Everyone agrees on this: Roland Garros is a very special tournament. But why? Exclusively for wearetennis.com, the legendary Michael Chang offers up his theories... To what extent is the public at Roland Garros...

Everyone agrees on this: Roland Garros is a very special tournament. But why? Exclusively for wearetennis.com, the legendary Michael Chang offers up his theories...

To what extent is the public at Roland Garros different from the crowds at the other major tournaments? After playing in Paris all these years, I learned through many situations what the French public is all about. They are louder, they manifest themselves more often and they will definitely let the player know how they feel. It’s good when they cheer for you, but not so much if they don’t like what you are trying to do on the court. If they don’t like what you do, you may well experience some teasing or even be booed at times. Believe it or not, this is something that most players don’t realise, but it’s very important to know a place like Roland Garros, where the fans are so passionate. And, of course, when you play a game with the public on your side, it's a tremendous advantage, especially here in Paris.   So do you think it can explain the difficulties that French players have endured here? In all the matches I played against French players at Roland Garros, they seemed very nervous to be playing “at home”. I never knew whether it was because of the pressure or if they had some kind of a fixation about it but, overall, I felt that the expectation from the public and the press were huge. I think it's still true today, particularly in the men's draw when you know there hasn’t been any French champion since Yannick Noah. I think it’s the same thing for the British players at Wimbledon, for the Australian in Melbourne or the American in the U.S. Open.   When you think about Roland Garros, what memory comes to mind first? Joy - the joy of coming to play in Paris for so many years. This is one of four tournaments that I have never missed throughout my career! I have great memories of playing here, and not just from 1989. When you taste success somewhere, it’s always very exciting to come back. I hope to visit again this year.   Interview by Ronan Boscher