I always tell friends that at any Grand Slam tennis tournament, the first week of the tournament is a great way to see some spectacular tennis. There are always so many great matchups taking place on outside courts that you often do not even need to buy a stadium ticket in order to view some really incredible games.Roland Garros has the benefit of being the smallest and most intimate venue of the four major tournaments, so you will find yourself literally an arm’s length away from some of the biggest stars in the game. Unfortunately, the secret is out; over the last few years, grounds pass tickets for week one of The French Open have sold out completely. So if you are planning to head to the tennis, purchasing tickets in advance is an absolute must.
When the schedule is released, I would look for good matchups on outside courts between singles players. As the day progresses, you can monitor the live scoring apps to see where some of the most highly contested duels are panning out. I would suggest trying to fit in some doubles. Although it often does not get as much recognition as singles with respect to television rights, I personally find doubles more entertaining as a spectator. The fast paced action of doubles matches and high intensity level of the competitors is really exciting. Since the marquee matches for show courts are often reserved for singles, a grounds pass should be enough to allow you to view some of the best doubles competitors in the world up close and personal.
Despite being one of my favorite tournaments for overall atmosphere and charm, the on-site food options for spectators at Roland Garros do leave a bit to be desired. For French fans, the tournament is less about food and more about the tennis, which I am totally ok with. The onsite options are typically very limited, and not particularly healthy. Unless you are happy eating a waffle or crepe for lunch, I would plan to eat before and after your time at the tournament.
The player dining, on the other hand, is fantastic offering freshly made salads, fish, pastas and meat daily. If only I could bring all of you in to the restricted areas with me! Nearby the site there are a number of superb restaurants. A personal favorite of Team Anderson is called “La Tavola” in Boulogne-Billancourt.
Although there are a seemingly infinite number of hotel choices in the city of Paris, the choice for Team Anderson is always to stay at an apartment in close proximity to the site. After years of trial and error we decided that the hotels in Paris were either too expensive, too far from Roland Garros (leading to long commutes each day), or not up to our standards of comfort
Now we rent a home from a local family within walking distance of the tennis facility. Not only does the location reduce the stress associated with long commutes and traffic, but it allows our team to skip the mayhem that often takes place when a number of players are all trying to leave the site around the same time each day.
Another benefit of staying in an apartment is the ability to make ourselves at home. We can wake up in the morning and eat
breakfast in our pajamas at the apartment, we can walk to a local supermarket and buy food to cook lunch or dinner at home, and we can really embrace the Parisian lifestyle to maximize our enjoyment of the tournament. Kevin loves visiting all the fresh fruit stands around the city and filling up on favorites like cherries and fresh-pressed orange juice. We also like to indulge some afternoons with a fresh-baked French baguette topped with brie cheese and honey
We find the accommodation at a home is not only more
economical, but it affords our team more space for things like physio treatment, at-home physical exercises, and relaxing. Paris hotels can be notoriously confined, but this has never been an issue for us in a rented home.
Although easily accessible by car, there is little parking around Roland Garros. My advice is to take the Metro to either stop Porte D’Autiel (no. 10) or Michael-Ange Molitor (no. 9 or 10). Both stations are a short walk to the site, just 15 minutes or less. It is always fun walking in Paris, and I feel this is the best way to actually take it all in and enjoy the total experience.