In France, the most important international sports event occurs at the same time as the revision period for the baccalaureat exams, making the misfortune (or delight!) of students; it’s a question of the Roland Garros tennis tournament. It takes place in Paris over the course of the months of May and June, this year between May 19th and June 7th, west of the city in a stadium built in 1927. The instance of 2015 was won by Swiss tennis player Stan Wawrinka, who beat this season’s favorite, Serb Novak Djokovic, in the finals. This tournament is known throughout the world for its sporting, but also for its numerous scandals which have broken out since its first proceedings in 1925.
Indeed, the matches sometimes become political, as in 1965, when Soviet player Tomas Lejus was ordered to lose his game at all costs in the round of sixteen by the KGB, or the Soviet secret services. Had Lejus won his game, he would have played a South-African, whose government practiced apartheid, against the values of the USSR. Another example of events that defined the history of Roland Garros unfolded in 1985, when the henceforth famous Yannick Noah wins his match against José-Louis Clerc thanks to a refereeing error regarding one of Noah’s overheads, which thus put a strong curb on the latter’s career.
In a nutshell, the Roland Garros tournament is in all an event that surpasses the boundaries of sport, as it impacts tourism and encompasses certain political events, and that reunites millions of spectators and viewers each year for intensively emotional moments!
– by Emma P.