French Open (Rolland Garros)
The French Open is the second grand slam tournament held over two weeks from the end of May to the beginning of June. It is the only grand slam held on clay courts. Some say that the French Open is the most physically demanding tennis tournament in the world. It first began as an international tournament in 1891 and the women had their part in the tournament in 1897. In 1912, the surface was changed to red clay which is crushed brick. The surface took away the advantage of the big servers, such as Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. Players who have a game for slower surfaces like Bjorn Borg and Rafael Nadal have succeeded greatly. Borg, Agassi, Nadal, and Laver are the only male players to win both the French and Wimbledon. The French was originally open to players who were licensed by France until 1924. From 1945 to 1947, the tournament was held after Wimbledon making it the third tournament of the year. In 1968, the tournament was the first to go open, to where amateurs and professionals could compete. In 2006, the tournament has been starting on Sundays with 12 singles matches on the three main courts. In 2007, it was announced that the men and women would get equal prize money. Women only had to play the best-of-3 sets where men had to play the best-of-5 sets.