The following is a list of the countries which have had the most men win the singles title at the French Open in tennis since the Open Era began in 1968. The Open Era began when the Grand Slam tennis tournaments, Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and U.S. Open, began to allow professional players to play in their tournaments.
Prior to the Open Era, only amateur players could compete at the Grand Slam events. The home country of France dominated the French Open before the Open Era, with Frenchmen winning the event 37 times. No other country had double digit wins prior to the Open Era.
Since the Open Era began, only one Frenchmen, Yannick Noah in 1983, has won the tournament. Yannick Noah’s son, Joakim Noah, is a professional basketball player in the NBA today with the Chicago Bulls. Joakim Noah won two NCAA Tournaments in college playing for the University of Florida in 2006 and 2007.
Countries with Most French Open Singles Titles in Tennis (Men)
1. Spain – 13
Led by Rafael Nadal’s record seven wins, players from Spain have won the most French Opens in the Open Era with 13. In addition to Rafael Nadal’s seven wins (2005 to 2008, and 2010 to 2012), Sergi Bruguera won the French Open twice (1993 and 1994) for Spain. Those are the only two Spaniards to have won the French Open multiple times.
All the other players from Spain won the tournament once each. Andres Gimeno won in 1972, Carlos Moya won in 1998, Albert Costa won in 2002, and Juan Carlos Ferrero won in 2003.
2. Sweden – 9
Players from Sweden have won the second most French Opens since the Open Era with nine. Only two players account for all of Sweden’s nine wins.
Bjorn Borg won the French Open six times (1974, 1975, 1978-1981), which is the second most wins by a player at the French Open in the Open Era. The other three wins for Sweden were by Mats Wilander (1982, 1985, and 1988).
3. Czech Republic – 5
Two players from what is now the Czech Republic won a total of five French Opens, which is the third most by a country in the Open Era. Ivan Lendl, who became a U.S. citizen in 1992, won the French Open three times (1984, 1986, and 1987). Jan Kodes, who was born in Prague, won the French Open twice in back-to-back years in 1970 and 1971.
4. United States – 4
The United States, which easily has the most wins among men at the other three Grand Slam tennis tournaments, is only in fourth place with four wins at the French Open. Jim Courier (1991 and 1992) has two of the wins, with Michael Chang (1989) and Andre Agassi (1999) accounting for the other two wins.
A main reason why players from the United States have only won four times at the French Open in the Open Era is because the French Open banned Jimmy Connors from playing in the tournament in 1974.
Connors was banned because he had signed a contract with World Team Tennis. He did not play in the French Open from 1974 through 1978, a period of time in which he won five of the 12 Grand Slam tournaments he played in.
5. Brazil – 3
All three of Brazil’s wins at the French Open were by Gustavo Kuerton (1997, 2000, and 2001). I spent some time in Brazil in the 1990s, and it is a sports crazed nation. Brazilians love to both participate in and to watch sporting events.
T-6. Australia – 2
Two Australians, Ken Rosewall in 1968, and Rod Laver in 1969, won the first two French Opens played during the Open Era. Rod Laver won all four Grand Slam tournaments in 1969, for a true Grand Slam in tennis.
T-6. Argentina – 2
Guillermo Vilas won the French Open in 1977, while fellow Argentinian Gaston Gaudio won in 2004.
Countries with One Win at the French Open in Open Era
- Sweden (Roger Federer in 2009)
- Russia (Yevgeny Kafelnikov in 1996)
- Austria (Thomas Muster in 1995)
- Ecuador (Andres Gomez in 1990)
- France (Yannick Noah in 1983)
- Italy (Adriano Panatta in 1976)
- Romania (Ilie Nastase in 1973)