French Open - Ivan Lendl
Ivan Lendl

The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament played on clay, and considered to be the most physically demanding. Accordingly, here’s our list of the greatest male players in French Open history.

Greatest Male French Open Champions

  • Bjorn Borg (1974-78, 1981)
    Borg won four consecutive French Open titles (1978–81) and is 6–0 in French Open finals. Despite having the second-most French Open championships to his credit (six), fans are left wondering how many more titles could have claimed if not for his unexpected retirement at the age of 25.
  • Gustavo Kuerten (1997, 2000-01)
    One of the greatest clay players of his generation, Kuerten is one of just five men to have won three or more singles titles in the Open era. Despite his dominance on clay, injuries derailed Kuerten for most of his career.
  • Ivan Lendl (1984, 1986-87)
    “Ivan the Terrible” was one of the most dominant tennis players of all time. Fans knew Lendl for his powerful forehand and his ability to hit winners from all over the court. Lendl’s style of play was ahead of its time, based on aggression and precision. We often credit Lendl with popularizing the modern power baseline game.
  • Jim Courier (1991-92)
    Courier was known for his all-around game, which featured a powerful serve, a two-handed backhand, and a consistent forehand. Courier was also a very good mover, and he could chase down balls and hit winners from all over the court.
  • Mats Wilander (1982-83, 1988)
    An incredibly patient baseline player, fans could fairly describe Wilander as a “grinder.” His matches could seemingly last forever (1982 final against Guillermo Vilas lasted nearly five hours), but that was just the way Wilander played. And won.

Breaking News!

As long as there are celebrities, Grumblings Media Breaking News will be there to share their major announcements via our platforms!

Catch all our Breaking News segments here!
  • Michael Chang (1989)
    Chang didn’t make this list because he has multiple championships to his name, or because he was dominant. Chang makes this list because he is the youngest man to win the French Open, at 17 years, 110 days old.
  • Rafael Nadal (2005-08, 2010-14, 2017-20, 2022)
    Hands down, Nadal is the greatest player in the history of the French Open. From 2005 to 2014, he won 9 out of 10 French Open titles. From 2017 to 2022, he won 5 out of 6 French Open titles. In all 14 finals, no opponent ever took him to five sets.
  • Rod Laver (1962, 1969)
    “Rocket” Rod Laver’s French Open titles came in two different eras. His first title came as an amateur, while his second came in the Open Era as a professional. Though not necessarily the strongest clay court player, he is the only player, male or female, to win the Grand Slam twice in singles
  • Roy Emerson (1963, 1967)
    Fans will forever link Emerson’s career to fellow Australian Rod Laver’s, as the two enjoyed a friendly rivalry for their entire careers. Emerson holds the distinction of winning the final French Championship before it became known as the French Open.
  • Sergi Bruguera (1993-94)
    Bruguera was a clay court specialist back in the days when there were such players who concentrated primarily on the red dirt. The Spaniard had a reputation as a clay court specialist and proved it by winning back-to-back titles at Roland-Garros.


Fired up
Free For All podcast
Scroll to Top