The French Open is the second major tournament on the tennis calendar and the only one that is played on clay. Referred to as simply ‘Roland-Garros’ by avid tennis fans, the competition begins each year in late May and has produced some of the most legendary matches and individual performances in it’s decorated history spanning more than one hundred years.
Roland Garros presents a totally different challenge for it’s competitors, which in turn provides plenty of opportunity throughout the betting community. With each match consisting of much more than just head-to-head lines, the tournament offers a chance for punters to be as creative as the players are on the unique surface. Below you will find a comprehensive overview of the tournament, including odds from a variety of providers and our best betting tips to help you win big at the Open.
French Open Men
Latest odds update: 06/10/2017
Notable French Open Men’s Winners (Open Era)
- 10 – Rafael Nadal (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017)
- 6 – Bjorn Borg (1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981)
Due to the relatively similar surfaces found at Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open, the men’s world number one at any given time will normally be someone that excels on these surfaces rather than the clay courts of Roland Garros. For this reason, it is rare for the world’s best player to go into a French Open tournament as the favourite, and the list of contenders is normally far different to that seen at one of the other three slams.
And this trend has been apparent over most of the last two decades; the world number one has only won the French Open twice since the turn of the century (Gustavo Kuerten in 2001 and Rafael Nadal in 2014). The best way to sum up the difference is to note that Roger Federer, the greatest player of all time with nineteen career slam victories, has only won at Roland Garros once (although he could probably blame Rafael Nadal for this!).
So when looking at the French Open, make sure you take into consideration the Spring clay season and the performances of the top players at European tournaments such as the Monte-Carlo Masters, Madrid Open and Italian Open. Typically, performances at the Australian Open can be disregarded when trying to pick a winner at Roland Garros.
Head to Head Betting
The clay courts at the French Open are a nightmare for players like Milos Raonic and Marin Cilic, two players that have built their game around a big serve. As the surface is much slower, you will see less aces and longer rallies, meaning that fitness plays a very important role in determining the eventual winner. A player that has made it to the quarter-finals with straight set victories is much more likely to come out on top against a player who has been taken to five sets on at least one occasion.
Similarly, statistics like ‘most aces’ and ‘unforced errors’ will be a key, and there are a number of companies that will allow you to bet on these exotic markets. Ensure you do your research before attempting a bet here, which can prove to be quite rewarding if you know your tennis.
French Open Women
Latest Odds Update: 06/10/2017
Notable French Open Women’s Winners (Open Era)
- 7 – Chris Evert (1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986)
- 6 – Steffi Graf (1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999)
- 4 – Justine Henin (2003, 2005, 2006, 2007)
Just like the men’s draw, the top prospects for the outright victory at the French Open are likely to be reasonably different to what you would expect to see in the other three majors, although the difference in pace is less noticeable than in the men’s game.
The women’s calendar has a similar Spring clay season, however the venues vary slightly, with Marrakesh and Bogota hosting the tournaments that you will need to follow to have any chance of picking a female victor.
The difference between the men’s and women’s draws over the last few decades has been that the tournament can seemingly be won by anyone. This isn’t surprising considering since 2005 there have been fifteen different world number ones in the women’s game compared with just four in the men’s singles. While the odds may be available for the French Open up to a year in advance, your best bet is to wait until May to make your decision.
Live betting is offered by many of the top companies and is extremely valuable in tennis matches. This is best utilised when you know the favourite in a matchup and are looking at a number of matches at once. It is not uncommon for higher-ranked players to drop the first set of a match and come back to win, particularly in women’s tennis. Look for those matches where a favourite is struggling early and watch the odds increase in your favour.
French Open Betting Odds 2018
The French Open begins around that time that you can feel Summer is well and truly in the air, and there are a number of markets available to really heat things up from a betting perspective. From pre-tournament futures odds, to individual match and set betting prices, not to mention a wide variety of prop betting options, our top ranked sportsbooks listed below have tennis fans covered throughout the 14 days.
Rafael Nadal will go into the 2018 French Open as a clear and overwhelming favourite ahead of a chasing pack that realistically has no chance if the King of Clay turns up in a winning mood. The ten-time champion is so far ahead of the pack that it’s hard to see anything except a lack of motivation preventing him from an eleventh title, something that has never been an issue for the Spanish champion.
Injuries are a possibility though, and considering his odds are already about as short as they are likely to get, it is worth holding off on a bet until you can be sure that Nadal will appear in full form and fitness at Roland Garros.
In the event that he doesn’t make it, the tournament would really throw up a challenge to punters. A lot rests on whether Novak Djokovic will return to form, however there are a number of outside chances like Stan Warwinka and Dominic Thiem that could have a shot. And don’t forget Roger Federer who, if he chooses to play, can never be ruled out of a grand slam, even on clay.
As for the women, well as indicated above it’s almost impossible to pick a winner this far out from the start of the competition. Serena Williams will once again be favoured to win the tournament, however it is unknown how much the birth of her first child will impact her form and fitness. As it stands, the greatest female athlete of our generation has only won three of her 23 grand slams at Roland Garros, so she is by no means a sure thing.
Two-time runner-up Simona Halep is touted as the next best chance, and she will be itching to make amends after losing to unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the 2017 final, while Maria Sharapova is listed as a chance to win her third title.
While it is unclear at this point who will take out the French Open championship in 2018, it is certainly going to be an entertaining tournament, and having a bet on the outright winner will only add to the enjoyment. Make sure you stay tuned for updates as they come to light; we will continue to provide you with all the best betting tips leading up to the tournament.