June arrives, the month of the pilgrimage of Rafael Nadal in the French city of Paris. Year after year, the Balearic player has projected his legend on the clay of the Philippe Chatrier. Nadal and Roland Garros maintain a beautiful idyll that seems that it will never end, and that is that they already have 19 grand, just one from Roger Federer (20) and two above Novak Djokovic (17). There are already twelve wins in the city of love, the last one achieved a little less than a year ago against the Austrian Dominic Thiem, whom he defeated in four sets in just over three hours of play. At almost 34 years old, the Balearic player continues to defy any kind of logic on Parisian soil, but … who did he dethrone as king of the French Open?

Rafael Nadal has consistently considered Parisian clay as his second home. There he managed to win his first Grand Slam in 2005 and over the years he has earned the love and respect of all French fans and also half the world. Of his 19 Grand Slams, twelve have managed it there, the first four consecutively, something that only two other tennis players have achieved in history: Paul Aymé (1897-1900) and Björn Borg (1978-1981).

But before the appearance of Rafael Nadal in Roland Garros, there was a tennis player who marked a before and after in the history of the tournament. The French Max Décugis has been for many years the tennis player who has managed to win the French Open the most times throughout history, achieving it up to eight times (1903, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1912, 1913 and 1914). But … what is behind your success?

For many, the name of Max Décugis is totally strange, even Rafa himself confessed not knowing his story. What is certain is that before Nadal reached the elite, he was the one who had won the Parisian tournament the most times, formerly called the French Tennis Championship. Until the year 1912, only French tennis players who belonged to the organizing club participated in this tournament and until 1925 the first foreign tennis players did not appear. This greatly helped the hegemony of Décugis, who also had only one game to play in order to retain his crown in the 1913 and 1914 edition. The rest of the rivals faced each other in a previous tournament, and the winner was measured last year’s winner for the title. Easy a priori task.

Despite the fact that the situation at that time has nothing to do with what we know today, the figure of Max Décugis is closely linked to Roland Garros and there in Paris he is considered one of the best French players in the history of this sport. If you want to meet the tennis players who have won the most titles at Roland Garros, click here.