A look back at the French victories at Roland Garros, by Yannick Noah (1983) and Mary Pierce (2000).
Highlights of the tournament
After ten months of work, the Roland Garros stadium has a new focal point with a Centre Court that has been 50% rebuilt. It is officially inaugurated on Sunday 28 May, the day before the tournament, by the French president Jacques Chirac.
The 70th French Open is marked by a wonderful achievement as far as French tennis is concerned with a win for Mary Pierce. 33 years on, she emulates Françoise Dürr by winning not only the singles but also the women’s doubles, alongside World No.1 Martina Hingis. Pierce motivates another crop of French players to shine this year.
Paul-Henri Mathieu wins the boy’s singles while Virginie Razzano takes the trophy in the girl’s singles.
Having risen from the status of total unknown when he won his first title in Paris back in 1997, Brazil’s Gustavo Kuerten is one of the favorites now and he lives up to that billing, winning the men’s singles in a thrilling final where it takes no fewer than 11 match points for him to see off Swede Magnus Norman!
The first tournament of the new millennium also sees the first ever day without tennis! Tuesday 30 May 2000 is the first day in living memory when no play is possible at all due to rain. A few days after Kuerten’s epic final, Philippe Chatrier, president of the FFT from 1973 to 1993, passes away, on 22 June 2000 at the age of 72 after a long illness.