The French Open is an annual tennis tournament that is held in Paris, France. This year’s edition commenced on May 16 and will go on till June 5. 

The Grand Slam tournament is also referred to as Roland Garros. Here’s why.

The French Open started in 1891. Back then, only French citizens were permitted to participate in the tournament. Later on, French nationals made Americans bite the dust in the Davis Cup. This marked a big victory for the French in the sport. Two years after this event, the French Open opened its doors for all tennis-playing nations. 

The French then decided to construct a tennis stadium to celebrate their Davis Cup victory. In 1928, authorities who had ownership of the stadium’s land appealed to the government to name the stadium after Roland Garros, a war hero who played a significant role in World War I. 

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Since then, the stadium became home to all important French International tennis tournaments. However, only the French Open managed to gain the most spotlight, and therefore, it was officially named after Roland Garros.

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Who was Roland Garros?

One may think that Garros was a notable figure in the world of sports and tennis. However, Garros was in no way linked to sports, but was a fighter pilot who fought during the First World War. Born in 1888, Garros was the first aviator to have flown the Mediterranean Sea. He was also known for inventing a crucial armored propeller for fighter jets. For this, he was felicitated by the Aero Club of America. Just a day before turning 30, Garros died on the battlefield in 1918.