In tennis as in life itself, to achieve success you have to undertake a long journey even taking your own body to the limit to try to cross the burning desert. This is how some of the best tennis players in history have had to feel, for whom the land of Roland Garros It has been the greatest difficulty of their lives to achieve the Grand Slam. Winning the four majors tournaments requires a lot of patience and above all, adapting to all surfaces and playing styles. Throughout the history of tennis, only eight players have achieved this milestone: Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.
Roland Garros has been an almost insurmountable barrier for players of the stature of Djokovic, Federer or Agassi. Many other well-known athletes have remained at the gates of being able to complete this feat, for the sole reason of not having been able to adapt to the style of Parisian clay.
Three of the most representative examples of effort and overcoming to complete the Grand Slam are fairly recent for the good tennis fan. The stories of Andre Agassi, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic When it comes to winning the four major tournaments on the circuit they are very similar. Andre Agassi managed to proclaim himself champion of his first Grand Slam in 1992, when he managed to proclaim himself champion in the Wimbledon tournament. Later he was going to get to go out as champion in the US Open and Australian Open, remaining just a Grand Slam to write his name in the history of tennis. However it was seven years after the first major trophy when he managed to leave Roland Garros with the trophy under his arms.
Federer’s case was very similar to Agassi’s. It was at Wimbledon 2003 when he managed to emerge as champion at Wimbledon and as the years passed he managed to win titles on the grass of the All England Club, and at the US Open and Australian Open on numerous occasions, but he was always resisted by Roland Garros. The Helvetian had the French tournament very close to his interests, but in all his finals the figure of Rafael Nadal appeared. The Spaniard seemed invincible in Paris and it seemed almost impossible that the Swiss could defeat him in the Philippe Chatrier. It was in 2009 with Nadal’s surprising defeat against Soderling, when the good of Roger came out as the winner and achieved the feat that he had pursued for many years.
Novak Djokovic followed the same path. The Australian Open in 2008 was the beginning of a great hegemony that continues today. After having won numerous times in Melbourne, the US Open and Wimbledon, it was in 2016 that he managed to win Roland Garros by defeating the British Andy Murray in the grand final. As you can see, the path of Agassi, Federer and Djokovic to win Roland Garros had many similarities.
However, not all the legends of the sport of racket managed to succeed in Paris. Reflection of this is the case of Pete Sampras. The American managed to win his first Grand Slam in 1990 and did not stop winning major tournaments, but Roland Garros always resisted him. His best result was the semifinals achieved in 1996. Pete was always a player who excelled on fast tracks and was never able to adapt his tennis to a slower surface. Other great stars who could never come out as champion at the French Open were Jimmy Connors, Boris Becker or Stefan Edberg.