Roland Garros: A Guide To The French Open

Today’s guest post by Rick Dominick is all about one of the world’s greatest sporting events, The French Open. Rick attended the tournament in 2007 and gleaned some helpful tips that will make any tennis junkie’s trip to the red clay of Roland Garros easier and more fun.

Go Rick….

Le Stuff’s Definitive Guide to Enjoying the French Open

The 2010 French Open is underway and you, like the rest of us, wish you were there.  And for good reasons; it’s the only major tournament played on clay, the tournament is held in an elegant neighborhood in Paris, and for tennis lovers, the points on “terre battue” are long and hard-fought.  If you are considering making the trip in 2011, here are our suggestions for making it a great adventure.

1) Plan to attend the tournament during the first week of competition.
Week 1 is the best time to see all the top players. The grandstand courts host the premier matches while the grounds courts host everyone else.  You may want to watch Federer or Serena compete on the Phillipe Chartrier or Suzanne Lenglen stadium courts but hardcore tennis lovers will want to scour the grounds courts for their favorite players.  The heavy, red clay makes for long, carefully crafted points and matches. Sit within a couple of feet of the players on the smaller courts and enjoy the fine competition.

Get up close and personal on the grounds courts

2) Book your trip in advance and get tournament tickets through the website.
If you want stadium tickets sign up for tickets in January or February.  You’ll be notified once the lottery for tickets is completed.  Re-seller tickets on the internet and scalped tickets are available closer to tournament time but tend to be expensive.  Grounds tickets can be purchased through the official website until the start of the tournament.  Buying tickets the day of the event can be risky as some days sell out.

3) Stay in Paris at your favorite hotel.
Take the metro – Line 10, Gare d’Austerlitz-Boulogne – to the Porte d’Auteuil station the morning of the tournament.  Walk east to Roland Garros on  Avenue de la Porte D’Auteuil with the crowd of tennis fans.  Plan to stay all day.  Once inside, make sure you explore the full tennis complex.  There’s great tennis everywhere you look.

4) Dress in multiple layers and bring rain gear.
It can get cold and it often rains.  Be prepared so you can bundle up until the rain stops and the matches start back up.

5) Eat, drink, watch phenomenal tennis, relax, and have the time of your life!

Rick is an avid (and very good) tennis player and snowboarder, a successful architect, fluent French speaker, and accomplished raconteur.  Foe those reasons alone I should hate the guy but I just can’t.  He’s my brother.

Le Stuff

2 responses

  1. What an interesting 2010 tournament it’s been! With Serena Williams out today and Roger Federer out yesterday, the semis and finals should be exciting. There’s talk of moving the French Open to Euro Disney or to Versailles in 2016 in order to build a bigger venue. The goal is to keep up with the size and revenues of the other major championship sites. It would be a shame as the intimacy of Roland Garros is one of its most endearing qualities.

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