Roland Garros. Say it aloud, Roland Garros. The o’s next to the r’s just roll right off the tongue so beautifully. Another thing that rolls beautifully? A tennis ball, a few seconds after it smacks the back wall of the court, having just been served at 100 miles per hour.
Every May-June, the summer Grand Slam season kicks off in Paris at the Stade Roland Garros. In the US, we call it the French Open, the French say Roland Garros. (Yes, Roland Garros happens at Stade Roland Garros.) It’s arguably the most entertaining of all Grand Slam tournaments. The use of red clay as a court surface makes a three-hour tennis match thrilling; players have to use lots of top spin and hit harder to combat the higher and slower bounce of the ball. So wherever you think the ball is going—it’s not.
This year’s tournament is already shaping up to be a star-studded one with last year’s men’s singles winner Novak Djokovic and runner-up Andy Murray, last year’s women’s singles winner Garbiñe Muguruza, top-seeded women’s singles player Angelique Kerber, Americans Jack Sock and Madison Keys, a pregnant Serena Williams, and a no-longer-suspended Maria Sharapova.
Tickets are on sale now for a variety of prices depending on proximity to the court and importance of the match (see all ticket prices here and the schedule here). Buy tickets here. And if you can’t get to France, the tournament streams on NBC.