Get behind the scenes at Roland Garros – part 1

Last Saturday I signed up for a one-hour Roland Garros guided tour. Here is the photo recap. Enjoy!

For more infos about bookings, prices and so on, check out the official website of the Museum.

Roland Garros

The gardener’s cottage:

At the end of the 60s, this English-Normandy styled cottage served as the office of Pierre Darmon, director of the Roland Garros tournament. At one time, it functioned as the caretaker’s home.

The charm of the cottage was maintained for the entry to the Roland Garros Tenniseum, that Christian Bîmes, president of the FFT (French Tennis Federation), inaugurated on May 25, 2003.
This 2,200m² underground multi-media museum assembles, preserves and presents different elements constitute the memory of tennis in France. The museum and its library are open Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 until 18.00.

Tenniseum

Place des Mousquetaires:

The guided tour begins at the Place des Mousquetaires (Musketeers’ square), situated between the Court Philippe Chatrier and the Court Number One.

Place des Mousquetaires

The square is surrounded by statues of the 4 Musketeers of French Tennis: Jacques “Toto” Brugnon, Jean Borotra (the “Bouncing Basque”), Henri Cochet (the “Magician”), and René Lacoste (the “Crocodile”) who dominated men’s tennis in the 1920s and ’30s. At the centre of the square, a Davis Cup replica.

Les Quatre Mousquetaires: Brugnon, Cochet, Borotra, Lacoste

After the Mousquetaires won the Davis Cup on American soil in 1927, the French Federation of Tennis decided to defend the Cup in 1928 at a new tennis stadium at Porte d’Auteuil. The Stade de France had offered the tennis authorities three hectares of land with the condition that the new stadium must be named after the World War I pilot, Roland Garros. The new Stade de Roland Garros, and its Center Court, which was named Court Philippe Chatrier in 1988, hosted that Davis Cup challenge.

Behind the square, the Court number 1 – nicknamed the “Bullring” because of its circular shape – is the facility’s tertiary venue. Its architect, Jean Lovera, a former French junior champion, designed the 3,800-seat structure as a deliberate contrast to the adjacent, exceedingly geometric Court Philippe Chatrier. Built in 1980, the Bullring is a favorite among serious tennis fans because of its relatively small size and feeling of close proximity to the action.

The Court number 1 has been the scene of some stunning French Open upsets, such as unseeded Gustavo Kuerten‘s 3rd-round victory over Thomas Muster in 1997, on his way to his first of three Roland Garros titles; and Gabriela Sabatini‘s defeat – after a 6-1, 5-1 lead and five match points – to Mary Joe Fernandez in the 1993 quarterfinals. It was also the site of Marat Safin’s famous “dropped pants” match against Felix Mantilla in 2004.
The name of the winners of the Men’s and Women’s singles since 1891 are engraved on pedestals around the top outside edges of the court.

Place des Mousquetaires

Place des Mousquetaires - Roland Garros

Place des Mousquetaires - Roland Garros

Place des Mousquetaires - Roland Garros

During the tournament, tennis fans invade the Place des Mousquetaires to watch matches on the giant screen (pic of the 2007 French Open below).

Place des Mousquetaires

Court Suzanne Lenglen:

The Court Suzanne Lenglen, the secondary Roland Garros stadium with a capacity of 10,068 spectators, was built in 1994.
Suzanne Lenglen, born in 1899, was the first female tennis celebrity and one of the first international female sport stars, named La Divine (the divine one) by the French press.

She captured 31 major tournaments, including six French Open titles and six Wimbledon championships, between 1914 and 1926 and also won two Olympic gold medals in Antwerp in 1920. A bronze bas relief of Lenglen by the Italian sculptor Vito Tongiani stands over the east tunnel-entrance to the stadium. The trophy awarded each year to the French Open women’s singles champion is named La Coupe Suzanne Lenglen in her honor.

Court Suzanne Lenglen - Roland Garros

You’re not allowed to visit the Court Suzanne Lenglen during the tour, but here are some pics of the court (2007 French Open pics).

Court Suzanne Lenglen

Court Suzanne Lenglen

Around the Court Philippe Chatrier:

Roland Garros

Roland Garros

Roland Garros

Roland Garros

Roland Garros

We move to Court Philippe Chatrier to have a look at the media center, one of the interview room and the womens changing room.

Media center:

Each year, more than 1200 journalists cover the French Open tournament.

Media center - Roland Garros

Media center - Roland Garros

Media center - Roland Garros

View from press seatings:

Roland Garros - Court Philippe Chatrier

Roland Garros - Court Philippe Chatrier

Roland Garros - Court Philippe Chatrier

Roland Garros - Court Philippe Chatrier

Roland Garros - Court Philippe Chatrier

Roland Garros - Court Philippe Chatrier

Interview room:

Roland Garros interview room

Roland Garros interview room

Roland Garros interview room

In part 2 of this report: the womens changing rooms and the court Philippe Chatrier.

Comments
One Response
  1. A lot of history here..I guess that’s what makes Wimbledon and the French Open so classy.
    I’ve been doing some tennis writing lately. Check it out:

    http://www.squidoo.com/french-open-winners-list

    http://www.squidoo.com/the-nadal-federer-rivalry-electrifies-mens-tennis

    Thanks,

    Duane.

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