The legend of Roland Garros goes back to 1925 – it was in that year that the Fédération Française de Tennis (FFT) decided to open the French championships to the best foreign players as well. The French Open thus began and, in 1928, the construction of the Roland Garros stadium sealed the deal for the eponymous tournament. Until 1933, four French players reigned over the tournament: Jean Borotra, Jacques Brugnon, Henri Cochet, and René Lacoste – the Four Musketeers. Just as post-war Paris was entering into a new era, the French Open became the Grand Slam circuit’s very first ‘Open’. The year was 1968, and Roland Garros became an international legend overnight.
A trophy with just as large of a reputation thus became a necessity. In 1981, the president of the FFT Philippe Chatrier decided to give the tournament, which was being covered more and more in the media, an Olympic-style cup. He thus called on Paris’ jewelers with the challenge of creating the ultimate symbol of victory. On 9 rue de la Paix sat one of the oldest jewelers in the world, adored by Marie de Medici, honored by Marie Antoinette. Mellerio dits Meller was the only metalworker capable of transforming a sheet of silver into a work of art. Ever since, they’ve been the sole creators of Roland Garros’ cups, notably the legendary Coupe des Mousquetaires. “In 1981, Mellerio gave the Fédération Française de Tennis a cup in the shape of a large bowl with the leaf of a vine, adorned by two handles in the shape of a swan. This naturalist aesthetic is near and dear to the brand,” specifies Gilles Haumont, the latest owner.
It takes 50 hours of work to create the 21 centimeter silver cup – a trophy that forever resides within the stadium. This is indeed something special about the Coupe des Mousquetaires. When bequeathed to the winner of the French Open, from Yanick Noha to Björn Borg or Rafael Nadal, the Coupe is briefly brought out on the main court and then put back inside the stadium until next year. The winner goes home with a smaller-size replica. The Coupe des Mousquetaires is so precious that Louis Vuitton was entrusted with creating its special trunk. Created by hand in their historic workshops in Asnières, France, their attachment to savoir-faire, excellence, and the international renown of Paris and France unites the brand with Roland Garros. Dressed up with the iconic Monogram canvas, the trunk marvelously houses the illustrious Coupe – now it’s only a matter of time before we find out who will be the next winner of this iconic trophy on Sunday: Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, or Stanislas Wawrinka!