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The French Open is one of four tennis Majors. The others include The Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open. As the second of squad that makes up the Grand Slam of tennis tournaments, the French Open is also one of the most coveted contests in the sport.

A centuries-old tournament, the French Open began in 1891 when it was hosted at Stade Français. It's great to know that you can follow the the latest tennis news at 888 Sport NJ.

Barely 6 years later, the woman's tournament was added to the contest and women's doubles were included in 1925. In 1928, the French Open had a new home –Roland-Garros, and it has been showcased there ever since.

The Challenges of Playing on Clay Courts

The French Open is played on clay courts. This makes for a challenging contest, with lots of sliding and a unique bounce of the ball. Of the 67 tennis tournaments on the ATP Tour, 38 of them are played on hard courts, notably the U.S. Open and the Australian Open, 8 are played on grass courts like Wimbledon, and 21 of them are played on clay courts, like the French Open.

The stresses placed on clay court tennis players are extremely different to those faced by players on grass courts, and hard courts. Clay courts require many more ground strokes and rallies than grass courts which are largely serve and volley games ideally suited to bigger players. Legendary tennis stars like Rafael Nadal have fine-tuned the mental game to perfection – that's why he is the #1 winningest French Open champion of all time.

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The Winningest French Open Male Champion Ever

In this post, I'm going to explore the intricacies of the French Open tennis championship, and the remarkable athletes who have made this championship their own. We begin with the head honcho, Rafael Nadal. According to the ATP Tour rankings for 2020.03.16, Rafael Nadal of Spain is ranked #2 with 18 tournaments played, on 9,850 points, slightly behind Novak Djokovic on 10,220 points, in #1 position.

Nadal turned pro in 2001, stands 6'1" tall, and weighs 187 lbs. His win/loss record is exceptional at 990-200, with 85 career titles to his credit, and prize money from singles & doubles of $120,955,904. In 2020, at the time of writing, he won 1 title and career prize money of $1,329,267. As time progresses, these numbers will only increase. He's one of the greatest ever.

He won the French Open in the following years: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019. That's a total of 12 French Open titles to his credit. His most recent win in 2019 was against the Dominic Thiem of Austria where he won: 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1. Such is his pedigree as a superstar of the French Open, that few others come close to him.

Since he is the only active player on the listing of French Open greats, he is in a unique class. Along the way, he has defeated many of the best tennis players in the world, including Roger Federer, Robin Soderling, Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, David Ferrer, and others.

The Winningest French Open Female Champion Ever

Among the ladies, the winningest French Open Champs include an enviable list of contenders such as Chris Everett Lloyd, Steffi Graf, Justin Hannon, Margaret Court, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Monica Seles, Serena Williams, Martina Navratilova, and Maria Sharapova. Of course the top female player is none other than America's own Chris Everett Lloyd.

She racked up 7 French Open tennis tournaments over her career, followed close into by Steffi Graf and 6, and Justin Hannon at 4.  Sanchez Vicario, Sellers, and Williams each have 3 French Open tennis tournaments to their credit. Chris Everett Lloyd won the French Open in 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, and 1986. The inimitable Steffi Graf of Germany won the French Open in 1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997.

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario won the French Open in 1989, 1994, and 1998. This highly competitive tournament has showcased the best of the best, with the tournament winner in 2019 – Ashleigh Barty as the newest addition to a formidable cast of characters. She beat Marketa Vondrousova in straight sets 6-1, 6-3 to clinch the 2019 French Open.

Yet, Steffi Graf is not alone in her 6 tennis Championships at the French Open – another amateur player won the French Open 6 times, and her name was Suzanne Lenglen of France. She won in 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1925, and 1926.

For now though, the ever-popular Chris Everett Lloyd is head and shoulders above the competition as the best ever female French Open tennis champion!

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* Image Courtesy of Michel Euler and AP

About the Author
Brett Chatz

Brett is an internationally published sports journalist, political analyst, and medical fiction author. His commentary is seen in The Star, The Citizen, Tampa Bay Times, The Street, The Sowetan, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Independent, and across hundreds of online and print media platforms. He is the author of ‘Cricket Chatz’ and the highly-acclaimed, ‘Serum’. 

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