Melbourne, 25 May 2012 |

As we count down to French Open 2012, will feature some of the best Australian achievements at Roland Garros. The highlights will be revealed in chronological order and when all 20 have been named, you get the chance to vote for your No.1 achievement.

2000 The Woodies win on clay to complete their career Grand Slam

They’d won a record-equalling 57 titles and nine majors together, but the one piece of silverware missing from Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde’s collection was the Roland Garros doubles title.

Semifinalists in 1993 and 1996, and finalists in 1997, racking up six wins on the Paris clay was proving to be the Woodies’ white whale.

The pair came close to bailing in the quarterfinals in 2000, falling behind a set to Jiri Novak and David Riki. The Woodies snatched a tight second-set tiebreak to keep their dream alive and won the third set easily for a 3-6 7-6(6) 6-1 win.

A straight sets win over Jaime Oncins and Daniel Orsanic in the semis followed to set up a final against countryman Sandon Stolle and Paul Haarhuis of the Netherlands.

With Woodforde having already decided to walk away from tennis at the end of the season, this would be their last chance to complete a deserved career Grand Slam. More driven than ever before, the Woodies prevailed in a close straight-sets match, 7-6(7) 6-4.

After joining forces in 1991 the pair forged one of the great doubles duos, dominating the 1990s with their instinctive play and tricky lefty–righty combination.

“We lost badly in the first match we ever played,” recalled Woodforde in 1996. “But the second one, we had a pretty good result and we, you know, our coach [Ray Ruffels] and the trainer [Mark Waters] sort of convinced us that perhaps there was a future together.”

They were right.

The dynamic duo finished with 61 titles together, 11 of them majors, before Woodforde retired at the end of the 2000 season. As well as a truckload of trophies, the pair finished atop the year-end rankings on five occasions, 1992, 1995–1997 and 2000, and won Olympic gold at Atlanta and silver at Sydney. They are also Australia’s most successful Davis Cup duo, beaten just twice in 16 ties.

The Woodies were the most successful doubles pair ever until 2010 when the Bryan brothers overtook them.

“It’s like a marriage,” said Woodforde. “You learn how to co-exist on and off the court. I think we got the best out of each other.”

“It’s one word,” Woodbridge explained. “Communication. Anytime Mark and I held something in and didn’t let each other know how we felt, we never played well together. We knew what we were doing was like a business and we had to be professional. We had our moments when we hacked each other off and would have liked to have gone another way. But we realised we had something that was too good.”

After Woodforde’s retirement at the end of 2000, Woodbridge continued to play with Sweden’s Jonas Bjorkman and finished his career with 83 doubles titles – still a record.

Together, Woodbridge and Bjorkman won five majors including one each at the Australian and US Opens, and three Wimbledon championships. The only major they didn’t win together was the French Open, thus denying Woodbridge a second career Grand Slam.

Profiles: Todd Woodbridge, Mark Woodforde

Aussies at Roland Garros – the complete list to date

1933 Jack Crawford becomes the first Australian to win the Roland Garros men’s singles title

1951 Ken McGregor plays a marathon semifinal against South African Eric Sturgess

1953 Ken Rosewall wins the men’s singles title 12 months after winning the Roland Garros boys’ championships

1958 Mervyn Rose wins the singles final while Ashley Cooper and Neale Fraser take the doubles

1960–1965 Roy Emerson features in six consecutive winning doubles duos

1962 Margaret Smith wins her first major on foreign soil

1962 Rod Laver wins the men’s singles title on his way to his first calendar year Grand Slam

1963–1965 Three in a row for mixed doubles pair Margaret Smith and Ken Fletcher

1964 Margaret Smith sweeps Roland Garros

1965 Lesley Turner is singles and doubles champion

1965–1969 Stolle, Roche, Emerson, Rosewall and Laver headline five years of dominance

1968 Ken Rosewall wins singles and doubles at the age of 33

1969 Rod Laver salutes in Paris on his way to his second Grand Slam

1970 Margaret Court wins the French Open on her way to a calendar year Grand Slam

1971 Evonne Goolagong wins the first of her seven singles majors

1973 Margaret Court wins her 13th French Open crown

2000 Mark Philippoussis stuns Pete Sampras in the first round

2000 The Woodies win on clay to complete their career Grand Slam