 2009

It was the fourth round of French Open when Robin Soderling defeated Nadal with a score of 6-2, 6-7, 6-4, 7-6. Since 2005, Nadal lost just one match at Roland Garros. Before this match, Nadal was 60-1 in the French Open, winning the title eight of the nine times he had played the event. It was in 2009 where Soderling pulled off a stunning upset.

Greatest men tennis rivalries: Federer vs Nadal

Greatest men tennis rivalries: Federer vs Nadal

What does tennis in the 21st century reminds you of? Of course, none other than Federer and Nadal rivalry. After the Agassi vs Sampras greatest rivalry, Nadal and Federer have been able to captivate the audiences for longest hours, holding on to their breath for a thrilling and unexpected result. These two players have met many times on the court and played some of the best tennis matches of the history which definitely includes the 2008 Wimbledon final.

Famous and greatest tennis player Roger Federer was ranked number 1 for a record 237 consecutive weeks whereas Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal held this spot for 160 consecutive weeks. They are the only men in the open era, who have battled each other in eight Grand Slam finals, with Nadal having the big edge by winning six of the eight finals. This makes them the most challenging rivals of all time. Rafael Nadal is leading the table head-to-head 17–8. Nadal is dominant in French open by winning the title 5 times where as Federer has only won once. Over all, Federer has won the Grand Slam titles 16 times as compared to Nadal who has so far won 9 times. The overall comparison of both the players in terms of game and fitness level does not have much difference.

 

Nadal

Federer

Date of Birth:

June 3, 1986

August 8, 1981

Country:

Spain

Switzerland

Career Singles Titles:

32

63

Career Doubles Titles:

3

7

Career Prize Money:

$20 million

$56.9 million

Career record (singles):

242-61

717-171

Highest ranking (singles):

1

1

Career record (doubles):

58-36

114-74

Highest ranking (doubles):

26

24

Roger Federer’s career statistics:

Rafael Nadal’s career statistics:

Nadal vs Federer rivalry

Famous female tennis player: Li Na

Li Na, Famous female tennis player Li Na

Li Na, a Chinese tennis professional has become one of the famous female tennis players for being the only Chinese tennis player who reached the final of a Grand Slam. She was the runner-up in the women’s singles in Australian Open. Her current WTA ranking is No. 6 which is also her career high ranking. Li Na has won 19 ITF and 4 WTA singles titles. In doubles tournament, Li Na has been pretty successful and claimed 16 ITF and two WTA doubles titles. Initially, Li Na partnered with Li Ting in the doubles but recently she has been forming temporary partnerships in women’s doubles game with players like Nicole Pratt, Jelena Kankovic, Yan Zi and Peng Shuai who are her healthy rivals as well.

Li Na is famous for her brilliant game that includes athleticism and quick reflexes all over the court with ground strokes. She has the talent of spreading these ground strokes unpredictably which makes her a dangerous opponent. She is not only comfortable at baseline but also around the net. Of her two ground strokes, her backhand is very strong. The only weakness Li Na has is high number of unforced errors. However with her weaknesses, Li Na was able to make it to the French Open final where she played against Maria Sharapova. She played convincingly and on the French Open title, her first career grand slam becoming the only Chinese player (male/female) to have won any grand slam in the history of tennis. Right after her win, Li Na also wrote a book over her success and achievements. 

Famous male tennis player: Gael Monfils

Gael Monfils, Famous male tennis player: Gael Monfils

A French tennis player and currently the most favorite for French people, famous tennis player Gael Monfils is a professional tennis player who has been entertaining the tennis fans all over the world with his sensational performances. Gael is nicknamed as ‘La Monf’ and sometimes Sliderman due to his extremely sliding techniques on the clay surface. 

Even he failed at winning major Grand Slam titles, the amount of energy and zeal Monfils shows at the court made him famous among the tennis lovers. Monfils born September 1, 1986 is the current top French tennis player and has been ranked 9th on the ATP rankings. He was the semi-finalist in French Open 2009 whereas runner-up in Paris Masters in 2009 and 2010. In year 2008, it was the first time when French tennis player Monfils finished in top 20 tennis players. With personal high 46 matches win in 2010, Monfils was able to finish among the top 15 male tennis players for straight third year.

Gael Monfils is known for his defensive playing tactic and he plays from the far back of the baseline until he forces his opponent to make and error. Monfils is known for his athleticism and is sometimes compared to Rafal Nadal for being all over the clay court. Monfils sometimes surprise his opponents with his aggressive play but his sudden transition from defensive to aggressive often lead him to make errors.

In year 2011, Monfils was left with the wrist injury but made a strong comeback and defeated 7th seeded Spanish tennis player David Ferrer to reach the quarterfinals. Monfils will face the greatest tennis player Roger Federer in quarter-final in French Open 2011.

Best male tennis players: Bjorn Borg

Best male tennis players: Bjorn Borg

Tennis history is filled with precocious championships and achievements but none has been as impressive as Bjorn Borg who in his brief career was able to play outstanding tennis. His seemingly emotionless personality no wonders had the right amount of zeal and dedication for this game. Famous tennis player, Bjorn Borg was born on June 6, 1956 in Sodertalje, Sweden. His fascination for tennis is routed to the tennis racket which is father won as a prize in a ping-pong tournament. Bjorn Borg was a player with endurance and great strength and had an unorthodox and distinctive style. Borg used to battle from the baseline along with ground strokes in long rallies. Although his serve was not very impressive at first but he somehow managed the game beautifully with his volleying throughout the game. Due to his excellent playing skills, Bjorn Borg became the youngest champion of his time at the age of 20 (later Boris Becker claimed this record by becoming the champion at the age of 17 in 1985). Bjorn Borg was known as the King of Clay as he holds the record of winning the most French Open titles. It took him sometime to settle at grass but he did so by winning 5 Wimbledon titles.

Some of the career highlights and record of Bjorn Borg are:

1)      Bjorn Borg won 62 singles out of 88 finals and four double titles including Masters of 1979-80.

2)      Bjorn Borg won six French Open singles titles (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981)

3)      Borg won 5 Wimbledon singles titles (1976, 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980).

4)      Bjorn Borg won Davis Cup in years 1972, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979 and 1981. He holds the record of 37-3 single wins and 8-8 in doubles.

5)      Bjorn Borg played all four tennis Grand Slams with the following final win-lose statistics:

  1. Australian Open tennis championship (1-1)
  2. French Open tennis championship (49-2)
  3. Wimbledon (51-4)
  4. US Open tennis championship (40-10)

Interesting and fun facts of French Open tennis tournament

Interesting and fun facts of French Open tennis tournament

French Open or Roland Garros is one of the biggest tennis tournaments and is the only one to be played on clay court. Roland Garros is the name given to stadium after Roland Garros, who was the aviation pioneer and was the first to fly Mediterranean. Some of the interesting facts related to Roland Garros or French Open tennis tournament are:

1)      The French Open tennis tournament is 110 years old. The first Roland Garros tournament took place in 1891 as a national championship and got the international status in year 1925.

2)      Born Borg has won the French Open tennis tournament championship for men’s single a record six times.

3)      Suzanne Lenglen in 1926 won the women’s French Open title in 27 minutes.

4)      Althea Gibson, an American player was the first black tennis player to win the French Open in year 1956.

5)      In the final match of 1966, Istvan agreed to delay the match for 24 hours so that Tony Roche would get over his ankle injury. This agreement on Istvan’s part however allowed Tony to win the title.

6)      As of 2006, the last six men’s Roland Garros tournaments were won by the tennis players who won no other grand slams.

7)      Michael Chang became the youngest French Open tennis champion when he defeated Stefan Edberg 6-1, 3-6, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 at the age of 17 years, 3 months in 1989.

8)      Monica Seles is the youngest women to have won French Open tennis championship when she defeated Steffi Graf 7-6, 6-4 at the age of 16 years 6 months.

Monica Seles also holds the record. tied with Henin to win the French Open consecutively for three years.

 

French Open winners and runner-ups (female)-From 1969-1960

French Open winners and runner-ups (female)-From 1969-1960

The French Open for women was initially reserved to members only. After the championship opened to international competitors, it was named as French International Championships, but before the open era. In this era, Helen Wills Moody won the record four French Open titles in respective years 1928, 1929, 1930 and 1932.The record for most consecutive titles of this era is three and is help by Wills Moody (1928-1930) and Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling (1935-1937).

It was in the Open Era of the French Open where the professional tennis players were allowed and Chris Evert set the record for most titles (7) in 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985 and 1986.  

The era of 1969-1960 in women French Open tennis tournaments had many different tennis players winning this title but two famous female tennis player names which were repeatedly seen winning and as a runner-up were Margaret Smith and Lesley Turner. The list of female winners and runner-ups of French Open tennis championship during 1969-1960 is as follow:

Winners and runner-up of 1969

  • Margaret Smith Court
  • Ann Jones

Winners and runner-up of 1968

  • Nancy Richey
  • Ann Jones

Winners and runner-up of 1967

  • Francoise Durr
  • Lesley Turner

Winners and runner-up of 1966

  • Ann Haydon Jones
  • Nancy Richey

Winners and runner-up of 1965

  • Lesley Turner
  • Margaret Smith

Winners and runner-up of 1964

  • Margaret Smith
  • French Open runner-up (female)-1964: Maria Bueno

Winners and runner-up of 1963

  • Lesley Turner
  • French Open runner-up (female)-1963: Ann Jones

Winners and runner-up of 1962

  • Margaret Smith
  • Lesley Turner

Winners and runner-up of 1961

  • Ann Haydon
  • Yola Ramirez

Winners and runner-up of 1960

  • Darlene R. Hard
  • Yola Ramirez

French Open winners and runner-ups (female)-From 1979-1970

Margaret Court, French Open Winners and runner-ups female, From 1960-1969

The women’s singles Tennis rules have changed over the period of time since the first edition. The event, since the commencement, has been played on the knock out format which means that any player who fails to win even a single match will exit from entering the next round. For women, the French Open format comprised of three sets only for the decider. The best of twelve point tie break was introduced in the women French Open singles title in 1973 for the first two sets to decide the match in the third and final set.

Although many players have shown outstanding skills on the French Open court but very few have been able to win without losing a set. This feat was achieved by Evonne Goolagong Cawley in 1971, Billie Jean King in 1972, Chris Evert in 1974, Steffi Graf in 1988, Aranrxa Sanchez Vicario in 1994 and Henin did it twice, first in 2006 and then in 2007. Monica Seles and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario won the French Open Championship title for three times. It was only in 2011 when a Chinese player Li Na became the first Chinese player ever in the history (male or female) to win a Grand Slam singles title and that too the French Open. 

The era of 1979-1970 in women French Open tennis tournaments has been a decade of famous tennis players like Chris Evert, Billie Jean King and Margaret Smith-Court. Among these famous female tennis players, Chris Evert ruled this era in French Open Championship. The list of female winners and runner-ups of French Open tennis championship during 1979-1970 is as follow:

French Open winners and runner-ups (female)-From 1989-1980

 

French Open winners and runner-ups (female)-From 1989-1980

The era of 1989-1980 in women French Open tennis tournaments was a sensational title run for two of the most female tennis players, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert-Lloyd, winning the most number of French Open title. Along with them, it was Steffi Graf who won multiple French Open titles and joined the Navratilova-Chris-Graff rival trio. The overall titles for these three female players along with their French Open titles are as follows:

  • Navratilova won 18 Grand Slam titles  out of which 9 titles are of Wimbledon, 2 are the French Open titles, 3 are Australian Open and 4 are US Open championship titles.
  • Chris Evert has also won 18 Grand Slam titles out of which Chris claimed 7 French Open titles, 3 Wimbledon titles, 2 Australian Open titles and 6 US Open championship titles.
  • Steffi Graf, only second to Margaret’s 24 titles, claimed 22 Grand Slams in which Graf claimed 6 French Open titles, 4 Australian Open titles, 7 Wimbledon titles and 5 US Open championship titles.

These three legendary players have either been runner-up or winner on the French Court, making it impossible for any other player to dominate the clay surface.  These legendary female tennis players ruled not only the clay court but all Grand Slams during this era. The list of female winners and runner-ups of French Open tennis championship during 1989-1980 is as follow:

Winners of French Open Tennis Championship from 1989-1980 are:

  • Sanchez Vicario (1989)
  • Steffi Graf
  • Steffi Graf
  • Christ Evert-Lloyd
  • Chris-Evert-Lloyd
  • Martine Navratilova
  • Chris Evert-Lloyd
  • Martina Navratilova
  • Hana Mandlikova
  • Chris Evert-Lloyd
Runner-ups of French Open Tennis Championship from 1989-1980 are:
  • Steffi Graf
  • Natasha Zvereva
  • Martina Navratilova
  • Martina Navratilova
  • Martina Navratilova
  • Chris Evert-Lloyd
  • Mima Jausovec
  • Andrea Jaeger
  • Sylvia Hanika
  • Sylvia Hanika

French Open winners and runner-ups (female)-From 1999-1990

Steffi Graf, French Open winners and runner-ups female, From 1980-1989

The era of 1999-1990 in women French Open tennis tournaments could be dedicated to famous female tennis players, Steffi Graff and Monica Seles as these two tennis players shared the most number of French Open Championship titles with Sanchez Vicario as the leading runner-up during this decade. The list of female winners and runner-ups of French Open tennis championship during 1999-1990 is as follow:

Year 1999-French Open Tennis

  • Winner of French Open Championship-1999: Steffi Graf
Whereas,
  • Runner-up (female)-1999: Martina Hingis

Year 1998-French Open Tennis

  • Winner of French Open Championship-1998: Aranxta Sanchez-Vicario
Whereas,
  • Runner-up of French Open Championship-1998: Monica Seles

Year 1997-French Open Tennis

  • Winner of the French Open Championship-1997: Iva Majoli
Whereas,
  • Runner-up of French Open Championship-1997: Martina Hingis

Year 1996-French Open Tennis

  • Winner of the French Open Championship-1996: Steffi Graf
Whereas,
  • Runner-up of French Open Championship-1996: Sanchez-Vicario

Year 1995-French Open Tennis

  • Winner of the French Open Championship-1995: Steffi Graf
Whereas,
  • Runner-up of French Open Championship-1995: Sanchez Vicario

Year 1994-French Open Tennis

  • Winner of the French Open Championship-1994: Sanchez Vicario
Whereas,
  • Runner-up of the French Open Championship-1994: Mary Pierce

Year 1993-French Open Tennis

  • Winner of the French Open Championship: Steffi Graf
Whereas,
  • Runner-up of the French Open Championship-1993: Mary Jo Fernandez

Year 1992-French Open Tennis

  • Winner of the French Open Championship-1992: Monica Seles
Whereas,
  • Runner-up of the French Open Championship-1992: Steffi Graf

Year 1991-French Open Tennis

  • Winner of the French Open Championship-1991: Monica Seles
Whereas,
  • Runner-up of the French Open Championship-1991: Sanchez Vicario

Year 1990-French Open Tennis

  • Winner of the French Open Championship-1990: Monica Seles
Whereas,
  • Runner-up of the French Open Championship-1990: Steffi Graf

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