French Open

For French Open competitors, red clay dust comes free. So does the laundry.

For French Open competitors, red clay dust comes free. So does the laundry.

The French Open's red clay is so iconic that boutiques on the tournament grounds sell souvenir vials of it — actually, finely ground red brick — in commemorative cylinders for 20 euros apiece (roughly $23).

But for generations of tennis pros who have competed on the world's most famed clay courts, it's impossible not to end up coated in the red-brick dust for free after two or three hours spent sweating, slipping and sliding from one corner of the court to another.

And this, for decades, has made the question of laundry at the French Open a pressing concern.

Seven-time French Open champion Chris Evert was regarded as the Queen of Clay for her dominance on the surface, as...

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