Roland Garros will come with a new bounce this year.
French brand Babolat will serve as the official ball supplier of the French Open starting this May and signed five-year pact with the French Tennis Federation through 2015. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Babolat succeeds Dunlop as the official ball supplier of the French Open. A year ago, Dunlop's ball was the first to be used for the entire spring clay-court season and Roland Garros. Dunlop will continue to produce the official ball for the clay tune-up tournaments.
Babolat’s partnership with the French Open comes a decade after the birth of its European tennis ball range. Babolat made its major breakthrough at Roland Garros when Carlos Moya defeated compatriot Alex Corretja in the 1998 French Open final to become the first player to win a Grand Slam title playing with a Babolat racquet. Reigning Roland Garros singles champions Rafael Nadal and Francesca Schiavone both play with Babolat racquets and strings.
In addition, Babolat will also provide stringing services for all players at Roland Garros and offer a complete line of Babolat Roland Garros-branded products, including adult and junior racquets, racquet bags, backpacks, balls, strings, grips and dampeners. These products will be available in May at retail stores and in the Roland Garros boutique.
The 2011 French Open begins on Sunday, May 22.