Check out my new custom vibration dampener

15+ Famous French Tennis Players & Stats | Male & Female

15+ Famous French Tennis Players & Stats

Male & Female

By Jon Crim
TennisCompanion

Although French tennis players no longer dominate the game as they did in the 1920s, France still produces world-class players and is home to Roland Garros, one of four Grand Slam tournaments.

This guide pays tribute to France’s most famous male and female tennis players. It showcases their many accomplishments, including Grand Slam champs, former No. 1s, and the best active players currently competing on the ATP and WTA.

Article Contents

Click below to jump to a section

Tap below to jump to a section

New to TennisCompanion?

Create a free account and explore my latest videos below

Active Players

Although no active French professional tennis players have won a Grand Slam or achieved a No. 1 ranking, a handful of them has hugely influenced the game over the past few years.

Male

Seventeen male French tennis players actively rank in the ATP Tour’s top 200. Here are some essential stats to help you get familiar with them.

PlayerBirthdayHighest RankTitles
Gaël MonfilsSeptember 1, 1986611
Ugo HumbertJune 6, 1998253
Arthur RinderknechJuly 23, 1995480
Benoît PaireMay 8, 1989183
Benjamin BonziJune 9, 1996590
Hugo GastonSeptember 26, 2000630
Adrian MannarinoJune 29, 1988221
Richard GasquetJune 18, 1986715
Quentin HalysOctober 26, 19961020
Corentin MoutetApril 19, 1999670
Pierre-Hugues HerbertMarch 18, 1991360
Lucas PouilleFebruary 23, 1994105
Gilles SimonDecember 27, 1984614
Hugo GrenierMarch 23, 19961490
Manuel GuinardNovember 15, 19951560
Enzo CouacaudMarch 1, 19951550
Constant LestienneMay 23, 19921420
Jo-Wilfried TsongaApril 17, 1985518

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet, Gilles Simon, and Gaël Monfils are the three most successful male French tennis players.

Each has won over ten titles and achieved a top ten ranking, so they’re easily the most famous and recognizable names.

Female

Twelve female French tennis players actively rank in the WTA Tour’s top 200. I’ve included a handful of helpful stats to get to know them.

PlayerBirthdayHighest RankTitles
Alizé CornetJanuary 22, 1990116
Caroline GarciaOctober 16, 199347
Clara BurelMarch 24, 2001740
Oceane DodinOctober 24, 1996461
Diane ParrySeptember 1, 2002980
Kristina MladenovicMay 14, 1993101
Chloe PaquetJuly 1, 19941040
Harmony TanSeptember 11, 1997900
Fiona FerroMarch 12, 1997392
Tessah AndrianjafitrimoOctober 11, 19981510
Amandine HesseJanuary 16, 19931540
Jessika PonchetSeptember 26, 19961300

Alizé Cornet, Caroline Carcia, and Kristina Mladenovic have each achieved significant success during their careers.

Despite only winning one title, Kristina Mladenovic managed to gain a top 10 ranking due to her consistent performance on tour.

French Male Tennis Players

There are plenty of active French tennis players on the men’s side of the game, but some of the country’s most successful and famous players are now retired.

During the 1920s, one group of men nicknamed The Four Musketeers had a significant and lasting impact on the game. They included doubles specialist Jean Borotra and singles players Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet, and René Lacoste.

Beyond their success, the four also helped lead the French Davis Cup team to victory over the United States in 1927, resulting in the country building out a new venue in Paris, now the location of Roland Garros a.k.a, the French Open.

Keep reading to learn about 11 influential male French tennis players that are well worth knowing as a tennis fan.

René Lacoste

French Tennis Players Male - René Lacoste

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Although he’s not the most successful French tennis player ever, his legacy extends far beyond the court as a businessman whose name is the best known of any on this list.

He is responsible for the start of the iconic fashion brand with the crocodile logo and created the first patented steel tennis racquet with tubes instead of solid metal. This frame became known as the T-2000, famously used by Jimmy Connors and Bill Jean King during their careers.

Of course, René wasn’t a slouch on the court, and he’s undoubtedly one of the best to come out of France. Having reached world No. 1, he won seven singles and three doubles Grand Slam titles.

At the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris, he claimed a Bronze medal in doubles with Jean Borotra, and as one member of the Four Musketeers, he helped France win the 1927 and 1928 Davis Cup.

BirthdayJuly 2, 1904
Retired1932
Highest Rank1
Career Titles24 singles
Grand Slam Titles7 singles / 3 doubles
Olympic MedalsBronze doubles

Henri Cochet

French Tennis Players Male - Henri Cochet

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

By far the most successful male tennis player to come out of France, Henri Cochet’s resume speaks for itself.

During his career, he reached world No. 1, earned seven singles, five doubles, and three mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, and helped France win the Davis Cup for six years straight from 1927 to 1932. He also earned a silver medal in singles and doubles with René Lacoste at Paris’ 1924 Olympic Games.

In 1933, Henri moved from amateur to professional, so it’s likely he would have achieved more success at Grand Slam tournaments which the pros weren’t allowed to play until 1968, well after he retired.

BirthdayDecember 14, 1901
Retired1958
Highest Rank1
Career Titles90 singles
Grand Slam Titles7 singles / 5 doubles
Olympic MedalsSilver singles and doubles

Jean Borotra

French Tennis Players Male - Jean Borotra

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Another member of the Four Musketeers, Jean, only reached world No. 2, but his success on the court goes down as one of the best.

He achieved plenty of success in singles with four Grand Slam titles, but he was also a highly accomplished doubles player with nine additional Grand Slam titles and five in mixed-doubles.

Jean’s legacy lives on with the Jean Borotra Sportsmanship Award, given annually since 1998 at the Wimbledon Championships in London.

BirthdayAugust 13, 1898
Retired1956
Highest Rank2
Career Titles69 singles
Grand Slam Titles4 singles / 9 doubles
Olympic MedalsBronze doubles

Max Decugis

French Tennis Players Male - Max Decugis

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Up until 2014, Max Decugis held more titles at the French Championships, now known as the French Open, than any other player, with eight. Rafael Nadal surpassed this record and currently has 13 wins.

However, it’s worth noting that the tournament was only open to French club members up until 1925, so logically the record books don’t consider Max’s wins Grand Slam titles.

Beyond his 41 titles throughout his career, Max also achieves more success at the Olympics than any French player. He has gold in mixed doubles and silver and bronze in doubles.

BirthdaySeptember 24, 1882
Retired1926
Highest Rank10
Career Titles41 singles
Grand Slam Titles1 doubles
Olympic MedalsGold singles, Gold doubles, Bronze doubles

André Gobert

French Tennis Players Male - André Gobert

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

In 1909, André Gobert joined the amateur tour, and throughout his career, he’d win 26 titles. He never managed to win a Grand Slam in singles, but he did reach the finals of Wimbledon in 1912, losing to Arthur Gore of Great Britain in four sets.

The year prior, Gobert did manage to claim a doubles Grand Slam title at Wimbledon with his partner and fellow Frenchman Max Decugis.

Perhaps André’s crowning achievement was his double Gold medals in singles and doubles at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics.

BirthdaySeptember 30, 1890
Retired1926
Highest Rank3
Career Titles26 singles
Grand Slam Titles1 doubles
Olympic MedalsGold singles, Gold doubles

Yannick Noah

French Tennis Players Male - Yannick Noah

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

One of France’s most celebrated tennis players is Yannik Noah, who won the French Open in 1983, breaking a 37-year drought for a male tennis player to win the tournament.

Of course, his success extended far beyond his sole Grand Slam singles crown in France. Yannick won 23 titles throughout his career and achieved a career-high world ranking of No. 3 in 1986.

He also attained a world No. 1 ranking in doubles that same year and won the French Open in doubles in 1984.

Since retiring, Yannick has achieved moderate success as a singer, having released several albums, and he continues to perform.

BirthdayMay 18, 1960
Retired1996
Highest Rank3
Career Titles23 singles /  16 doubles
Grand Slam Titles1 singles / 1 doubles
Olympic Medals

Jacques Brugnon

French Tennis Players Male - Jacques Brungnon

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

The fourth member of the Four Musketeers, Jacques Brugnon, was a successful singles player with 21 titles and a career-high ranking of No. 9. However, he primarily goes down in the history books as a doubles specialist who won ten Grand Slam titles for the discipline.

Jacques also helped lead the French team to five Davis Cup titles from 1927 to 1932, missing out only in 1929.

BirthdayMay 11, 1895
Retired
Highest Rank9
Career Titles21 singles
Grand Slam TitlesTBD singles / 10 doubles
Olympic MedalsSilver doubles

Yvon Petra

French Tennis Players Male - Yvon Petra

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Until Yannik Noah’s triumph at the French Open in 1983, Yvon was the last Frenchman to win the title at the Grand Slam in 1946. Soon after, in 1948, Yvon turned pro, so he couldn’t contest additional Grand Slam events as they were exclusively for amateurs.

At the end of his career, he had claimed 18 titles and reached a career-high world No. 4 ranking in 1946.

BirthdayMarch 8, 1916
Retired1955
Highest Rank4
Career Titles18 singles /  TBD doubles
Grand Slam Titles1 singles / 2 doubles
Olympic Medals

André Vacherot

During his career as a tennis player, André won the French Championships four times in 1894, 1895, 1896, and 1901. However, it’s worth noting that the tournament was only open to French club members until 1925.

BirthdayJune 5, 1877
RetiredUnknown
Highest RankUnknown
Career TitlesUnknown
Grand Slam Titles4 singles / 2 doubles
Olympic Medals

Paul Aymé

Like André Vacherot, Paul Aymé won the French Championships four times during his career. However, what distinguished his results from André’s is that he did it consecutively from 1897 to 1900.

BirthdayJuly 29, 1869
RetiredUnknown
Highest RankUnknown
Career TitlesUnknown
Grand Slam Titles4 singles
Olympic Medals

Maurice Germot

French Tennis Players Male - Maurice Germot

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Maurice is a three-time French Championship winner and doubles Gold medalist from the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games. That year he partnered with countryman Max Decugis.

BirthdayNovember 15, 1882
RetiredUnknown
Highest RankUnknown
Career TitlesUnknown
Grand Slam Titles3 singles
Olympic MedalsGold doubles

French Female Tennis Players

Some of the most famous female French tennis players competed and achieved success more recently, so you may be familiar with their names.

However, to track down one of history’s most celebrated French tennis players, we have to step back to the early 1900s.

Suzanne Lenglen

French Tennis Players Female - Suzanne Lenglen

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Known as the greatest female tennis player during the Open Era, i.e., before 1968, Suzanne Lenglen is one of the game’s most highly accomplished and best-known athletes.

Nicknamed La Divine, she became the inaugural world No. 1 in 1921 and held that position until 1926. Much of her success came at Wimbledon, where she won singles and doubles six times from 1919 to 1925.

One of her most intriguing wins was against prominent American tennis player Helen Wills in the United States, dubbed the Match of the Century, which she won. Suzanne is also well-known for helping lay the foundation for the professional tours before the Open Era began in 1968.

She earned 83 singles and 74 doubles titles throughout her career, and at the 1920 Olympic Games, she won gold in singles and mixed doubles and bronze in women’s doubles.

BirthdayMay 24, 1899
Retired1926 (amateur)
Highest Rank1
Career Titles83 singles / 74 doubles
Grand Slam Titles8 singles, 8 doubles
Olympic MedalsGold singles, Bronze doubles

Amélie Mauresmo

French Tennis Players Female - Amelié Mauresmo

Photo Credit: @usopen

The most recent world No 1. on our list of women tennis players from France, Amélie Mauresmo, competed until December 2009.

In 2004, she ascended to world No. 1, becoming the first French tennis player to hit the mark since the WTA tracked rankings on computers. Uniquely, she did so without having won a Grand Slam title.

Of course, all that would change in 2006 when she logged a hugely successful year that included titles at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Post-retirement, Mauresmo has continued to make a name for herself coaching a range of successful tennis players, including Michaël Llodra,
Victoria Azarenka, Marion Bartoli., Andy Murray, and Lucas Pouille.

In 2022, Amiélie Mauresmo became the first female tennis director at the French Open, solidifying her as one of the most famous French players to ever step on a court.

BirthdayJuly 5, 1979
Retired2009
Highest Rank1
Career Titles25 singles /  3 doubles
Grand Slam Titles2 singles
Olympic MedalsSilver singles

Mary Pierce

French Tennis Players Female - Mary Pierce

Photo Credit: @marypierce_75

The last French tennis player, male or female, to win the French Open, Mary Pierce, achieved a high level of success during her career.

In 1995 she ascended to a career-high world No. 2, and she claimed four total Grand Slam titles, two in singles, 1 in doubles, and 1 in mixed doubles. In total, she won 18 singles and ten doubles titles.

Born in Canada to her French mother and American father, she has citizenship in all three countries. However, she chose to represent France in team competitions, including the Fed Cup, in which she helped lead the team to wins in 1997 and 2003.

BirthdayJanuary 15, 1975
Retired2006
Highest Rank3
Career Titles18 singles /  10 doubles
Grand Slam Titles2 singles / 1 doubles
Olympic Medals

Marion Bartoli

French Tennis Players Female - Marion Bartoli

Photo Credit: @bartolimarion

Known for her unique style of play, using two hands for her forehand and backhand, Marion Bartoli became one of the most famous French tennis players on the women’s side of the game.

During her career, she reached the quarter-finals of every Grand Slam event but only managed to win one at Wimbledon in 2013, defeating Sabine Lisicki in straight sets.

Unfortunately, shortly after her victory, Marion retired from tennis due to ongoing pain and injuries from her time in the sport. Although she attempted a comeback in 2018, it didn’t go super well as injuries continued to set her back.

BirthdayOctober 2, 1984
Retired2013
Highest Rank7
Career Titles8 singles /  3 doubles
Grand Slam Titles1 singles
Olympic Medals

Jeanne Matthey

French Tennis Players Female - Jean Matthey

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

A successful French tennis player in the early 1900s, Jeanne Matthey is a four-time French Open Champion in singles and doubles. She won all of her titles in consecutive years from 1909 to 1912.

After being wounded in World War I serving as a nurse on the front lines, she gave up tennis, but her success remains noteworthy.

BirthdayJanuary 25, 1886
RetiredUnknown
Highest RankUnknown
Career TitlesUnknown
Grand Slam Titles4 singles / 4 doubles
Olympic Medals

Kate Gillou

French Tennis Players Female - Katie Gillou

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

French tennis player Kate Gillou goes down in history as a four-time winner of the French Championships from 1904 to 1908.

Birthday:
Retired: –
Highest Rank: –
Titles: –
Grand Slams: 4 singles
Olympics: –

BirthdayFebruary 19, 1887
RetiredUnknown
Highest RankUnknown
Career TitlesUnknown
Grand Slam Titles4 singles
Olympic Medals

Adine Masson

The first-ever winner at the French Championships, Adine Masson, claimed five wins at the tournament, even though two were uncontested in 1898 and 1899. In 1907, she won in doubles as well.

BirthdayUnknown
RetiredUnknown
Highest RankUnknown
Career TitlesUnknown
Grand Slam Titles5 singles / 1 doubles
Olympic Medals

Greatest of All Time

Although no French tennis player makes my list of the greatest tennis players of all time, two are worth noting as the best French tennis players ever for their significant accomplishments.

Suzanne Lenglen – Female

Of all the players I’ve covered, Suzanne Lenglen stands alone with the most comprehensive and impressive achievements, which makes her the best French tennis player, male or female, ever.

Suzanne’s highly decorated career includes the No. 1 ranking, 22 Grand Slam titles, nine in singles, eight in doubles, and five in mixed doubles. She also medaled in every discipline during the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, with gold in singles and mixed doubles and bronze in doubles.

Throughout her career, she virtually never lost. With 83 singles titles and 74 doubles titles, and 93 mixed doubles titles, she had winning percentages of 97.9%, 97.7%, and 95.5%, respectively. She only logged 31 losses out of her total 967 matches played.

Although her achievements came well before the Open Era in 1968, she didn’t just succeed. Instead, she dominated the field like no other player and ushered in a dynamic style of play akin to the men’s game, which was a drastic departure from conventional women’s tennis.

Henri Cochet – Male

Although his name isn’t as widely recognized as René Lacoste, Henri’s achievements on the court far surpass Lacoste’s and cement him as the most successful male French tennis player of all time.

Beyond achieving a world No. 1 ranking, Cochet won seven Grand Slam titles in singles, five in doubles, and three in mixed doubles. He also helped lead the French Davis Cup team to wins for six straight years and won Olympic silver in singles and doubles.

Of course, he achieved all of that success before he turned professional in 1933, where he competed until the second world war. Toward the end of his career, the French Tennis Association allowed him back as an amateur, where he’d finish playing, retiring in 1958.

Grand Slam Singles Champions

There are four Grand Slam tournaments, including the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, and US Open. These prestigious tournaments offer the highest prize money and are the hardest for a player to win due to the size of the draw and depth of field.

As a result, it’s incredibly significant when a player manages to win one, and they tend to achieve considerable fame for their success. The following is a comprehensive list of French Grand Slam champions.

YearAustralian OpenFrench OpenWimbledonUS Open
1891
1892Jean Schopfer
1893Laurent Riboulet
1894André Vacherot
1895André Vacherot
1896André Vacherot
1897Paul Aymé
Adine Masson
1898Paul Aymé
Adine Masson
1899Paul Aymé
Adine Masson
1900Paul Aymé
Yvonne Prévost
1901André Vacherot
1902Michel Vacherot
Adine Masson
1903Max Decugis
Adine Masson
1904Max Decugis
Kate Gillou
1905Maurice Germot
Kate Gillou
1906Maurice Germot
Kate Gillou-Fenwick
1907Max Decugis
Comtesse de Kermel
1908Max Decugis
Kate Gillou-Fenwick
1909Max Decugis
Jeanne Matthey
1910Maurice Germot
Jeanne Matthey
1911André Gobert
Jeanne Matthey
1912Max Decugis
Jeanne Matthey
1913Max Decugis
Marguerite Broquedis
1914Max Decugis
Marguerite Broquedis
1919Suzanne Lenglen
1920André Gobert
Suzanne Lenglen
Suzanne Lenglen
1921Jean Samazeuilh
Suzanne Lenglen
Suzanne Lenglen
1922Henri Cochet
Suzanne Lenglen
Suzanne Lenglen
1923François Blanchy
Suzanne Lenglen
Suzanne Lenglen
1924Jean Borotra
Julie Vlasto
1925René Lacoste
Suzanne Lenglen
René Lacoste
Suzanne Lenglen
1926Henri Cochet
Suzanne Lenglen
René Lacoste
1927René LacosteHenri CochetRené Lacoste
1928Jean BorotraHenri CochetRené LacosteHenri Cochet
1929René LacosteHenri Cochet
1930Henri Cochet
1931Jean Borotra
1932Henri Cochet
1938Simonne Passemard Mathieu
1939Simonne Passemard Mathieu
1943Simone Iribarne Lafargue
1944Raymonde Veber Jones
1946Marcel BernardYvon Petra
1948Nelly Landry
1967Françoise Dürr
1983Yannick Noah
1995
2000Mary Pierce
2006Amélie MauresmoAmélie Mauresmo
2013Marion Bartoli

World No. 1s

Achieving a world No. 1 ranking is no easy task as it requires consistent performance from a player. Only a handful of French tennis players have reached a No. 1 ranking in history. I’ve listed all of them below.

Male

  • René Lacoste
  • Henri Cochet

Female

  • Suzanne Lenglen
  • Amélie Mauresmo (Open Era)

The Open Era started in 1968 when professional players were allowed to compete alongside amateurs, forever changing the sport.

Since then, Amélie Mauresmo has been the only male or female French tennis player who has achieved a No. 1 ranking.

Wrapping Up

Whether you’re a fan of French tennis or scouting the best players for an upcoming tournament, I hope this resource helped provide some insight into noteworthy players from the country.

If you think I’ve missed anyone or would like to share any thoughts on some of the players listed, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Home > Players > French Tennis Players

Play Better Tennis

Improve your game alongside our community of tennis players

Why join?

Discussion Boards
Join the conversation with other members of the community.

5 Point Friday
Read our weekly recap of the 5 most interesting things we dig up in tennis.

In-depth Resources
Learn with comprehensive resources to help you improve your game.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.