5 oldest French Open men's singles champions in the Open Era
- The French Open is notoriously demanding on the body, but these 5 greats proved that age was no bar as they triumphed in grueling conditions
The French Open is without a doubt the most physically demanding of all the 4 Grand Slam tournaments. It is not an easy task to win at Roland Garros, especially for players aged 30 or above.
The slow nature of the surface and the high bounce takes a toll on the body and makes immense physical demands of almost every single player. Winning the 'Coupe des Mousquetaires' or 'The Musketeers Cup' is the lifetime ambition of many tennis players, but only a few have the endurance to actually triumph in Paris.
Remarkably enough though, there are two players who have won the French Open without dropping a single set, and both these legends have done so twice. They are the two greatest clay court players of all-time: Rafael Nadal and Bjorn Borg.
Here, we focus our discussion on the five oldest players to have lifted the Roland Garros trophy in the Open Era
#5 Stan Wawrinka
If any player deserves to be called a big-match player or a giant-killer on the ATP tour, it has to be Stan 'The Man' Wawrinka. Armed with his trademark index-finger-to-the-head gesture, Wawrinka has reserved his best for the hardest and biggest matches.
The Swiss has made the final of a Grand Slam four times in his career, and has won three of them; in each such instance, he beat the World Number 1 player along the way.
Wawrinka's second Grand Slam win, at the 2015 French Open, featured one of the best matches that anyone has ever played at Roland Garros. Trailing by a set against a rampaging Djokovic who was looking to win the French Open to complete a Career Slam, Wawrinka produced an absolute masterclass, hitting winner after winner against the helpless Serb.
Some of the one-handed backhand winners that Wawrinka delivered that day will never be forgotten by tennis fans.
That was the only instance where Djokovic was beaten in a Grand Slam match that year. Wawrinka was 30 years, 21 days old at the time.