French Open 2022: Dates, form guide, prize money, most titles and all you need to know

The 126th edition of the French Open, second of the four annual tennis Majors, is scheduled to be held from May 22 to June 5 in Paris, France.

FILE PHOTO: With 13 titles, Spain's Rafael Nadal is the most successful player in the history of the French Open.   -  GETTY IMAGES

The 126th edition of the French Open, second of the four annual tennis Majors, is scheduled to be held from May 22 to June 5 in Paris, France.

The tournament, officially known as Roland Garros, is played on outdoor clay courts.

Roland Garros features a 128-player singles draw, 64-team doubles draw and 32-team mixed doubles draw.

History

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FILE PHOTO: General view of the sunset over Court Philippe-Chatrier at Roland Garros in Paris, France.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

The French men's singles championships were first held in 1891 and the women's event was added six years later. The French Tennis Federation opened the event to foreign players in 1925.

The Roland Garros stadium staged the tournament for the first time in 1928. In 1927, four Musketeers of French tennis — Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and René Lacoste — had stunned the US in its own backyard to win the Davis Cup. The rematch, set up in 1928, was to be held in Paris and a new stadium was built for it. The stadium was named in the honour of one of Stade Français' most renowned former members, Roland-Garros, who had died about a decade earlier. Roland-Garros was a pilot, who on September 23, 1913, had become the first man to fly a plane over the Mediterranean.

In 1968, French Open became the first Major to join the Open Era, allowing both amateurs and professionals to participate at the event.

How last year's edition went

The 125th edition of the tournament was held between May 30 and June 13 in 2021, after the original schedule was postponed by a week due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time, French Open had formal night sessions, but the matches after 9pm local time were held behind closed doors as spectators were prohibited after 9pm due to a nationwide curfew. From June 9 onwards, the curfew was moved to 11pm and the number of spectators allowed was increased from 1,000 to 5,000 on the main courts.

After a one-year absence, the mixed doubles event also returned to the event.

On the men's side, Serbia's Novak Djokovic came from two sets down to beat Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-7 (8), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4 in the final to win his second French Open title and 19th Major overall. Djokovic had defeated defending champion Rafael Nadal in an epic four-set thriller in the semifinal during which the then French Prime Minister Jean Castex had called the organisers to make an exemption and let the spectators stay inside the stadium post the nightly curfew till the match was completed.

 

The victory also made Djokovic the first man in the Open Era to win all four Grand Slams at least twice.

In women's singles, Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova, who had never reached the quarterfinals of a Major before, went on to win the title by beating another first-time Major finalist in Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4. Krejcikova became the first Czech woman to win the singles title at Roland Garros since Hana Mandlikova in 1981.

 

The next day, Krejcikova also won the women's doubles title with compatriot Katerina Siniakova, the feat last achieved at the tournament in 2000 by French player Mary Pierce.

Storylines for this year

Women

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek of Poland will be the undisputed favourite to lift the trophy. Swiatek heads into French Open on the back of five consecutive titles and a 28-match unbeaten streak. The 20-year-old had won the title at Roland Garros in 2019 when she was ranked 54 in the world.

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Women's Preview of 2022 Roland Garros   -  GRAPHIC NEWS

 

It will be interesting to see whether Krejcikova steps on court to defend her title at all. The Czech player has been out of action since Doha due to an arm injury.

In last 15 years, French Open has seen nine first-time Major winners, which include Swiatek and Krejcikova, which means players like Tunisia's Ons Jabeur (has won 11 of her last 12 clay-court matches), Greece's Maria Sakkari and Spain's Paula Badosa can also fancy their chances.

Men

World No. 1 Djokovic will look to equal Nadal's record of 21 Major titles by defending his French Open crown. Djokovic was not allowed to participate at the 2022 Australian Open since he had not taken the vaccine against COVID-19. Nadal, who had been tied with Djokovic and Switzerland's Roger Federer on 20 Grand Slams, moved ahead after beating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the final in Melbourne. Djokovic enters this year's tournament after winning the title in Rome, his first in 2022.

Thirteen-time champion Nadal, who turns 36 on June 3, could become the oldest French open winner, a record currently held by his compatriot Andres Gimeno who lifted the trophy in 1972 at the age of 34 years.

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Men's Preview of 2022 Roland Garros.   -  GRAPHIC NEWS

 

All eyes will also be on the Spanish teenage sensation Carlos Alcaraz, who had to make it to the main draw in 2021 through qualifying rounds. This year, World No. 6 Alcaraz enters as one of the favourites after his title runs in Barcelona and Madrid, the latter including wins over Nadal and Djokovic.

While one local favourite Gael Monfils will not be participating at this year as he goes under the knife to fix a problem with his right heel, another in Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is set to retire from the sport after this French Open.

Prize money

Both, the men's and women's singles champions, will walk away with a prize money of €2,200,000 (approximately $23,03,455).

Trophies

According to the official website, the five trophies awarded at Roland Garros have all been designed by La Maison Mellerio, the famous Parisian jewelers since the 17th century.

FILE PHOTO: Spain's Rafael Nadal poses with the Coupe des Mousquetaires trophy after his victory against Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the French Open final at Roland Garros on June 11, 2012 in Paris, France.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

The men's singles winner receives the Musketeers' Cup, named in the honour of four Musketeers of French tennis: Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet and René Lacoste. Awarded to the winners since 1981, the trophy, a silver bowl bordered with vine leaves around the top and decorated with two swan-shaped handles, is mounted on a marble base which has the names of all the champions since 1891.

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FILE PHOTO: Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova, winner of the 2021 womens's singles at French Open, with the Susanne-Lenglen Cup.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

The women's singles champion receives the Suzanne-Lenglen Cup, named after the six-time French Open champion. Awarded to the winners since 1979, the trophy is almost the exact replica of the cup offered at the time by the City of Nice to Lenglen, and is housed in the National Sports Museum.

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FILE PHOTO: Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut of France celebrate with the Jacques-Brugnon Cup after winning the Men's Double's Final of the 2021 French Open.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

The men's doubles winners receive the Jacques-Brugnon Cup, named after one of the four Musketeers of French tennis, a doubles specialist. The trophy, created in 1989, is designed with appliques and its base is decorated with repetitive ornaments in relief, otherwise known as fluting.

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FILE PHOTO: Katerina Siniakova and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic pose with the Simonne-Mathieu cup after winning their Women's Doubles Final at the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

The women's doubles champions receive the Simonne-Mathieu Cup, named after clay specialist Simonne Mathieu who won the singles title twice, in 1938 and 1939, and also won eight titles in women’s doubles and mixed doubles. The trophy, created in 1990, is adorned with two small handles in the form of swans and decorated with leaf moldings.

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FILE PHOTO: Desirae Krawczyk of the United States and Joe Salisbury of Great Britain pose with the Marcel Bernard cup after winning their Mixed Doubles Final match at the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

The mixed doubles winners receive the Marcel Bernard Cup, named after the 1946 French Open champion who also served as the President of the French tennis federation from 1968 to 1973. Presented to the champions for the first time in 1990, the trophy is oval and features turned and inserted mouldings, a carved frieze and two handles, while the base features two turned mouldings.

Most successful players at French Open (Open Era)

Women

  • Chris Evert (USA): 7 titles (1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986)
  • Steffi Graf (Germany): 6 titles (1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999)
  • Justine Henin (Belgium): 4 titles (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007)
  • Margaret Court (Australia): 3 titles (1969, 1970, 1973)
  • Arantxa Sanchez Vicario (Spain): 3 titles (1989, 1994, 1998)
  • Monica Seles (Yugoslavia): 3 times (1990, 1991, 1992)
  • Serena Williams (USA): 3 times (2002, 2013, 2015)

 

Men

  • Rafael Nadal (Spain): 13 titles (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)
  • Bjorn Borg (Sweden): 6 titles (1974, 1975,1978, 1979, 1980, 1981)
  • Mats Wilander (Sweden): 3 titles (1982, 1985, 1988)
  • Ivan Lendl (Czech Republic): 3 titles (1984, 1986, 1987)
  • Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil): 3 titles (1997, 2000, 2001)

 

Notable absentees

  • Women - Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Elina Svitolina, Sofia Kenin
  • Men - Roger Federer, Gael Monfils, Matteo Berrettini, Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori

 

Title contenders

Women - Iga Swiatek, Maria Sakkari, Ons Jabeur, Simona Halep

Men - Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Carlos Alcaraz

 

Where to watch:

In India, viewers will be able to watch the live telecast of the matches on the Sony Pictures Network (SPN) and stream the matches live on the SonyLiv app.
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