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.
The history of the French Open Tennis is full of ups and downs. Some became kings and for some there was nothing. Looking at the record book of the French Open Tennis, Bjorn Borg with six single titles and Henri Cochet with four hold the top two slots. Rafael Nadal stands by them as he has broken equalled the record of Bjorn with 6 titles. Nadal has already bagged 6 consecutive French Open Tennis titles and is eyeing for a 7th one. Again, most consecutive titles are held by Bjorn Borg, which is now shared by Rafael Nadal. At the Roland Garros, Henri Cochet has won the most titles in all events where he has won four singles, three doubles and two mixed.
The most Open Era match-winning Tennis player was Guillermo Vilas with stats of 56-17 followed by Ivan Lendl and Andre Agassi registering corresponding figures of 53-12 and 51-15. The double title ace goes to Roy Emerson as he has won six double titles in the French Open. The youngest tennis champion at the Roland Garros was Michael Chang, who won the trophy in 1989 at the age of 17 years and 3 months; Mats Wilander is the next champion to follow who at the age of 17 years and 9 months created history in 1982. Bjorn Borg won the French Open crown in 1974 at the age of 18 years.
The French Open Tennis women’s title has never been a piece of cake. Among all the big names, Chris Evert was the one who grabbed the most single titles at the French Open and she did it seven times. Next in the row was the evergreen Steffi Graf who won the singles title six times. Steffi Graf is the only women player who has the best winning ratio at the clay courts. She played 94 matches of which she won 84 and lost just 10 of them.
Henin, Wills-Moody, Sperling and Seles share the most consecutive singles Tennis titles; they all won three in a row.
The aggregate title holding record goes to Smith-Court with 13 titles of which five were singles, four were doubles and four were mixed doubles. How can one forget the Queen of the tennis world, Martina Navratilova, who won seven titles in doubles events? Though she single-handedly took only two singles titles and two mixed doubles at the French Open, she managed to keep her name in the list of record holders at the Roland Garros.
The youngest champion at the French Open Tennis was Monica Seles as she won the title at the age of 16 years. She is the youngest amongst all champions whether men or women of the French Open. USA has won the most French Open titles, the country has grabbed it 27 times followed by Germans who took it to their soil 10 times.
Perhaps the only female tennis player who encapsulated the mind’s eye of fans across the globe with her unprecedented aggressive style and intent to conquer all the trophies that come in her way is none other than Martina Navratilova. Her exceptional resilience led her to the indomitable heights not only on the grass courts of Wimbledon but also at the Roland Garros. Though playing on clay courts was never preferred by her, she made such, records especially in the doubles event, which are still unbreakable. In contrast, her arch rival Chris Evert was the Queen of Tennis clay courts, holding the best record at the French Open Tennis with seven singles trophies on her rack. Though Navratilova did beat Evert three times on clay, one of which was French Open, Evert remained the ace and still holds the record of most singles titles won by any female at Roland Garros.
The sweet chubby Steffi Graf, who won 22 Tennis Grand Slams in her career, holds six French Open women title trophies (second to Evert) under her belt. She is the player of Navratilova’s list of great players. She was a blend of skill and stamina and the only tennis player who did equally well on grass as well as clay courts. Her main weapon was her accurate serves. Though Tennis clay courts never help those with great serves, she easily adjusted herself to the surface of Roland Garros and won many titles where men like Pete Sampras and Federer never did.
Tennis history is full of eminent names and great games. Players come and go leaving behind there traces of success and defeat. However, the enigma of red clay at the Roland Garros is still the same since the first day and is still a hard nut to crack. It has some unusual characteristics which keep the players perplexed and all the time test their skills and grandeur. Unlike grass courts, the clay court never gives a second chance to the players to recover once they lost their technique to meet the standards of this court. The French Open is one such competition with big guns like Sampras, John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Roger Federer who have never won their victory caps as they have never won any French Open in their awe-inspiring histories of Grand Slams. They loved Wimbledon, they enjoyed US Open and Australian Open, but the French Open has always remained a dream for them that that has never come true.
Unlike the grass courts, the game at Roland Garros is all about exhibiting stamina and strength and as to how long a player can hold himself to play on clay. Once he or she is worn out, the game can go to an opponent in the blink of an eye. Players with stamina always win the laurels at the French Open. However, for those who lack resilience, the French Open is just a fascination for them.
The French Open is the second tennis Grand Slam played in a year after the Australian Open. It is also known as the Roland Garros tennis tournament because of its official name in French which is Les Internationaux de France de Roland Garros. Roland Garros is also the name of the stadium where the French Open is played. It is held over a period of roughly two weeks during the second part of May/into the beginning of June. Roland Garros tennis is totally different from the rest of the Grand Slams because of the stark contrast in the nature of the tennis courts or the surface on which the game is played. Most players find the nature of the court to be slow and difficult as compared to the hard, grass courts in which the ball travels a lot faster. There are many tennis champions who have excelled at all the other Grand Slams but have failed to show the same finesse at the Roland Garros tennis tournament. Pete Sampras and Roger Federer would be the two names which spring up the fastest in recent times. The reigning champion over here for the past four years is the current no.1, Rafael Nadal.