| Sat 26/05/2018 - 06:01 EDT

French Open Tennis 2018: Schedule of Play, Favourites and Sleepers

French Open Tennis 2018: Schedule of Play, Favourites and Sleepers

French Open Tennis Preview

Nadal recaptured his first love when he won last year's French Open for the first time since 2017 following battles with injury. The road to him repeating is easier on paper with top contenders Roger Federer and Andy Murray out. Anything short of a victory will be a historic upset

On the women's side, world number-one Simona Halep is favoured despite never having won a Grand Slam tournament in her life. She'll have a tough task as all-time great Serena Williams returns while a stacked field including last year's champion Jelena Ostapenko returns.

2018 French Open – Schedule of Play

Date Session Gates Open Play Starts
Sun May 27 Day-First Round 10.00am 11.00am
Mon May 28 Day-First Round 10.00am 11.00am
Tue May 29 Day-First Round 10.00am 11.00am
Wed May 30 Day-Second Round 10.00am 11.00am
Thu May 31 Day-Second Round 10.00am 11.00am
Fri Jun 1 Day-Third Round 10.00am 11.00am
Sat Jun 2 Day-Third Round 10.00am 11.00am
Sun Jun 3 Day-Fourth Round 10.00am 11.00am
Mon Jun 4 Day-Fourth Round 10.00am 11.00am
Tue Jun 5 Day-Quarter Finals 10.00am 11.00am
Wed Jun 6 Day-Quarter Finals 11.00am 12.00pm
Thu Jun 7 Day-Women’s Semi Finals 11.00am 12.00pm
Fri Jun 8 Day-Men’s Semi Finals 11.00am 12.00pm
Sat Jun 9 Day-Women’s Finals 11.00am 12.00pm
Sun Jun 10 Day -Men’s Finals 11.00am 12.00pm

We break down the top contenders heading into the tournament: 

*All odds courtesy of Sports Interaction.

ATP: Nadal is the Significant Favourite

Rafael Nadal (Favourite)

  • Odds to win French Open: -310

The defending champion is the favourite and there really is little competition on paper. He won't be facing a high-seeded player until at least the semifinals. Young up-and-comer Jack Sock (14) and local fave Richard Gasquet (27) are Nadal's most immediate "challenges" if they don't get upset early.

The more significant competition has been lumped in the bottom part of the bracket with the likes of Alexander Zverev (2), Dominic Thiem (7), and Stan Wawrinka (23) all fighting for a semifinal spot. Nadal won't meet any of them until the Final assuming one of them makes it.

Then there's Novak Djokovic (20) who is in the middle bracket and needs to get past a slew of top-15 seeds including Grigor Dimitrov (4) and 2017 quarterfinalist Pablo Carreno Busta (10). 

The roads couldn't be smoother for Nadal to win his 11th French Open.

Rafael Nadal (-310)

Alexander Zverev

  • Odds to win French Open: +726

The 21-year-old upstart is the distant second to win the French Open. The world number three has been on a roll this year, especially on clay. He won his third Masters 1000 title in Madrid in a dominant fashion not losing a set all tournament. He went on a 13-match winning streak until losing to Nadal in Rome.

Seeded second, Zverev is going to be the slight fave to capture his first Grand Slam should Nadal get upset. He has a tough bracket with 2015 winner Wawrinka (23) possibly meeting him in the fourth-round. Thiem (7) is a likely quarterfinals opponent if not Kei Nishikori (19) who beat him in Monte Carlo.

The young German's success will need luck and upsets. He's a shaky bet but outside Nadal, this is a wide-open tournament.

Alexander Zverev (+726)

Novak Djokovic

  • Odds to win French Open: +900

Djoker is the wild card of this tournament. Still recovering from elbow surgery, Djokovic had a 6-6 record heading to Rome but showed flashes of his peak form by making a run to the semifinals. If he's feeling more like his old self, he is a steal at this price especially since Nadal is the only true threat when he's at his best.

Seeded #20, Djokovic will face adversity early in the middle bracket. He could face Grigor Dimitrov (4) in the fourth round then Carreno Busta (10) in the quarters and Zverev (2) or Thiem (7) in the semis. Wawrinka (23) is also a possible opponent if the Swiss is back to his old self. 

Djokovic is a solid underdog bet considering his potential but he's a boom-or-bust player. Neither early elimination or a run to the semis is surprising really but optimistic fans could take a stab and hope for the best.

Novak Djokovic (+900)

WTA: Halep Goes For Her First as Serena Returns

Simona Halep (Favourite)

  • Odds to win French Open: +527

The world number-one is the sceptical favourite, especially with Serena Williams' shadow. The two-time Roland Garros finalist benefits from having a smooth bracket and won't run into a top-15 seed until the quarters. Upset-minded Kristina Mladenovic (29) could be her biggest challenge if they meet in the second round.

The middle bracket isn't strong either with Angelique Kerber (12) and Caroline Garcia (7) as the highest seeds with neither one being a true threat on clay. It's the semifinals where it gets testy. Either 2016 champion Garbie Muguruza (3), Karolina Pliskova (6), or Williams could be meeting her.

She's never won a Grand Slam but this is Halep's best chance to do so. Williams could still be rusty from her long break and the rest of the top-ten have been inconsistent. Now is Halep's time.

Simona Halep (+527)

Serena Williams

  • Odds to win French Open: +1000

Williams is like Djokovic on the men's side, she's the wild card of the tournament. She returns after a maternity leave and should be in good health although being rusty is another thing. Being unseeded, Williams enters in the middle bracket and will face seeded opponents as soon as the second-round.

If Williams makes it to the fourth round, she could face either 2017 semifinalist Pliskova (6) or rival Maria Sharapova (28) if either makes it that far. In the quarters, she could rematch Muguruza (3) who beat her in the 2016 Final. And in the semis, it could be a date with top-seeded Halep barring any major upsets.

It's unclear how Williams will look out there. She's no spring chicken either at 36 and has a tough draw. At these odds, it might be worth a look but where god knows where she finishes.

Serena Williams (+1000)

Best Canadian Sportsbooks for Tennis

The French Open is the biggest tennis event this summer. Canadian tennis fans head to these online sportsbooks, which all serve Canadians and offer the best odds on all matches. Review each book before making deposits.

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