The French Open is the only one of the four Grand Slams to be played on clay and is, therefore, a specialist tournament which tends to be dominated by a small pool of players.
Although having been staged since 1891, it took until 1968 for the tournament to become an Open and that was when professional players were first introduced to the competition.
There have been many multiple male winners in the French capital down the years with Bjorn Borg winning the event six times between 1974 and 1981, although his achievements have since been overshadowed by the superiority of 14-time champion Rafael Nadal.
Nadal's dominance means there have been only four different winners of the French Open since 2004 and he is also the defending champion having defeated Norwegian ace Casper Ruud in last year's final.
Despite having been absent from competitive action since the Australian Open in January, Nadal will be hoping he can celebrate his return with a record-breaking 15th clay-court Major.
However, his Spanish compatriot , the game's rising star, and two-time champion Novak Djokovic are just two players that may have something to say about that.
|What||2023 French Open|
|When||Sunday 28th May - Sunday 11th June 2023|
|How to watch||bet365 Sports Live Streaming and Eurosport|
|Odds||Men's Outright: Carlos Alcaraz 5/4, Novak Djokovic 11/5, Rafael Nadal 4/1|
For a long time Nadal has been considered the King of Clay as he is widely regarded as the best player to ever grace the surface.
The Spaniard grew up playing on the red dirt as a youngster and has carved out a style of play that has allowed him to dominate on the slower terrain.
Nadal first rose to prominence in Paris in 2005 when he defeated Mariano Puerta to take his first French Open title as a 19-year-old.
The Mallorcan went on to win eight of the next nine French Open titles, only failing to oblige in 2009 when exiting in the fourth round, and it was that capitalised to win his only ever title in Paris.
Nadal failed to go beyond the quarter-final in 2015 and 2016 - he withdrew injured before his third-round clash with Marcel Granollers in 2016 - but he quickly recovered to take four more titles between 2017 and 2020.
The Spaniard looked on course for more French success in 2021 but suffered a surprise four-set defeat to Djokovic in the semi-final.
The Serb went on to land the silverware by coming from two sets down to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas in that title decider, becoming only the second duel winner of the French Open alongside Nadal since Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten in 2001.
However, you can't keep Nadal down for long, particularly in Paris, and he regained his crown last year, beating Ruud in the final.
The 36-year-old had earlier overcome Felix Auger-Aliassime, Djokovic and Alexander Zverev in the French capital and he is 4/1 to extend his dominance this season.
That means Nadal has won on 14 of his 18 visits to Paris but his army of fans face an anxious wait to see if their sporting hero will be fit enough in time to compete for a 15th French Open title.
The Spanish veteran has not been seen since losing to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open in January, so has lost seven of his last 10 matches.
With Nadal being plagued by injury this season and lacking match sharpness, it would go down as one of his finer achievements were he to prevail in Paris again this year.
Djokovic and Nadal are locked together on the all-time record list with 22 Grand Slam titles apiece, and how the Serb would love to take the mantle all for himself by winning a tournament Nadal has dominated.
Only two of Djokovic's 22 Major wins have come in Paris and they came five years apart, with him beating Andy Murray in the final in 2016 and then taking care of Tsitsipas in the 2021 title decider.
To his credit, Djokovic has made at least the quarter-final stage of the French Open in 16 of his 18 previous visits, finishing runner-up on four occasions, three of those defeats of which came against Nadal. The 35-year-old is to record a third success in the event this year.
Federer has won all four Grand Slam titles - he is a 20-time Major champion - but he did well to tick off the French Open given Nadal's achievements.
The Swiss maestro conquered the Parisian clay way back in 2009, when he defeated Nadal's conqueror Robin Soderling in the final.
It was the least Federer deserved given he had finished runner-up to Nadal in three consecutive years prior to that and then bumped into the Spaniard again in 2011.
Federer winning the French Open in this era of tennis is one thing but the achievements of his compatriot Stan Wawrinka should not go unrecognised.
Wawrinka defeated Djokovic in an epic four-set final to be crowned French Open champion in 2015, making him one of only four players to claim the prize since 2004.
|1968||Ken Rosewall||Rod Laver|
|1969||Rod Laver||Ken Rosewall|
|1970||Jan Kodeš||Željko Franulović|
|1971||Jan Kodeš||Ilie Năstase|
|1972||Andrés Gimeno||Patrick Proisy|
|1973||Ilie Năstase||Nikola Pilić|
|1974||Björn Borg||Manuel Orantes|
|1975||Björn Borg||Guillermo Vilas|
|1976||Adriano Panatta||Harold Solomon|
|1977||Guillermo Vilas||Brian Gottfried|
|1978||Björn Borg||Guillermo Vilas|
|1979||Björn Borg||Víctor Pecci|
|1980||Björn Borg||Vitas Gerulaitis|
|1981||Björn Borg||Ivan Lendl|
|1982||Mats Wilander||Guillermo Vilas|
|1983||Yannick Noah||Mats Wilander|
|1984||Ivan Lendl||John McEnroe|
|1985||Mats Wilander||Ivan Lendl|
|1986||Ivan Lendl||Mikael Pernfors|
|1987||Ivan Lendl||Mats Wilander|
|1988||Mats Wilander||Henri Leconte|
|1989||Michael Chang||Stefan Edberg|
|1990||Andrés Gómez||Andre Agassi|
|1991||Jim Courier||Andre Agassi|
|1992||Jim Courier||Petr Korda|
|1993||Sergi Bruguera||Jim Courier|
|1994||Sergi Bruguera||Alberto Berasategui|
|1995||Thomas Muster||Michael Chang|
|1996||Yevgeny Kafelnikov||Michael Stich|
|1997||Gustavo Kuerten||Sergi Bruguera|
|1998||Carlos Moyá||Àlex Corretja|
|1999||Andre Agassi||Andrei Medvedev|
|2000||Gustavo Kuerten||Magnus Norman|
|2001||Gustavo Kuerten||Àlex Corretja|
|2002||Albert Costa||Juan Carlos Ferrero|
|2003||Juan Carlos Ferrero||Martin Verkerk|
|2004||Gastón Gaudio||Guillermo Coria|
|2005||Rafael Nadal||Mariano Puerta|
|2006||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer|
|2007||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer|
|2008||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer|
|2009||Roger Federer||Robin Söderling|
|2010||Rafael Nadal||Robin Söderling|
|2011||Rafael Nadal||Roger Federer|
|2012||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic|
|2013||Rafael Nadal||David Ferrer|
|2014||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic|
|2015||Stan Wawrinka||Novak Djokovic|
|2016||Novak Djokovic||Andy Murray|
|2017||Rafael Nadal||Stan Wawrinka|
|2018||Rafael Nadal||Dominic Thiem|
|2019||Rafael Nadal||Dominic Thiem|
|2020||Rafael Nadal||Novak Djokovic|
|2021||Novak Djokovic||Stefanos Tsitsipas|
|2022||Rafael Nadal||Casper Ruud|