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BC-TEN--French Open Glance

May 22, 2019

PARIS (AP) — A glance at the French Open, the year’s second Grand Slam tennis tournament:

SURFACE

Red clay courts

SITE

Roland Garros in Paris

SCHEDULE

The 15-day tournament begins Sunday. The women’s singles final is Saturday, June 8; the men’s singles final is Sunday, June 9. Like at Wimbledon, there are no night sessions.

2018 MEN’S SINGLES CHAMPION

Rafael Nadal of Spain

2018 WOMEN’S SINGLES CHAMPION

Simona Halep of Romania

LAST YEAR

Nadal became the first man to win 11 championships at one Grand Slam tournament, beating first-time major finalist Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2. That raised Nadal’s major trophy haul to 17, second only to Federer’s 20 among men. Halep won her first Grand Slam title following three losses in major finals, coming back from a set and a break down to defeat Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.

LOOK WHO’S BACK

Roger Federer returns to the French Open for the first time since 2015. He missed the 2016 tournament because of back issues, ending his record streak of 65 consecutive appearances at major tournaments. He also sat out Paris in 2017 and 2018, when he skipped the entire European clay-court circuit, instead opting to prepare for Wimbledon.

STREAKS

Novak Djokovic is seeking his fourth Grand Slam title in a row; Naomi Osaka is bidding for her third straight. Djokovic already held all four major trophies simultaneously in 2016, becoming the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to do so.

NEW COURT

The tournament has added an arena that will be its third largest, with a seating capacity of 5,000: Court Simonne Mathieu. It is semi-sunken and surrounded by four greenhouses with tropical plants.

FINAL SETS

The French Open is now the only Grand Slam tournament that will continue to eschew final-set tiebreakers — fifth sets for men; third sets for women — and let singles matches continue until someone wins by two games. The Australian Open and Wimbledon are eliminating the possibility of never-ending final sets this year; until 2019, the U.S. Open was the only major with a last-set tiebreaker.

KEY STATISTIC

24 — Margaret Court’s record for most Grand Slam singles titles; that’s one more than Serena Williams’ mark for the professional era, which began in 1968.

PRIZE MONEY

Total: About 42.5 million euros (about $48 million).

Men’s and women’s singles champions: 2.3 million euros each (about $2.6 million).

Men’s and women’s doubles champions: 580,000 euros each pair (about $650,000).

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