"Tennis tournaments come and go," it was said. In tennis, the Grand Slam comprised of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The first men's Grand Slam title (Wimbledon) was played in 1877. The first women's Grand Slam title (Wimbledon) was played in 1884. Chris Evert called the French Open "a thinking tournament" because "when the sun's out, the balls fly. When it's rainy, they get heavy. It's like playing 2 different tournaments when the weather conditions change so drastically." It was noted lighter and faster tennis balls were being used in 1980. 

The first French Open men's singles title was played in 1891. The first French Open women's singles title was played in 1897. Ivan Lendl had won 94 singles titles between 1980 and 1993. Ivan said in 1983, "I would gladly give up all the titles I have won to win a Grand Slam tournament." In 1984, Ivan won his first Grand Slam championship at the French Open. In 1984, Martina Navratilova won her Grand Slam of tennis at the French Open. Back in 1972, Billie Jean King also won her career Grand Slam at the French Open. 

Grand Slams were annual events featuring a draw of 128 players for each sex. To win a Grand Slam title, the player must win 7 straight matches over 2 weeks. After winning his 4th-round men's singles match in 1985, Ivan remarked, "I expected a lot longer match. In fact, I was prepared to stay out there for 7 hours if necessary. I feel I have gotten to the quarterfinals easily…I hope if I am pressed to play better, then I will play better."

In 1999, Andre Agassi also won his career Grand Slam at the French Open. Of winning on the brick-red clay courts of Roland Garros, Andre pointed out in 2003, "It starts with growing up on the surface because then the movement becomes second nature. It's a whole different rhythm to the movement. If you don't move as well, that's a problem, not to mention the way you develop your fundamentals. You see most American players who pretty much try to hit through the court. You see the players that grew up on the clay, they see the court with a bit more dimension. They play heights and depths a lot more. Combine that with the movement, that's a big advantage."

Until 1991 when Jim Courier won, the last American male player to win the French Open singles title was Tony Trabert in 1955. He made the comment in 1987, "The American kid doesn't get the training on clay. He doesn't have the groundstrokes to support a clay-court game. He doesn’t have the knowledge of strategy, a complete understanding of what you have to do on clay, how you have to be out there hitting a zillion shots to win one point." 

Until 1987, there was said to be "a 4-tournament string of clay-court Grand Prix events in the United States: Boston, Washington, North Conway in New Hampshire, and Indianapolis." The U.S. Clay Court Championships tournament director told the press in 1987, "The men's tennis circuit worldwide has been organized over the last few years so that the tournament play on the various circuits take place at special times of the year. The time the clay tournaments are held is in the early part of the year, in the (Northern Hemisphere) spring. Then, after clay, the players move to grass. After Wimbledon, all the players begin preparing for the U.S. Open, which is on a hard surface outdoors."

Another tournament director added, "After Wimbledon, which is played on grass, every major league player wants a week off. If he makes it to the quarterfinals, he might even take a couple of weeks off. Then he wants to begin getting ready for Flushing Meadow. If Flushing's going to stay DecoTurf, you had better be DecoTurf or you're not going to get anybody (top attractions)...By staying on clay and not going to hardcourt, your expenses are going to go up anyway, what with prize money increasing every year. And there's a ceiling on ticket sales: how much you can raise prices. The study showed the difference between staying on clay and going to hardcourt was $200,000 a year in gross."

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