For tennis fans, May is the month of clay. A series of competitions ensue, all of which are played on clay, leading up to the French Open at the end. The French Open, or Roland Garros, is the annual clay court Grand Slam and is one of a kind. Until 1975, it was the only major tennis tournament that was not played on grass. It is the second of the four annual Grand Slams on a tennis calendar. The others are the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open. Clay makes for an interesting surface, as it is the most unpredictable of them all. With higher bounce and lower pace, maneuvering the correct shots on this surface is more challenging than any other. It is therefore considered as the most physically taxing competition in the whole world.
As the name suggests, the clay court Grand Slam is held every year in France. In total there have been seven different venues in the past where the competition has been hosted, but the current one is the most stable one. The Stade Roland Garros in the French capital of Paris has been home to the Grand Slam since 1928, and that is where it will take place in 2022 as well, completing 94 years.
In the very beginning, the competition was held at the Societe de Sport de Ile de Puteaux at Puteaux from 1891 to 1894. It was then shifted to the Tennis Club de Paris at Auteuil from 1895 to 1908. The Societe Athletique de la Villa Primrose hosted the Grand Slam once in 1909 before the Croix-Catelan de Racing Club de France at the Bois de Boulogne hosted it from 1910 to 1924, and then again in 1926. The Stade Francais at Saint-Cloud hosted the event in 1925 and 1927 before Stade Roland Garros in 1928.
Spanish tennis legend Rafael Nadal has a kind of control on clay others only dream of. His balance, speed, shot-making and aggression on the surface are perfectly in sync with each other. At the height of his powers, the Spaniard was, quite simply, unplayable on clay. So it is not surprise that it is Nadal who has more Roland Garros titles than anyone, with a whopping 13. France’s Max Decugis sits in second place with eight. The Spaniards exploits on clay have wowed the world over and over again, which is why he has earned the nickname ‘King of Clay’.
In the women’s game, American tennis legend Chris Evert has won the competition for a total of seven times which is more than anyone else. She is closely followed by six-time winners Suzanne Lenglen and Steffi Graf. All of Lenglen’s titles were won in the amateur era while Graf won her titles in the open era.
In 2021, Serbian tennis player and current world no. 1 Novak Djokovic won the Roland Garros. He beat Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas 6–7 (6-8), 2–6, 6–3, 6–2, 6–4 in what was an absolute thriller of a tournament. Tsitsipas thought that he had the match won as he beat the Serb in the first two sets, but the 20-time Grand Slam winner blew him away in the final three sets to win the crown.
Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova is the reigning women’s French Open champion. The Czech beat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the final in 2021. The final set of the match was a tight affair as both players fought tooth and nail to win the illustrious title but the Czech edged one over the Russian in the end.
The second of the four annual Grand Slams is the final competition of the clay season. A number of tournaments are played on clay that lead up to the Grand Slam. These include ATP 1000 events like the Monte Carlo Masters, Madrid Open, and Italian Open. Usually, the French Open commences towards the end of May and concludes in the first week of July. This year is no different. The 2022 Roland Garros has been scheduled to start from May 22 and it will end on June 5.
There are a total of seven rounds in the main draw of the French Open. The competition is more spread out than regular ATP events so it goes on for quite a few days. In 2022, the first round of matches will be played from May 22 and the final for the women’s singles and men’s singles will be held on June 4 and June 5 respectively.
|First round||May 22 – May 24|
|Second round||May 25 – May 26|
|Third round||May 27 – May 28|
|Fourth round||May 29 – May 30|
|Quarterfinals||May 31 – June 1|
|Semifinals||June 2 – June 3|
|Women’s singles final||June 4|
|Men’s singles final||June 5|
|Daniil Medvedev |
|Felix Auger Aliassime|
|Pablo Carreno Busta|
|Roberto Bautista Augt|
|Alex De Minaur|
|Alejandro Davidovich Fokina|
|Botic van de Zandschulp|
|Tomas Martin Etcheverry|
|Roberto Carballes Baena|
Leylah Annie Fernandez
Sara Sorribes Tormo
Nuria Parrizas Diaz
Alison Van Utyvanck
Beatriz Haddad Maia
Anna Karolina Schmielova
There has been a significant jump in prize money for this year’s Roland Garros when compared to last year’s. In 2021, the winner of both men’s and women’s categories received 1.4 million euros each while the runner-ups received 750,000 euros each. In 2022, the winner of the men’s and women’s singles event will receive 2.3 million euros while the runner-ups will receive 1.18 million euros.
|Position||Prize Money (2022)||Prize Money (2021)|
|Winner||2.3 million euros||1.4 million euros|
|Runner-up||1.18 million euros||750,000 euros|
The following is a list of channels and platforms on which the 2022 Roland Garros can be viewed live.