The French Open is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world of professional tennis. It’s been around since the late 1800s, which makes it also one of the sports championships with the longest tradition. And considering that the cream of the crop of the world’s tennis competes at the French Open, this tournament is extremely popular among fans.
Each May, thousands of tennis fans hurl to the 16th arrondissement of Paris to watch French Open matches in-person. And millions of other tennis enthusiasts from all over the world tune-in to watch them on television.
Apart from being popular among tennis fans, the French Open is also a commonly-talked-about subject among sports bettors. The reason? French open odds are often very attractive, which is not surprising knowing that the world’s best tennis players are pitted against each other.
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|Time||2 AM PDT|
|Location||Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France|
|Prize||To Be Announced|
A Brief History of the French Open
We’ll start this French open guide by going back to the late 19th century. This was the period when the world got its first tennis fever. Only a decade after the Wimbledon Championships were born, the entire world was talking about this sport. And the French wanted to establish their own elite tennis tournament.
The year 1891 was when the first version of the French Open was born. At the time, the tournament was called the French Championships and only French male players were eligible to take part. Six years since the establishment of the tourney, the organizers decided to start accepting female players. And in 1924, the tournament became an international championship.
The next big milestone in the history of the French Open is the year 1928. That’s when the tournament moved to the complex of tennis courts in the 16th arrondissement of the French Capital, the venue called Roland Garros.
Since then, the term Roland Garros has been used interchangeably with the French Open. Named after a legendary French aviator, the tennis complex is famous for using clay as the surface of its courts. Thanks to this fact, the French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament played on the slow-playing surface.
|2003||Juan Carlos Ferrero|
|Date||Day Session||Entry||Game Start|
|Sun May 24||Day-First Round||10.00am||11.00am|
|Mon May 25||Day-First Round||10.00am||11.00am|
|Tue May 26||Day-First Round||10.00am||11.00am|
|Wed May 27||Day-Second Round||10.00am||11.00am|
|Thu May 28||Day-Second Round||10.00am||11.00am|
|Fri May 29||Day-Third Round||10.00am||11.00am|
|Sat May 30||Day-Third Round||10.00am||11.00am|
|Sun May 31||Day-Fourth Round||10.00am||11.00am|
|Mon Jun 1||Day-Fourth Round||10.00am||11.00am|
|Tue Jun 2||Day-Quarter Finals – Session 1||10:00am||12:00pm|
|Tue Jun 2||Day-Quarter Finals – Session 2||3.30 pm||5.30pm|
|Wed Jun 3||Day-Quarter Finals – Session 1||10:00am||12:00pm|
|Wed Jun 3||Day-Quarter Finals – Session 2||3:30pm||5.30pm|
|Thu Jun 4||Day-Women’s Semi Finals||11.00am||12.00pm|
|Fri June 5||Day-Men’s Semi Finals – Session 1||1:00 pm||3:00pm|
|Fri Jun 5||Day-Men’s Semi Finals – Session 2||3:30pm||5.30pm|
|Sat Jun 6||Day-Women’s Finals||11.00am||12.00pm|
|Sun Jun 7||Day -Men’s Finals||11.00am||12.00pm|
One of the Four Grand Slam Tournaments
There are hundreds of tennis tournaments in which professional players compete. But, not all of them are equally popular. Actually, there are four tournaments that are considered to be elite. You can’t become a tennis legend without winning at least one of those four.
The four premium tennis tournaments are called the Grand Slams or the majors. Actually, the term Grand Slam originally refers to winning all four major tournaments in a calendar year. Those tourneys are namely the Australian Open, Wimbledon, the US Open, and the French Open.
The French Open takes place in late May every year, which makes it the second of the four Grand Slams – the Australian Open is played in January. The tournament at the Rolland Garros complex lasts two weeks, during which the eyes of the tennis world are set on what’s happening on these courts.
Winning the French Open means writing your name in the history of elite tennis. Glory is the number 1 motivation for the top-rated players to do their utmost at this tournament, but is not the only reason. They also have a large monetary prize to compete for. The total budget for the French Open tennis payouts is nearly €43M (which is about $48M).
Legendary French Open Players
It’s been around for more than a century, so it’s no surprise there are plenty of interesting stories with the French Open in the main role. Let’s start from the very beginning, with the story about the first-ever winner of the tournament. In 1891, only the players registered at French clubs were allowed to compete in this tournament. Obviously, most of them were French nationals, but the winner of the first-ever French Open was British.
But, that’s not the only reason why he’s story is interesting. What makes it really strange is that we don’t know his name. H. Briggs is credited to be the first champion of this tournament, but the only thing we know about him is that he was a British national living in Paris at the time. The reason why this is the case is that in the first few years of the tournament, no one thought of it as a major championship. But, that changed a few decades later.
By the 1930s, the French Open has gotten a sort of cult status in the tennis universe. At that point, it was already being called a Grand Slam tournament. Speaking of which, the first player to achieve a Grand Slam, that is, to win all of the four elite tennis tournaments, was an American called Don Budge, who did it in 1938.
After World War II, during which this tournament was reserved only for French Players, things went back to normal once again. And the man in the spotlight during the late 1940s and early 1950s was Jaroslav Drobny. After failing to win the final of the tournament on three occasions, Drobny finally won the trophy in 1951 and had managed to do the same a year after.
Why Drobny is an interesting character is that despite being born in Czechoslovakia, he actually represented the country of Egypt. Another interesting fact about Drobny is that tennis wasn’t the only sport he played. He also managed to become an ice hockey champion.
Then, in the 1970s, the Bjorn Borg era started. The Swedish player won the tournament six times, earning himself a reputation as the king of clay. But, he was dethroned when Rafael Nadal came on stage. Since 2005, Nadal has won a total of 12 French Open titles, setting an all-time record.
Famous French Open Moments
With Rafael Nadal winning 12 tournaments in the period of 15 years, saying that the French Open has been an extremely thrilling championship in recent times would not be true. Especially knowing how exciting this tournament was back in the 1980s.
Considered one of the best tennis players of the 20th century, John McEnroe did not manage to win a single French Open. The closest he got was in 1984 when he played the final against Ivan Lendl, in which he was a big favorite. And everything seemed to be going in favor of the American from the very beginning. But, after winning two sets, McEnroe started losing his nerves. The next three sets went into Lendl’s favor.
Ivan Lendl took part in another memorable French Open match from the 80s. The year 1989 was when he played the final against the 17-year-old Michael Chang. Lendl was a giant favorite in this match, but David managed to beat Goliath, thus becoming the youngest-ever winning of the French Open.
The 1980s were an interesting decade when women’s tennis at the French Open is concerned as well. In 1985, the world saw a nerve-wracking final between two fierce rivals Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova. It was 1-1 in sets and 5-5 in games in the third set when Evert went 0-40 down on her won service. But, she somehow managed to turn it around to her favor, eventually winning the set 7-5 and grabbing herself the French Open title.
Speaking of women’s tennis, one of the most bizarre moments in the history of the sport happened at the Rolland Garros court in 1999 when Martina Hingis played Steffi Graf in the final. That match saw Hingis leaving the court for a bathroom break to change her clothes. She stayed in the toiled for over 10 minutes. And when her opponent scored the match-winning point, Hingis demonstratively left the court.
French Open Singles
The French Open is a tournament with five championships, namely men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles. Although all of these championships are packed with excitements, it’s the men’s singles category that attracts the most attention, especially among sports bettors.
The reason why tennis bettors love men’s singles at the French Open is that the favorite wins most of the time. Betting on Rafael Nadal has proven to be a smart decision. Those who did it in the last 15 years made themselves a lot of money.
Apart from Nadal, that period also saw his two main rivals winning the trophy one time each. We’re talking about Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, who did it in 2009 and 2016, respectively. Stan Wawrinka is the only other player who has managed to win the French Open since 2005.
But, there is one player who came really close in recent times. Dominic Thiem is the man we’re talking about. He played in the final of the French Open 2018 and the French Open 2019, losing to Rafael Nadal on both occasions. Considering that he was born in 1993, the Austrian player will have plenty of chances to win the tournament. And many believe he will manage to do it. Even the official website of the French Open has called him “the heir to the throne”.
Unlike in men’s singles, women’s singles championships at the French Open haven’t been dominated by one player. Instead, a number of players have won the trophy in recent years. Actually, each championship from 2007 had a different champion, with a total of 10 different players winning the trophy in that period.
An interesting fact about women’s tennis at Roland Garros is that one of the world’s most successful female players of all times, Serena Williams hasn’t been too successful at this court. The American player has won more than 20 Grand Slams, but only two of those were French Open tournaments.
Doubles at the French Open
The Bryan Brothers have been dominating the world of men’s tennis in the doubles category for nearly two decades. Still, Bob and Mike haven’t been too successful at Roland Garros. They have won it only two times, which doesn’t put them on the list of the most successful people in men’s doubles at the French Open, even when only active players are concerned.
Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor are the two most successful active tennis players in this category. They have four titles each, winning two titles while playing as a team. When it comes to the all-time records, Roy Emerson is at the very top of the table, with six trophies. However, the Australian won those titles during the amateur era of the tournament.
When it comes to the women’s doubles at the tournament, American players have been dominant. In fact, the female players from the United States have won a total of 61 so far, including the trophies from the amateur era, as well as from the French Open era.
American players lead the way when it comes to mixed doubles as well, although only when the French Open era trophies are concerned. When it comes to the trophies from the amateur era of the tournament, the French nationals are at the top of the table.
Depending on the sportsbook you choose, you can pick from all sorts of markets when betting on the French Open. Still, there are some markets that are more popular than others. And such, they are more commonly found in bookies’ offers. We’re now going to talk about some of those markets.
The most popular type of bet in tennis, regardless of the tournament, is the match winner. The reason is that it’s pretty straightforward – you just have to pick the player who is going to win the match. If they really win it, you get the money. If not, you lose your stake.
Considering that there are hundreds of matches in the French Open, you can place a really high number of these sorts of bets.
Another popular type of wager in tennis betting is the number of sets or games. Men’s Singles at the French Open can have up to five sets in total, while in other categories, the maximum number of sets is three. It’s up to you, the bettor, to guess how many sets will be in a specific French Open game.
French Open Outrights
Apart from betting on individual French Open matches, you also have the luxury to place bets that have to do with the tournament as a whole. For example, you can bet on who is going to win the Women’s Singles trophy at the next French Open.
The reason why in-play betting can be very profitable is that some players take time to get in the right form. Even the biggest favorites might struggle in the first few rounds of the tournament. But, that’s when they’re playing against the opponents who are much, much weaker.
In the first round of the French Open, Davids are pitted against Goliaths. But, unlike in the Biblical story, the giants almost never lose in the French Open, even if they start the match poorly. That said, if a major title contender, like Rafael Nadal, is losing to a major underdog, it’s wise to back the King of Clay through live betting. You can be sure you are going to get much better odds than before the match!
The French Open is one of the tennis tournaments with the highest number of participants. A total of 128 players are competing for the trophy. In order to grab it, a player needs to win seven matches straight.
By doing simple math, you can see that there is a huge number of French Open matches you can bet on. Finding a sportsbook that has those matches in the betting offer is the easy part. Most of them do, which is not surprising considering the French Open is among the most prestigious events in the world, not only when tennis is concerned, but all sports.
Picking the right bets is the difficult part. Knowing how much is at stake at this tournament, you can be certain that every single player is going to give their utmost in every single match. This is why predicting the winner is not an easy job. But, that’s exactly why French Open winner betting odds are really attractive.
It would be a shame not to take advantage of such high odds. But, how are you supposed to know which player to back?
The rule of thumb when the French Open is concerned is to bet on the players who do well on clay. This is the only Grand Slam tournament that is played on this surface, so you can expect players like Rafael Nadal to rule the courts.
Players to Watch Out For
Our advice is to check the previous performances of the players on this kind of surface. Some tournaments played on clay include the Italian Open, the Madrid Open, the Barcelona Open, the Hamburg Open, and so on.
If you take a look at how players performed in those tournaments the last year, you will who should be thought of as the French Open favorites. Spoiler alert – those guys include Rafael Nadal, Dominic Thiem, Alexander Zverev, Novak Djokovic, etc.
1. Rafael Nadal
When your nickname is the King of Clay, you must be among the biggest favorites for winning every tournament played at this tournament. Add to that the fact that Rafael Nadal is the absolute-record holder when it comes to the number of French Open trophies and you’ll see that the Spaniard is once again the biggest contender.
2. Novak Djokovic
Since Roger Federer is planning to retire soon, the biggest rival of Rafa Nadal is going to be Novak Djokovic. And it’s not just when the French Open is in question, but all the other major tournaments as well.
3. Dominic Thiem
Here’s a player who was very close to winning the French Open trophy on two occasions. And on both occasions, he lost to Rafael Nadal. What gives him hope that he’s gonna win the French Open at least once in the future is that he is several years younger than Nadal. And that means that his time is coming!
4. Alexander Zverev
Still in his early twenties, Alexander Zverev is another player with a bright future in elite tennis. There’s no doubt he has a huge potential and in order to realize that potential, he needs to win a major tournament such as the French Open.
Advice Before You Bet
The French Open 2020 starts on Sunday, May 24 and lasts for two weeks, that is, until Sunday, Jun 7 when the final match takes place. In those 14 days, you will get plenty of chances to add a few digits to your bank account. Of course, only if you bet on French Open matches wisely!
The best advice we can give you at this point is to bet on Nadal. He’s an absolute legend when it comes to playing on clay and with 12 titles, he’s the most successful player in the history of the tournament. Making an outright bet that the Spaniard is going to win his 13th French Open trophy seems like a smart decision. Unfortunately, you can’t expect to get too great odds on this bet. The reason? Everyone, including bookies, knows that he’s the biggest favorite for the title.
If you want bigger prizes, perhaps it’s better to look elsewhere. Betting on dark horses is guaranteed to bring more value. And the best thing is that you don’t have to back them to win the tournament; you can bet a player like Dominic Thiem is going to reach the semi-final.
Whatever you do, the most important thing is to do your research before placing a lot of money. Only then will you have the right to hope for big spoils.
French Open 2020 starts Sunday 24th May and the last game ends on Sunday 7th June.
Roland-Garros in Paris, France.
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