The clay court tournament at Roland Garros has delivered some of the most compelling contests. Here are the women who found their mark.
Chris Evert has been the most successful player in the history of the French Open. Her seven titles, which were distributed over 13 years remain a record on the clay court. Evert's career win–loss record in singles matches of 1,309–146 (.900) is the best of any professional player in tennis history.
Steffi Graf has been the second most successful player in terms of Grand Slam titles, winning 22 titles including 6 French Open titles. Graf entered the final of the French Open 9 times between 1987 and 1999, winning six of them with only one of them being in straight sets. Steffi Graf known to be one of the greatest in World Tennis, is the only player to have won a Golden Slam(All four Grand Slams and the Olympic Gold medal in the same calendar year).
Justin Henin has widely been claimed as one of the finest players on clay. The Belgian won four French Open titles, all of them in straight sets with a hat-trick of titles from 2005-07 being the highlight of her career. Ironically the year which fell between her victories earned her the Olympic gold medal.
Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
The Spanish tennis player was widely known for her tenaciousness and thus produced some extremely hard-fought encounters at clay. She entered six French Open finals and emerged triumphant twice. Her final encounters with Steffi Graf were some of the best matches that the tournament had seen.
Monica seles became the youngest French Open winner at the age of just 16 years in 1990. In 1991 and 1992, she won three of the four Grand Slam titles in a calendar year. Seles was the dominant World No. 1 as she beat Steffi Graf in the 1993 Australian Open. The win however triggered an incident that changed Seles' life forever; While playing in Hamburg, an obsessed Steffi Graf fan ran to the edge of the court and stabbed her in the back.
Seles although fully recovered in some weeks, but only returned to the court after two years. On her return, Seles won her ninth Grand Slam in the shape of Australian Open in 1996, but couldn't really match the player she was two years ago.
The transition from the French Championships to the French Open did not carry over many significant performers, but Margaret Court's form remain untouched as the Australian won two French Open titles. Her second win came against Chris Evert in an epic 3-setter.
The winds of time never perturbed this Czechoslovakia born tennis player who lived through a lusturous three-decade long tennis career. Navratilova reached 6 French Open finals, winning 2 of them. Her toughest competitor was Chris Evert as Navratilova lost the final thrice to her, while beating her once in the 1984 edition.
There are some players who just find a way to click at the French Open without really having much say at other tournaments. Mima Jausovec was one of the players who found home at the clay court. She reached three finals, winning the tournament in 1977.