The French Open has finally arrived and we cannot be more thrilled about it. The second Grand Slam of the year is eagerly waited by tennis fans all over the world, as there is something very quaint about this amazing competition. This year’s event has already had its fair share of surprises, as the likes of Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova will not be taking part at Roland Garros, albeit for very different reasons. So here are five interesting facts about the French Open.
Where does the name come from?
Although it’s known all over the world simply as the French Open, the tournament’s full name is Internationaux de France de Roland-Garros. Rolland Garros was a French Aviator and a World War I pilot. “He was an early pioneer in the development of fighter aviation,” says Peter Jakab, chief curator at the U.S.’s Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.
Garros gained notoriety not particularly for his flying skill but for his innovative ways to transforming the architecture of fighter planes. He developed a means of allowing a machine gun to be fired forward through a plane’s propeller arc. Garros also survived being the Prisoner of War after being captured by the Germans.