Simonne Mathieu

The women’s doubles trophy at the French Open is named for Mathieu, Coupe Simonne-Mathieu and the new 5,000 seat Roland Garros court will be named after her.
But who was Simonne Mathieu? Alongside Suzanne Lenglen and Henri Cochet she is one of France’s greatest tennis champions. But she was much more than that.

Simonne Mathieu and Suzanne Lenglen

Married at 17, her baby laid in his pram courtside when she became French junior champion in 1926. At 20, she was a mother of two kids whom she rarely saw as she travelled the world, collecting titles in Egypt, the Netherlands, Greece, Switzerland or Belgium.

She bounced back from losing six French Open singles finals (including three consecutive against the same opponent, Hilde Sperling) to finally win her home Grand Slam event at the seventh attempt, in 1938. She defeated fellow countrywoman Nelly Landry 6-0 6-3.
She even completed a rare triple that year, sweeping Roland Garros singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles titles. Only Suzanne Lenglen (1925 and 1926), Maureen Connolly (1954) and Margaret Court (1964) have achieved that distinction.

Simonne Mathieu, Nelly Landry, Marlene Dietrich - Roland Garros 1938

Simonne defended her title in 1939, with a straight sets victory over Jadwiga Jedrzejowska 6-3 8-6. France would have to wait until 1967 to see another French-born winner, Françoise Dürr, win the home title. [1]

She never played in Australia and only twice at the US Championships where she reached the quarterfinals in 1938. And even though she never captured the title in London, she had tremendous success at Wimbledon, with six semifinals (1930, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1936, 1937) and four quarterfinals (1933, 1935, 1938, 1939).

Mathieu was ranked in the world top 10 eleven times and reached rank number 3 in 1932 behind the two Helens: Wills Moody and Hull Jacobs. She was French number one from 1928 until 1940.

A resolute baseliner, she played with great steadiness and determination, quite often in long drawn-out matches. She had an outstanding forehand drive.

“There was one great drawback to Simone’s game to which she was never able to overcome – or perhaps she did not think it necessary – the absence of any sort of effective volley or smash. This shortcoming did not prevent her from winning innumerable doubles championships, but it was a tremendous handicap in singles competition against players who had the tactical sense to draw her up to the net with short, low shots and then lob deeply. To win, she relied almost entirely on baseline duels, or upon drawing the opponent up, then making the passing shot or the lob, herself” – Helen Jacobs

Despite her weakness at the net, she was a fantastic doubles player: she won 11 Grand Slam doubles titles: three women’s doubles titles at Wimbledon (1933, 1934, 1937), six women’s doubles titles (1933, 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, 1939) and two mixed doubles titles (1937, 1938) at Roland Garros.

Simonne Mathieu and Toto Brugnon

A fighter on the court, Mathieu has also gone down in history as a fighter off the court.
She was playing a tournament in the United States when World War II broke out in 1939 and then decided to return immediately to France. Following France’s surrender in June 1940, she joined General de Gaulle in London, and offered him her services. She set up the Corps Féminin Français, a group of women volunteers serving in the Free French Forces.

She ended the war with a grade of Captain and marched down the Champs Elysées alongside de Gaulle when Paris was liberated in August 1944. She was finally reunited with her family, and with tennis.
She served as umpire for the “liberation match” between Henri Cochet and Yvon Petra at Roland Garros on September 17 1944 wearing her uniform as an officer in the French forces.

From 1949 to 1960 she was captain of the French womens team. She died in 1980, aged 72.
She was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2006… the year Amélie Mauresmo won two Grand Slams.

Notes:
[1]: Nelly Landry won the title in 1948, but she was Belgian-born and became a French citizen after marriage
[2]: Read more info on The War Illustrated

Pictures:
1: Simonne Mathieu, 1926
2: Simonne Mathieu and Suzanne Lenglen, 1926
3: Picture taken before the Roland Garros 1938 singles final. From left to right: Simonne Mathieu, Nelly Landry and Marlene Dietrich.
4: Mathieu playing with Mousquetaire Toto Brugnon
5: Henri Cochet, Simonne Mathieu, Yvon Pétra

Sources:
Wikipedia, International Tennis Hall of Fame, The golden days of tennis on the French Riviera by Alan Little, Roland Garros website

Roland Garros 2016

You plan to attend the 2019 French Open? Here’s my guide to help you buy tickets for Roland Garros, the second Slam of the season. If you have any question, feel free to ask below, I’ll do my best to answer.

The events

Serena Williams, Roland Garros 2015

Qualifyings – 20 to 24 May 2019

Tickets give access to the entire public area within the stadium. Courts 6 to 18 have unreserved seating and are open to all. Court Suzanne Lenglen is also open to all spectators to watch players from the main draw practising before the tournament starts. (Check out my report from the 2017 qualifyings: 3 days at Roland Garros: Rafa, Andy, Petra and more).

Roland Garros Kids’ Day – 25 May 2019

Roland Garros Kids’ Day is a charity event, devoted to fund raising for charitable organisations. On Kids’ Day, exhibition matches are scheduled on the three main courts, with plenty of other activities and practice sessions on the other courts and throughout the stadium.

French Open – 26 May to 9 June 2019

Since 2006 the French Open has started on a Sunday, that means the first round is played over three days from Sunday to Tuesday. Every other round is played over two days. Unlike the Australian and US Opens, there is no night session, only a day session.

Legends Trophy – 4 to 9 June 2019

The Legends Trophy (Trophée des Légendes) brings together twenty-four of history’s greatest champions, grouped according to age in the two men’s draws, and twelve former women’s tennis stars. We want to offer you Arabic porn movies with special sex parties xxxnxxx.live. Matches are played on court 1 and court Suzanne Lenglen during the second week of the French Open and can be watched by holders of outside courts tickets.

Wheelchair tennis tournament – 6 to 8 June 2019

The wheelchair tennis tournament is held during the second week of the French Open. All wheelchair tennis matches can be watched by holders of outside courts tickets.

Check out the provisional schedule.

The courts

Court Philippe Chatrier, Roland Garros 2015
Tickets for show courts (Philippe Chatrier, Suzanne Lenglen, Simonne Mathieu) give you a reserved seat on one of the three main courts and access to the outside courts; there is no allocated seat on the outside courts, seating is on a first come first served basis.

Court Philippe Chatrier

Court Philippe Chatrier was built in 1928 as Roland Garros’s centerpiece and remains its principal venue, seating 14,840 spectators. The stadium was known simply as “Court Central” until 1998, when it was renamed for Philippe Chatrier, the long-time president of the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT) who helped restore tennis as a Summer Olympics sport in 1988.

Court Philippe Chatrier

Court Suzanne Lenglen

The secondary Roland Garros stadium with a capacity of 10,068 spectators, the court Suzanne Lenglen 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.

Court Suzanne Lenglen

Court Simonne Mathieu

Court Simonne Mathieu replaces the “Bullring” court number one. Semi-sunken and surrounded by four greenhouses which will contain flora from four different continents, this new court is the venue’s third show court (5,000 seats). The Allée des Serres will link the new court to the historic site and provide an area for spectators to relax and stroll.

Court Simonne Mathieu

Outside courts

Courts 3 to 18. Outside courts and have been the scene of some stunning French Open upsets in the past. In the early rounds of the tournament, outside courts are also the place to be to watch the top players practicing.

The tickets

Novak Djokovic, Roland Garros 2015

Individual tickets

Single all day tickets: Allow a reserved seat on one of the show courts (Chatrier, Lenglen and Court 1) and/or unlimited access to the outside courts. From €32.

For the men’s semifinals, tickets are purchased per semi-final. You will need two tickets if you wish to attend both semi-finals.

Multi day passes

Multi-day passes available:
– week end: Saturday 1 and Sunday 2 June. From €200 for 2 days on Lenglen, from €225 on Chatrier.
– semifinals: Thursday 6 and Friday 7 June. From €265.
– finals: Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 June. From €295.

Premium packages

All Premium packages include one ticket to the Court Philippe-Chatrier or Suzanne-Lenglen and dedicated services: lounges, dining, hotels … Premium ticket sales open on March 6. More details on the official website.

Booking limits

– 4 tickets for the main courts over the entire tournament.
– 12 tickets for the outside courts over the entire tournament
– no limit for qualifyings or Roland Garros Kids’ Day

How to order tickets

Court Chatrier, Roland Garros 2015

Keep in mind that there are no ticket sales at the stadium itself before or during tournament. All bookings have to be made before the event. The tickets sell out really fast, so you better be prepared.

There are only 2 ways to legally buy tickets:
– the official Roland Garros website
– official French Open agencies that propose exclusively VIP tickets and corporate hospitality offers. You can find the complete list here.

Roland Garros website

Ticket sales open to the general public on March 20. Tickets are sold on a first come first served basis, so check out the website in advance to plan what days and courts you would like tickets for.

The e-tickets need to be printed and will be scanned at the entrance gate of the stadium, where a pass will be printed in the name of the ticketholder. These will be checked against an ID to enter the stadium.

From 17 April, you can also resell tickets via Roland Garros website and buy tickets up until the day of the event, depending on their availability.

Last minute tickets will be put on sale on 7 May.

Tips to order your French Open tickets

– create your account in advance
– tickets are sold on a first come first served basis, so check out the website in advance to plan what days and courts you would like tickets for
– write down the tickets you want to order
– check out the booking limits
– no need to try to log in at midnight on the first day, tickets sale open at 10am Paris time (9am GMT)
– don’t refresh your browser page, you would only lose your place in the queue
– if you didn’t get the tickets you wanted, try again from 17 April

If you manage to get tickets and want to share your pictures and stories on Tennis Buzz, please leave a comment below.