What is the french open and why do we call it Roland Garros?
Is the French Open the greatest tennis show on earth conducted on red clay courts? Although those addicted to coastlines, glitz, glamour and the minimisation of taxes may nominate the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, we still back the grand slam at Roland Garros as the best red clay tournament – and arguably the best grand slam.
Regardless of your preference, the French Open is a sporting spectacle not to be missed if you’re dedicated to tennis as an amateur player, sports fan or both! Not least because it happens during spring’s season of love in the city and in the world’s number one city break destination.
Roland Garros is the name of the tennis venue situated in the 16th arrondissement – but it was first the name of a famous French aviator, the first man to have flown over the Mediterranean Sea. Shot down and killed by the Germany army on 5th of October 1918, Roland Garros was the heroic classmate of then president of the Stadium of France, Emile Lesueur. Monsieur Lesueur requested that the new tennis venue in the capital be named after his friend and fellow member of Stade Francis, Roland Garros, who had died around 10 years before. It was a request duly granted and the name has become associated ever since with the tournament itself.
French open 2023: prediction
Rafael Nadal will turn 37 during the grand slam at Roland Garros in 2023. Can you write off the king of clay? A man who has won an insurmountable 14 French Opens? Never. But at the time of writing, Nadal has just exited the Australian Open going down in the second round and seemingly nursing a left hip injury. We wish the champ a speedy recovery.
Our in-house tennis journalist, Kevin Palmer has this to say about his pick for the 2023 tournament:
As if we didn’t know it already, Novak Djokovic is the undisputed king of the men’s game, but he has a challenger to his throne.
While the draw opened up for him in an enticing fashion following the pre-Australian Open withdrawal of Nick Kyrgios and the injury-related exit of Rafael Nadal, Djokovic’s composure as he stormed to the first Grand Slam of the year without looking threatened in any match was hugely impressive.
Now Djokovic is preparing for the second major of 2023 with a big threat emerging over his horizon – Carlos Alcaraz.
The 20-year-old Spaniard has been in sensational form and will return to the top of the ATP rankings next week after winning titles in Barcelona and Madrid.
Is Alcaraz the favourite for the French Open? The bookies say so, but Djokovic will have different ideas.
On the women’s side of the game, the battle between the top two is heating up.
Aryna Sabalenka lifted the women’s title at the Australian Open in January and she is in prime form heading into the French Open.
The Belarusian’s impressive victory against world No.1 Iga Swiatek at the Madrid Open confirmed she is a match for the Polish star on clay and those two may be destined to meet again in the French Open Final.
Elena Rybankina was beaten by Sabalenka in the Australian Open final in January, as she confirmed her Wimbledon win last summer was no one hit wonder with her impressive displays in Melbourne.
One betting app has run the odds and at this moment puts the top 5 favourites as follows:
Mens French Open Winner
- Carlos Alcaraz: 11/8
- Novak Djokovic 13/5
- Rafael Nadal: 9/2
- Stefanos Tsitipas: 13/1
Womens French Open Winner
- Iga Swiatek 4/5
- Ons Jabeur 17/1
- Barbara Krejcikova 15/1
- Aryna Sabalenka 9/1
We think if Stefanos Tsitipas stays healthy and has a good run at the Monte-Carlo Masters which he won in 2022, he’ll take his first grand slam.
What to do in Paris during the French Open
Let’s start with the obvious. Watch the tennis! The All Court Tennis Club provides a number of ways that you can participate in Roland Garros 2023 and here are some of them:
- Attend our “Play & Watch” event where you play with our members and coaches at Paris’ most exclusive private members club, the Tennis Club de Paris and get to watch the French Open as well!
- Tap into our ticketing concierge service which provides you with tickets to premium sporting events throughout the year, including all of the grand slam tennis tournaments.
All Court Tennis Club Transport Tips: when going to Roland Garros, the official website recommends using the metro (subway) to avoid traffic and points out the relevant stations to use. Since we’ve been stuck in traffic in the City of Lights before, its sage advice.
We like a spicy tennis lifestyle at times, and some of our members prefer to travel around Paris (particularly if late for a meeting or a match and ALWAYS from Gare du Nore or Gare du Lyon) by motorbike taxi.
Fun fact: the club Jean Bouin is where the ATP players practice and chill before walking over to Roland Garros. And if you’re in Paris and you’d also like to play at Jean Bouin with a coach or All Court Tennis Club member, just fill in the below enquiry form and we’ll hook you up with our Parisian city chapter ambassador Antoine Benneteau to help arrange it.
HOTELS, DINING, DRINKS & SIGHT-SEEING
When not watching tennis, head back to the heart of Paris to sample the lush hotels, delicious food, sublime art and strolls along the Seine with some of our favourite half day outings:
Paris’ Left Bank
Where to stay: In the St. Germain district at the lavish and opulent L’Hotel: a hotel with an underground private pool and a bar beloved by Paris’ in-the-know. Fun Fact: Oscar Wilde penned his last lines at the hotel (he never paid his final bill, now displayed in Room 16.)
What to do: Wander the famed streets of St. Germain, strolling past Taschen’s flagship store on Rue de Buci (full of traditional bars and cafes,) taking a right on Rue de Seine to stop at the hidden away corner bar for locals, La Palette. Keep this one a secret! If you’re in the mood for art, carry on toward the river, take a left and make your way to the extensive Musee D’Orsay, making sure you lunch or dine nearby at our favourite post museum restaurant, Le Bistrot de Paris.
If you’re still peckish, Brasserie Lipp on Boulevard Saint-Germain must be sampled, not least for its traditional pork and beans dish (while also revelling in a space that featured prominently in Ernest Hemmingway’s 1964 memoir, A Moveable Feast.)
Paris’ Right Bank
Where to stay: A couple of the tres’ chic hotels we love to revel in on the left bank are Hotel Costes and Hotel de Crillon. If you decide to lay your head elsewhere, both are still definitely worth a visit for the scene of the restaurant and bar, (Costes more lux rock n’ roll and the Crillon, unabashedly French chic.)
What to do: A walk through the Jardin des Tuileries from the hotels will invigorate the spirit and lead you to the Louvre Museum to will away the afternoon in cultural splendour. Stretch the legs or take one of the copious number of electric bikes along the river toward Notre-Dame Cathedral and cross over the famous Pont Neuf bridge for an Instagram worthy shot, marvelling at the wealth of the padlocks of past and current lovers hanging from its railings.