A Guide To Tennis In France

Did you know that the word tennis is derived from the French word tenez? The sport not only originated in France but is also one of the most popular sports in present times. You can imagine the extent of the popularity of tennis from the fact that France has dedicated locations that offer tennis-themed vacations to locals and foreign visitors.

Besides being a highly popular sport, France is one of the most prominent participant countries in international tennis. France is also home to some of the most significant international tennis tournaments, including the Roland Garros or the French Open. The event is contested by some of the best clay-court tennis players in the world.

Want to learn more about tennis? How did it come to be, and what is its status in the country today? Here is your chance to find out!

History of Tennis in France

Tennis originated in the 13th century in French monasteries. The original game played in the monasteries was adopted as a game of the royal courts called jeu de paume, or the game of palm. This game became the predecessor of modern-day tennis, which later became very popular among the French nobility.

At one point, the sport became so addictive that it was banned. It was widely believed that soldiers and monks were ignoring their duties for the love of the game. After the French Revolution, the sport was formally barred due to its connections to French Royalty.

However, despite all the hurdles and prohibitions, tennis could not be eradicated from society and became popular again when Napoleon III came into power and opened tennis courts at Versailles. The year was 1861. 

Lawn tennis came almost a decade later. The French Open was held for the first time in 1891, and at that time, France established itself as a force to be reckoned with in international tennis. French Open, or the Roland Garros, went international in 1925. Today it is one of the four major slams that are played on clay courts.

France in international tennis

Over the years, French players have made a name for themselves internationally. One renowned name in this regard is Suzanne Lenglen, one of the first female tennis icons from the 1920s. She is known for her playing style as well as her performance. The player, dearly remembered as Our Suzanne, won six Wimbledon’s and two French Opens.

In the same decade, male French tennis players that rose to fame include Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, René Lacoste, and Henri Cochet. They were called the Four Musketeers and won the Davis Cup from 1927 to 1932. 

French continued to rule world tennis until the Second World War Afterwards, other countries entered the field and challenged French dominance to take over. However, France has continued to produce talented players over the years. 

For instance, Yannick Noah, the winner of the French Open in 1983, and Mar Pierce, who beat Hingis and Seles to win the title in 2000 and also won the Australian Open in 1995. Another popular name is Amelia Mauresmo, the winner of two slams, Wimbledon and Australian Open, in 2006. She was titled world no. 1 the same year. Other players of the 2000 era include Tatiana Golovin, Gael Monfils, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Caroline Garcia. 

In the doubles category, Cristina Mladenovic was titled Doubles No.1, winning five major titles, which included three French Open tournaments in women’s doubles.

France has won the Davis Cup multiple times. Besides the consistent wins from 1927 to 1932, the country won the tournament in 1991, 1996, 2001, and 2017. The country has also won the Fed Cup thrice, in 1997, 2003, and 2019. Moreover, France has also won 19 medals at the Olympics, including five gold medals, six silver medals, and eight bronze medals. 

Tennis in France today

France is home to renowned tennis academies to develop and promote the sport’s growth. These academies are well-developed facilities designed to facilitate the players in developing their skills and getting the best possible support to play to the best of their abilities. 

The French Training system is highly regarded for its organised structure and effectiveness; Many students have progressed and become skilled tennis professionals with help from the training system. There is a strong focus on the game technique in training. Players must master the practices across the entire game spectrum and are discouraged from focusing on one area only. 

The players move from one technique to the next and play in doubles to learn and master the skill of playing on all kinds of courts. 

Can You Bet On Tennis In France?

Yes, you can certainly bet on tennis in France. The country has a rich tradition in tennis, highlighted by the renowned French Open, making tennis betting a popular activity. France offers a regulated and legal framework for betting on sports, including tennis, with many licensed operators providing a range of betting options on both domestic and international tennis events.

The betting environment in France is regulated by l’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), which oversees all forms of gambling in the country, ensuring that betting is conducted fairly and responsibly. This regulatory body replaced ARJEL in 2020 and has since been responsible for licensing and monitoring betting sites operating within France.

French betting sites offer competitive odds and a variety of betting markets, allowing punters to place bets on outcomes such as match winners, set scores, and more detailed aspects of the game. Additionally, the winnings from betting are tax-free in France, making it an attractive option for bettors.

Moreover, with the advent of online betting, French bettors enjoy the convenience of placing bets through various platforms, including mobile apps and websites. This has significantly increased the accessibility of tennis betting and other sports betting activities.

For those interested in exploring betting options beyond domestic operators, numerous international betting sites also cater to French customers, providing even more variety in betting markets and potentially more competitive odds.

In summary, tennis in France is not only a beloved sport but also a significant area for betting, supported by a robust and regulated betting industry. Whether it’s betting on the French Open or other tennis tournaments, France offers a safe and comprehensive environment for tennis betting enthusiasts.


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