This May, the eyes of tennis fans around the world will be on Paris as athletes compete in the second Grand Slam tournament (after the Australian Open) on the clay courts of the Roland Garros Stadium. If you're planning on traveling to Paris for the event, here's what you need to know:
The 2013 French Open takes place from May 21 through June 9 at Ronald Garros Stadium near the Porte d'Auteuil Metro Station in the 16th arrondissement. With the slow playing surface and tournament structure, the French Open is considered by many to be the most physically strenuous tournament of the season.
A Little History
The first French Open took place in 1891 but was only open to players belonging to French tennis clubs. In 1925, the tournament was opened to foreign players, and the event moved to its current home at Ronald Garros Stadium in 1928. Since the end of World War II, only five French players (three women and two men) have managed to snag the championship title. With Rafael Nadal and Maria Sharapova defending, will a French player manage to snag the title this year? Only time will tell.
Where to Stay
If you have tickets to the event, you'll be happiest staying at a hotel within walking distance of the stadium. The Hotel Villa Escudier, located a short walk from the stadium, is set within a villa set back from the street and surrounding by lush gardens. Also nearby is the Hotel Poussin, a 27-room property that serves a daily breakfast buffet. A little further afield -- but well worth the walk -- is the Hotel Home Paris 16, a property that offers decreased rates the longer you stay. (Romantics, check out this list).
For more tips on WHERE TO EAT and WHAT TO SEE NEARBY, click here.
How to Get There
If you end up staying elsewhere in Paris, riding the metro is probably your best bet for getting to the stadium. For shorter wait times, get off at Boulogne Jean-Jaurès Station and walk to Gate 1. The tournament organizers also offer a free shuttle service from several of the area's metro stations directly to the grounds if you don't want to walk.
- If you can't get tickets, watch the action from a jumbo screen in Paris City Hall.
- Reserve tickets as soon as possible. They're often sold out and difficult to snag.