It’s time for the Rolex Paris Masters!

The history of the Rolex Paris Masters.

How did it all begin? In actual fact, the origins of the Rolex Paris Masters go almost as far back as those of Roland-Garros. At the beginning of the 20th century, Paris Tennis Club launched the “Championnats de France” tournament, held on indoor courts, which the four “Musketeers” of French tennis – Lacoste, Borotra, Brugnon and Cochet – entered every winter. 

Later renamed the “Coupe Albert Canet” and then “Championnats professionnels de Coubertin”, the event became a key date in the so-called “indoor” season from the roaring twenties onwards and featured all the great champions of world tennis. However, in 1982, the event ran out of steam…

At the same time, the work on the then Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy (currently the Accor Arena) began in the Bercy neighbourhood. 

The City of Paris and the FFT took advantage of this opportunity to revive the tournament, in its now legendary format. Spectators came to support John McEnroe, Yannick Noah, Henri Leconte and Stefan Edberg in a huge exhibition tournament held on 26th and 27th October 1985. Whether you know it as the “Crocodile Open”, the “Jean Becker Open” or even the “Open de Paris”, the final Masters 1000 of the season was created in 1986, on the foundations of the French capital’s rich tennis legacy.   

Every autumn since, the world’s top players have dazzled the crowds inside the Accor Arena, the perfect stage for their impressive exploits. Novak Djokovic holds the record for the most titles, and Nadal sealed the 1,000th victory of his career there during the 2020 edition. 


Parisian atmosphere.

With Roland-Garros to the west and the Rolex Paris Masters to the east, these complementary tournaments offer tennis fans two fantastic opportunities to attend a prestigious tournament in Paris. In the spring, the action takes place in the chic 16th arrondissement with its adjoining Bois de Boulogne, and in the autumn it is the 12th arrondissement’s turn to host the second Parisian event. 

Underneath the Accor Arena’s iconic pyramid – which is made up of blue metal, glass and turf panels – the Parisian Masters 1000 takes up residence every autumn. Practice courts are even set up outside the venue, in the grounds of the neighbouring Ministry for the Economy and Finance or under “bubbles” in the Parc de Bercy.

Here, in Bercy, immense green spaces stand alongside ultra-modern buildings on the banks of the Seine, with an aerial metro line running between them. This neighbourhood, which was long neglected, has today become a major economic and cultural hub in eastern Paris.  


Located opposite the city docks, this well-known area is constantly evolving. Bercy still displays a few well-preserved traces of its industrial and wine-making heritage, such as a vine, former railway tracks and wine warehouses, which have all been carefully restored. It also boasts the Cour Saint-Emilion, commonly known as “Bercy Village”, the Ministry for the Economy and Finance, the French cinema library designed by American architect Frank Gehry and, of course, the French capital’s largest performance venue, one of the world’s top five arenas: the Accor Arena. 


The Rolex Paris Masters blends in perfectly with this urban environment. Paris, the capital of sport and the future host city of the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, embodies the tournament and pulls out all the stops to show spectators “The Paris of the Rolex Paris Masters”.


When tennis goes indoors.


The Rolex Paris Masters is an event that gets more spectacular by the year. An enhanced sporting experience on the courts and a striking architectural identity make the event extra special for both players and spectators. Just one example is the famous illuminated tunnel! A real hallmark of the tournament, it truly sets the stage as the players come out on court. This high-tech, connected structure, which guides the players from backstage into the spotlight, treats spectators in the arena to a spectacular and unforgettable show.  


The spectators at the Rolex Paris Masters experience every rally, every bounce of the ball, every surge of jubilation to the full. The emotions are enhanced because no external noise can disrupt the match. That’s the “indoor” effect of the Rolex Paris Masters! Nobody cares whether it is raining or windy outside!  Once you are immersed in the tournament’s unique atmosphere in this cocoon-like venue, you lose all sense of time. 


From 1st November, you can once again experience the thrill of sitting in the main hall and wandering round the Grande Galerie of the Accor Arena. We look forward to seeing you there!


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