1972

Highlights of the tournament

At the age of 34 years and ten months, Spain’s Andres Gimeno becomes the oldest man to win the tournament, adding the men’s singles to the boy’s singles title he had won 17 years early by taking down France’s Patrick Proisy in the final. 

USA’s Billie-Jean King wins her first and indeed only title at Roland Garros in the women’s, making short work of defending champion Evonne Goolagong. The win enables King to add the fourth and final Grand Slam tournament to her trophy cabinet. 

In order to attract the best players, the French Lawn Tennis Federation decides to reduce the men’s and women’s draws by half. The men’s singles goes from 128 players to 64, while the women’s goes from 64 to 32. The results are mixed, and the following year, the French Open returns to its previous format. 

To bring in some extra revenue, the event obtains sponsorship from cosmetics company “Vanaos”, meaning that the tournament is called the “International Vanaos French Open”. The FFLT also signs a contract for the broadcasting of the tournament including certain live matchs.