French Open - Accommodation for the French Open
Paris is famous for many things, but it’s fair to say sport is not chief among them. That being said, for two weeks in summer the second tennis Grand Slam of the year takes place in the city: the French Open. Played on the rugged red clay, the tournament comes on the heels of the clay court season, which sees the world’s best vie for supremacy in Masters events including Rome, Monte Carlo and Madrid. It is also the final major clay court event of the season, as the calendar segues into the grass courts; the Aegon International at Queen’s Club opens the day after the French Open final. Perhaps the most physically demanding of the four Grand Slams, Roland Garros’ slow surface rewards only the fittest, most resilient players; perhaps this is why Spain’s Rafael Nadal, so renowned for his battling qualities, has lifted the trophy eight out of the last nine years. Will it be a ninth title in 2014? Well, you wouldn’t bet against him. But with Stanislas Wawrinka emerging from the pack to claim the Australian Open in January, who’s to say another upset might not be on the cards? As for the ladies’ draw, it’s never easy to select a winner. In fact, there’s been a different champion crowned every year since 2008.
French Open: setting
Le Stade Roland Garros, in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, is the venue each year for the showcase event of the summer clay court season. Constructed in 1928 as the venue for France’s defence of the Davis Cup, the facility, like Wimbledon, includes two premier stadiums for high-profile matches. They are Court Philippe Chatrier, which has seating for 14,840, and Court Suzanne Lenglen, whose capacity is just over 10,000. A tertiary court, known as the Bullring, seats 3,800 and, due to its construction, allows fans to get closer to the action than on the other courts.
French Open: ticketing
Tickets for the 2014 French Open go on general admission on March 12, 2014. VIP packages, though, have already been on sale since January 15; these ‘golden tickets’ include such perks as lunch at the La Brasserie des Jardins de Roland Garros. Should you bag yourself a regular stub, though, you’ll have plenty of action to look forward to. The value isn’t bad either – an all-day ticket grants you access to all of the outdoor courts and will lighten your wallet by only €20. Naturally, the price rises depending on the event. A ticket for the final is a cool €2
French Open: schedule
The French Open gets under way almost exactly a month before Wimbledon, running from May 25 until June 8. In that time, the French Championships are divided into 16 unique events, including junior tournaments, doubles, wheelchair competition and no fewer than three round-robin Perrier Legends Trophy events. While the ladies’ title is decided on Saturday, June 7, the men’s champion will be crowned on Sunday – which is also the day of the ladies’ doubles final. Naturally, the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals take place on the Philippe-Chatrier Court.
French Open: food and drink
When it comes to gastronomy, the offerings in Paris are second to none. Roland Garros is located in Paris’s well-heeled 16th arrondissement, but one can still find many restaurants offering lunch and dinner at a reasonable price. Osmose, on Avenue de Versailles, specialises in Jewish Kosher cuisine and will set you back around €30 for a two-course dinner. A little more pricy, but well worth your attention, is Jamin, on Rue Longchamp. Boasting a stunning collection of art and an ornately furnished dining room, this restaurant is one of the finest around if you want to sample authentic French cuisine.
French Open: Paris
Before or after you take your trip to Roland Garros, why not do a spot of sightseeing in Paris? Even seasoned travellers find something new to uncover each time they visit this magical city. If you’ve struck all the major sights off your list – the Arc de Triomphe, the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur – it won’t be long till you’re again besieged by wonderment. For a unique movie experience, head along to La Pagode Cinema on Rue de Babylone; resembling a Japanese temple, it screens excellent films seven days a week. Alternatively, people watch a stone’s throw from the Louvre with a latte in the charming Café Le Nemours.