As part of the stadium complex’s ongoing refurbishment, a statue of the aviator Roland Garros was erected in the presence of Gilles Moretton, the president of the French Tennis Federation (FFT), and Caroline Brisset, the artist who created the sculpture.

The statue has been erected by the FFT in tribute to the French aviation pioneer and First World War hero, who gave his name to the stadium complex. Made of steel measuring over six metres high, it takes its inspiration from a photograph of Roland Garros leaning on his elbows in the cockpit of a plane.

It is entitled The Cloud Kisser, the nickname given to Roland Garros on account of his daring exploits, which included him becoming the first man to fly across the Mediterranean.

The statue will stand on the newly created Aviator Square at Gate 1, the new public entrance to the Stade Roland-Garros..

It’s creator French sculptress Caroline Brisset said: “The airman Roland Garros is a major inspiration for me because he had an air of calm about him but was a dreamer too, which is why I feel close to him. In his own little way, he was lost in the clouds, and there’s a poetry in that.

Unveiling of ” l’Aviateur” statue honouring heroic French Aviator Roland-Garros Photo : Christophe Guibbaud / FFT

The project really resonated with me because my grandfather was an airman too and flew in the same squadron as Roland Garros: “L’Escadrille des Cigognes” (“The Stork Squadron”) I put a lot of heart into this project because of that.”

FFT President Gilles Moretton said: “We are very proud to be here today to welcome this wonderful statue, created by Caroline Brisset, a very talented artist with a gift for touching people.

This sculpture is a fine tribute to Roland Garros and is richly deserved, given his status as an aviation pioneer and First World War hero. It will enable us to offer a lasting salute to an extraordinary man who gave his name to both our tournament and our stadium.”

Main photo:- l’Aviateur” statue honouring French Aviator Roland-Garros by:-Christophe Guibbaud / FFT