129 years of French Open History: The story behind Roland Garros’ legend

Roland Garros, one of the 4 Grandslams playeed every year in Paris is named after the French Aviator, Eugène Adrien Roland Georges Garros who had created the first one seater fighter plane with an onboard machine gun.

Roland Garros

Roland Garros is one of the four Grandslam tournaments held every year in Paris. This year it is scheduled to be held from September-October due to the Coronavirus disruption.

The Roland Garros tournament was named after the French aviator named Eugène Adrien Roland Georges Garros, in 1928. A stadium named Stade Roland Garros was built for the Davis Cup in 1928. However, since then the French Open was also officially named Roland Garros, the Grandslam is played every year in the stadium.

The story of the French Open began in 1891 when it was played as “French Clay-Court Championships.” The tournament was reserved for members of the French clubs. The hero of that particular era was Max Decugis, who won no fewer than eight times between 1903 and 1914. The first big change came in 1925 when the tournament was made open to foreign players and was renamed as the French Open.

Later in 1928, the French Open was officially given the name of Roland Garros named after the French aviator, Eugène Adrien Roland Georges Garros who died during the First World War and created the first single-seater fighter plane equipped with an on-board machine gun for the war.

History behind the legend of Roland Garros


Roland Garros, a French aviator died in the First World War and built the first single-seated fighter plane which was used by France during the war. The plane also had an onboard machine gun which could fire through a propeller. With the help of this plane, Roland Garros shot down 4 enemy fighter planes and earned the title of the fighter ace. However, he received the title of an ace despite it being given to pilots with over 5 shot-downs.

However, during one of the battles, Roland Garros’s fighter plane was shot down by the enemy and he was captured by the Germans. He escaped 3 years later. Since he had lost a bit of vision, he was suggested to work as an advisor to Air France, however, he declined the offer and insisted on returning to the battle field. He lost his life on October 5, 1918, just a day before his birthday, due to a plane crash near the Belgian border. 10 years later, a friend of Garros and a politician demanded that the stadium at the French Open be renamed after Roland Garros.

The stadium was renamed as the Stade Roland Garros and the French Open was also officially named the Roland Garros. The story behind the prestigious Grandslam is interesting and most people who follow tennis are still unaware of the history of Roland Garros.

Also Read: French Open 2020: Rafael Nadal slams RG’s decision to use Wilson Balls, calls it “dangerous”


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