The Roland Garros 2021, unlike what happened last year with the autumn edition, will be held at the end of May and at the beginning of the day, for a Parisian fortnight of incredible emotions. Due to covid-19, the Bois de Boulogne Grand Slam will be postponed for only one week, for two weeks that have given historic moments over the years.
The four musketeers are perhaps, to date, the icons of French men’s tennis. Stainless their victory and the love the crowd had for them. René Lacoste won the title three times (1925, 1927, 1929), Jean Borotra won the title in 1931 and Henri Cochet won five editions (1922 1926 1928 1930 1932). Their monopoly lasted from 1922 until 1932, with the only exception of 1923. Jacques Brugnon made two times the quarterfinals in the men’s singles, but he was loved by the French crowd, as part of that memorable quartet of champions.
Going back in time, André Vacherot was one of the players who wrote the history of the tournament during the late 1800s and early 1900s. He won four editions of the French Open (1894, 1895, 1896, 1901); we are talking about another era and another tennis.
Max Décugis is certainly one of the emblems of this tournament. The Frenchman won the title eight times (1903, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1912, 1913, 1914), and was, until 2013, the most successful tennis player in men’s singles. Also the winner of three Olympic medals, his career was completely ruined by the First World War.
Between the mid-30s and the mid-70s, champions such as Gottfried von Cramm, Nicola Pietrangeli and Manuel Santana will be foreve remembered. Then with the arrival of Bjorn Borg, 6-times winner of the title (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981), fans had a new idol to support.
Ivan Lendl and Gustavo Kuerten preceded the absolute dominance of Rafael Nadal, the true great protagonist of the French Open, able to win 12 editions (a record), dominating his opponents over almost fourteen years. Only in retrospect, in a few years, we will realize how much the Spaniard has upset the history of this tournament, linking it in a stainless manner to his image, in a mutual exchange.
There is no Nadal without Roland Garros and there is no Roland Garros without Nadal. A final mention goes to Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic; they have won only one edition of the French Slam, but with those victories, they completed the much-dreamed-about career Slam.