Women's tennis: 5 oldest French Open winners in Open Era
The inaugural year when women's singles competition was introduced at the French Open was 1897, 6 years after the establishment of the tournament. Adine Masson of France won the most titles in Paris with 4 prior to the Open Era. The most successful in the red dirt during the Open Era is American Chris Evert who won a remarkable 7 titles.
The average age of the French Open Women's singles champion in the Open Era is around 24 years. There have been some teenagers who have lifted the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen trophy awarded to the champion.
They are Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and Iva Majoli. Some women have gone on to win titles even in their 30's although it has not been all that common to see a player being crowned as champion in Paris post the age of 30. There have been only 4 such instances in the last 50 years.
We take a look at 5 of the oldest female players to win Roland Garros:
#5 Francesca Schiavone
Recently retired Italian tennis player Francesca Schiavone made history when she became the first-ever Italian tennis player to win a Grand Slam Singles title. She did so when she won the 2010 French Open beating Australia's Samantha Stosur in the final.
The 2010 edition of the French Open saw 4 semi-finalists who had never won a Grand Slam battle it out to take the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen trophy - the previous recorded instance came at the 1979 Australian Open.
Schiavone was seeded 17th and had to beat the likes of Serena Williams, Elena Dementieva and Samantha Stosur to make the final. She won her finals match in straight sets comfortably and became the only player in the Open Era to have won the French Open title with a seeding outside the top-10. Schiavone was 29 years, 347 days old at the time.