The French Open, often referred to as "Roland Garros" (French: Les internationaux de France de Roland-Garros or Tournoi de Roland-Garros, IPA), after the famous French aviator, is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks between late May and early June in Paris, France, at the Stade Roland Garros.
At start it was a closed competition for mens only, and for French residents only. The very first ladies Tournament was introduced at 1897 and Adine Masson was better in finals over P. Girod with 6-3 6-1. After the First World War, French tennis was on the crest of a wave, with Suzanne Lenglen winning six times between 1920 and 1926.
While the Grand Slam tournaments were open only to amateur players for many years, the start of the Open era of tennis in 1968 allowed professionals to comete as well. The French Open was the first major to go open.
The event itself makes 60m euros .... About one third of the sum is used on the upkeep and improvement of Roland Garros, and the other two-thirds goes into French tennis.
Media rights bring in about 35% of cash, with tickets 20%, hospitality 20%, and sponsorship and the licensing of the tournament logo for merchandising another 25%
Roland-Garros has the strongest media coverage of all the competitions because of its rich programme, offering many different sporting challenges: fifteen different competitions, including five senior, four junior, four wheelchair tennis and two Trophée des Légendes competitions.
[Rafael] Nadal now owns more French Open titles than anyone since the tournament opened to all nationalities in 1925 — and one more than the standard-bearer of dominance on clay, Borg. (On the women's side, Chris Evert also has seven French Open crowns.)
Tennis is the 4th most popular sport in the world, but is the most popular individual sport.
In 1956, Althea Gibson becomes the first black player to win a Grand Slam title, winning the French Open. Gibson would add a Wimbledon and U.S. Open singles title the following year.
The French Open, held in Paris in late spring, is the only of the four tennis Grand Slam events played on clay, or to be more accurate, crushed brick. Compared with the grass courts of Wimbledon and the hard courts of the Australian and United States Open, the ball travels slower and bounces higher on a clay court. This puts a premium on steady rather than aggressive play, and can upend the normal pecking order of elite tennis.
The very first French Championships were in 1891, and the tournament has since evolved into one of the four Grand Slams. However, the competition did not become an international event until 1925. And in 1928, the tournament was moved to its current home, Roland Garros.
 French Open already has made history, but not for a reason that was expected: It's the first time since 1973 that the tournament at Roland Garros didn't conclude on a Sunday.
Unlike at Wimbledon and the Australian Open, neither the French Open nor U.S. Open has an indoor court available for tournament play; there is a plan to have a retractable roof in Paris five years from now.
Nadal and Djokovic were scheduled to resume at 1 p.m. local time (4 a.m. PDT) on Monday, when the forecast calls for intermittent rain.
Overall, the prize money for the 2012 French Open increased to $24.6 million, which is a 7% increase from last year.