The 2019 French Open is a tennis tournament that recently concluded in Paris, France. It was an exciting event to say the least—Serena Williams and last year’s US Open women’s singles champion Naomi Osaka fell out of the tournament early and Rafael Nadal won his 12th men’s single championship title! While tennis fans are catching their breath from all the excitement, we thought it’d be nice to share six interesting facts about the Open.
It Isn’t All Clay, Y’all …
Did you know that the French Open Grand Slam tournament played on a clay court? But if you thought lots of clay goes into making a clay court, we have news for you. Individual layers of stone, gravel, volcanic residue, limestone, and crushed brick make up the clay court. Players who compete on these courts are expected to have better stamina because the games on clay courts not only exhaust the players quicker, they also last longer. Fun fact: the longest French Open match was in 2010 and lasted more than six hours!
Rain, Rain, Go Away! Don’t Come Back Until Our Tournament Is Done, Okay?
Event organizers plan and plan, but no amount of planning can stop Mother Nature from causing havoc at a big tennis tournament like the French Open. This year rains forced tournament organizers to postpone quarterfinal games even before they began!
This year’s prize money was the most ever at a whopping €2.3 million or approximately $2.58 million for each of the winners of the men’s and women’s singles tournaments. But if you think that only the winners get to take home prize money, you might want to think again. Prize money is awarded to all of the players who get past the first round!
It’s More Than Just A Men’s And Women’s Thing …
While men’s and women’s singles tournaments are the most watched games, the French Open consists of eleven other events including doubles, junior tournaments, and wheelchair tennis.
Federer Vs. Nadal
Tennis fans were treated to a semi-finals match between twenty-time grand slam champion Roger Federer and seventeen-time grand slam champion Rafael Nadal. Intense, we know! Who came out on top? Nadal!
Interesting Fact: Historically, Nadal has won every French Open when he reaches the semi-finals. Needless to say, his streak continued when he beat Dominic Thiem to win his eighteenth Grand Slam title.
Shock came early in the women’s singles tournament with top players Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams losing to unseeded players early in the tournament. So who was ultimately crowned the winner of this year’s French Open women’s singles tournament? Australia’s Ashleigh Barty! This is the first time since 1973 that an Australian has won the French Open women’s singles tournament.