12 MAY 2015 - BY JOSEPH TYSON
For two weeks, from the end of May until early June, Paris is transformed into a tennis-crazed city, and for fans of the sport, there's no better time to visit than when the Open is in full swing.
If you are lucky enough to be going this year, or are thinking about heading to the City of Light for the tournament, there are a few things you'll need to think about before setting off. Our guide to the French Open aims to ensure that you enjoy every serve, volley and backhand in style this May.
The tournament is set to span from May 19th to June 7th. As it stands, the provisional schedule is as follows: May 19th to 22nd - qualifiers; May 24th to 26th - 1st round; 27th and 28th May - 2nd round; 29th May and 30th May - 3rd round; 31st May and 1st June - 4th round.
Towards the end of the tournament, the most sought after matches will be taking place as follows:
Named after the famous French aviator, the Roland-Garros Stadium stands as the epicentre of the action for the duration of the tournament.
The stadium itself is contained within a triangular property, meaning that all the major courts and tennis-related attractions are located within easy walking distance once you arrive.
Located on the edge of the Bois de Boulogne public park in Paris' 16th arrondissement (this means "administrative district" and central Paris is split into 20 of these), the stadium can be reached by a combination of walking and the Metro. Depending on where you are staying, this trip may vary.
To get there, you will need to take the yellow Number 10 line towards Boulogne, getting off at the Port d'Auteuil. When you arrive, you should see signs for the stadium in the station, follow these and you will find the stadium in no time - during the tournament, it's likely you will be among many other tennis fans so you can always ask for directions.
Tickets for the French Open sell out notoriously fast, so if you've been planning this trip for months, chances are you are reading this with a big smile on your face because you already have yours - well done! For the chancers who just so happen to be in Paris during the tournament, never fear! There's a way for you to get tickets, too.
The Open's official ticket exchange is your best bet for getting a ticket as there is always likely to be someone who can't use theirs. Bear in mind that it will always be easier to get tickets for the first week, as the tournament reaches its business end in the second week and, everyone wants to see the big names go head to head in the crunch matches.
However, you can never be certain so always check back if you want to try and get tickets for the latter stages of the competition as well.
Paris is easily navigated by the Metro and so you don't have to worry about staying right next to the stadium during the tournament. Pick a part of the city that's best for you, there's so much to see and do in Paris, there's a good chance that you'll want to see the other sights in and around the tennis.
There are a number of ways you can get to Paris quickly and easily from the UK, and it generally depends on your budget and time frame. Flights may be slightly inflated around the tournament, with so many people heading to the city for the tennis, but if you book early enough, you shouldn't have much trouble.
If you are departing from London, you can take the Eurostar Train straight to Paris. This takes around three hours and is relatively cheap due to the number of seats available and the regularity of the trains.