Top 5 French Players in Open Era
Today we celebrate the French! And why not, it is after all May, and the French Open is played in May.
As we begin to generate excitement for such a momentous occasion, let’s look at the top French Players in the modern era. From Yannick Noah’s historic triumph to Gael Monfils’ acrobatic style, Amélie Mauresmo’s breakthrough, Marion Bartoli’s determination, and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s electrifying play, these athletes have captivated tennis fans worldwide. Viva la France!
Arguably the most lovable of the bunch, Yannick Noah’s impact on French tennis cannot be overstated. His victory at the 1983 French Open made him the first Frenchman in 37 years to win the prestigious tournament, etching his name in tennis history. Noah’s charismatic personality, flamboyant playing style, and remarkable athleticism endeared him to fans around the world.
Beyond his individual success, Noah captained the French Davis Cup team to victory in 1991 and 1996, cementing his legacy as one of France’s all-time greats. I’m such a big fan of Yannick Noah, that I named my first child after him.
If one is looking for a 21st century Noah, look no further. Gaël Monfils is known for his breathtaking athleticism, captivating fans with his lightning-fast speed, agility, and showmanship on the court. His acrobatic style, highlighted by spectacular dives and jaw-dropping retrievals, has earned him a devoted following.
Monfils has consistently been ranked among the top players in the world, reaching a career-high ranking of No. 6. Though he is yet to claim a Grand Slam title or a Masters level title, his consistent presence at major tournaments and thrilling performances have made him a fan favorite.
Amélie Mauresmo broke barriers and brought French women’s tennis to new heights, both as a player and as the first woman to coach a top ATP pro (Andy Murray). Her breakthrough came in 2006 when she won both the Australian Open and Wimbledon, cementing her status as a future Hall of Famer.
Mauresmo’s versatile game, marked by her powerful serve and exceptional net skills, propelled her to the top of the women’s rankings. She also captained the French Fed Cup team to victory in 2019, showcasing her love of country and leadership.
Marion Bartoli’s career was defined by her determination and intense style of play. She captured her first and only Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2013, showcasing her unique playing style and mental resilience. Bartoli’s unorthodox two-handed strokes and meticulous preparation set her apart from her peers. Her triumph at Wimbledon was a testament to her hard work and dedication, inspiring a new generation of French tennis players.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga burst onto the scene with his explosive and powerful game, captivating audiences with his raw talent. His memorable run to the Australian Open final in 2008, where he defeated several top-ranked players, announced his arrival as a force to be reckoned with.
Tsonga’s thunderous serve, aggressive groundstrokes, and net-rushing style have earned him numerous victories throughout his career, including an epic upset of Roger Federer at the 2011 Wimbledon Championships. His charismatic personality and infectious enthusiasm have made him a beloved figure in the tennis world.
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