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The French Open tennis tournament, held in Paris every May, is one of the most exciting tennis grand slam events, which also include the US Open, Wimbledon, and the Australian Open.
Played on red clay courts, it's famous for watching the sport's top players skid across the red clay, creating a red dust cloud. In fact, the French Open is the number one clay court tennis tournament in the world.
Because of the slow playing surface, and the five-set men's singles matches without a tiebreak in the final set, the event is also widely considered to be most physically demanding tennis tournament.
If you want to attend the French Open you have to buy tickets well in advance to get the good seats or to see the later stages of play.
Tickets go on sale about February 15, but you can often find them available at online right up until the tournament.
The French are crazy about tennis. Throughout France tennis clubs are found in most small villages and towns. The first French national tournament was played in 1891 and was open to all players who were members of any tennis club.
In 1968, the French Championships became the the first Grand Slam tournament to allow amateurs and professionals to compete, creating the first open tournament.
The red clay at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris slows the ball down, producing a high bounce. It's this distinct characteristic that takes away the advantages of big servers and top-notch volleyers.
5 Rue Belidor, 75017
Relax after the tournament in the hotel garden or library. Located near the Arc de Triomphe on a quiet one-way street.
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7, Rue de Magellan, 75008
Also near the Arc de Triomphe, this classy hotel is on the west side of Paris, near to Roland Garros. After the match, relax with a free glass of champagne or chocolates left on your pillow.
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1 Avenue Carnot, 75017
Close to Roland Garros, this hotel is on a quiet side street. Many of the spacious and bright rooms have balconies.
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28 Rue de L'Arc de Triomphe, 75017
Modern styling and earth-friendly rooms set this hotel apart. The decor features a mix of natural materials and eco-friendly touches.
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6 Rue Pierre Demours, 75017
This historic building, once a mansion, is stylishly decorated. There's a large, manicured garden and you're right next to the Rue Poncelet street market.
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Treat yourself after a hot day at the French Open with a steam and sauna bath. The hotel is beautifully appointed and some of the suites have terraces. Ask for one!
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