French Open Betting Guide 2021: How to Bet On Roland-Garros

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While tennis fans watch in awe as the top ATP and WTA athletes battle it out at the Stade Roland-Garros, the bettor in you can make the most of French Open betting. This competition, which is also known as Roland-Garros,  is the second tournament in the Grand Slam calendar, and the only one to be played on the quintessential red clay courts of Paris.

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2021 French Open Tennis Betting Odds, Promotions, Tips & Predictions

The French Open tennis tournament will begin in Paris on Monday the 24th of May, running for a fortnight until Sunday the 13th of June, one week later than originally scheduled.

This is when the men’s final will take place, one day after the ladies’ tournament is completed. It’s a standard setup for the French Open and a return to normal service after having been delayed for many months in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic that wrecked the international sporting calendar. Back in its normal slot for 2021, you have come to the right place for the best in French Open betting odds and French Open betting tips, which will be with you shortly.

French Open Tennis Betting Odds 2021

Novak Djokovic 6/17SBK
Stefanos Tsitsipas45/17SBK

French Open Tennis Betting Tips & Predictions 2021

The same rules apply to our French Open tips which will be delivered nearer to the time that the event begins. There are so many variables that go into the crafting of French Open tennis betting tips, that the smart play is to wait nearer the time when we know the details of player form and fitness. History, of course, is another factor. This is also why we can already say that Spain’s Rafael Nadal, the most successful man ever to play at Roland-Garros, will go off as the short-priced favourite.

Following a belated run in 2020, the 2021 French Open takes place in its usual place in the sporting calendar meaning it gets underway next week in Paris. On the men’s side of the tournament, the defending champion Rafael Nadal is in the hunt for his fifth successive title at Roland Garros and what would be record extending 14th crown and record setting 21st Grand Slam singles title for the Majorcan.

The world number three hasn’t been dubbed the king of clay without good reason and there have only been three occasions in which the Spaniard didn’t win this event since he first entered as a teenager back in 2005.

While Nadal hasn’t enjoyed the best of years, save for a win in Barcelona, he did triumph over Novak Djokovic in last week’s Italian Open final in Rome to put recent disappointing performances in Monte Carlo and Madrid to bed. You simply can’t back against Rafa at this event, and he looks to have timed his return to form perfectly once again although you do feel as though he could take down this event even out of form.

One young star to keep an eye on is 24-year-old German Alexander Zverev for whom a grand-slam title win is only a small matter of time. Zverev was the most recent US Open runner up and only this month won the Madrid Open and now something much bigger seems on to be on the horizon for the man from Hamburg.

As for the women’s event, 19-year-old Iga Swiatek from Poland is the defending champion having won the belated 2020 tournament last October.

Like Nadal, Swiatek could soon be the dominant force on clay after following up her Roland Garros win with a strong showing on the surface this season which includes winning last week’s Italian Open where she only dropped one set all tournament long.

If she was to win this year’s event it would be the first successful defence of a French Open women’s title since Belgium’s Justine Henin-Hardenne in 2006.

French Open Tennis Betting Promotions 2021

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Understanding French Open Betting

French Open betting outright (to win the tournament) odds are made available for the following year’s event as soon as the ongoing tournament draws to a close. You can expect to see the finalists and past champions feature right at the forefront of Roland-Garros betting odds.

These odds are likely to fluctuate because of the results in the Grand Slams that follow the French Open. However, expect to see a flurry of activity around the European clay-court season that begins (approximately) 42 days before Roland-Garros. Besides the other tournaments, we have the men’s Monte-Carlo Masters played in France and the women’s Stuttgart Open in Germany.

This is followed by the two primary warm-up tournaments for the French Open – the Madrid Open and Italian Open, played out over two weeks.

French Open Betting: Factors You Must Consider

French Open betting needs a different approach. Why?

  • It's all about the surface. Clay is the slowest of all surfaces, making Roland-Garros the most taxing tournament in the tennis world. The nature of the surface takes speed out of the equation while offering a higher bounce. That’s why winners are difficult to come by, with long, baseline rallies being the hallmark.
  •  When approaching French Open betting, remember that baseline sluggers have a leg up over more attacking players depending on a serve-and-volley game. Rafael Nadal (with 12 French Open titles and counting) is the ideal example of a baseline player who has found much success on this surface.
  • Make no mistake, a blistering serve helps. But clay tempers the potency of a strong serve, making it relatively less effective compared to serving on the grass at Wimbledon or the hard courts at Australian Open and US Open.
  • Now, this means that holding serve on clay is far more challenging than other surfaces. Due to the ball sitting up nicely every time, a good returner will put the pressure back on the server.
  • Remember this French Open betting tip – jarring baseline rallies are the norm at Roland-Garros. Therefore, athleticism and mobility will hold the key. A top-class clay-court athlete's hallmark is his/her tenacity to scramble across the baseline persistently and defend well to keep the ball deep. This helps the player to force the error on the opposition.
  • Clay courts are particularly conducive to topspin. So a loopy deep ball, drop shots, and short-angled slices are especially effective.

All in all, clay is a back-breaking surface that favours athletes at peak condition over players who rely on a monstrous serve, quick-fire volleys, and overall technical ability.


French Open Betting Strategies

While there’s no element of surety to French Open tennis betting, there are a few tips that can put you at a better spot and increase your chances of winning:

Understand Style of Play

You’ve got to understand serving and returning if you were to make a successful French Open betting strategy. Due to the slower nature of the surface, big servers don’t have it easy at Roland-Garros, unlike Wimbledon. That’s also why even the best Wimbledon betting tips will not apply to French Open betting.

Now, don’t get it wrong; a monster serve undoubtedly is a useful tool in a player’s weaponry. But he/she has to be an excellent returner to put the pressure back on the opponent.

Tiebreaks are Rare

We can take a look at Djokovic and Nadal to drive clarity. For instance, till the completion of the 2020 Australian Open, Djokovic has been involved in only 27 tiebreaks at Roland-Garros when compared to 41 at US Open, 37 at the Australian Open, and 54 at Wimbledon. Likewise, Nadal has been involved in 22 tiebreaks at Roland-Garros compared to 36 at the US Open, 40 at the Australian Open, and 39 at Wimbledon.

The lesson to take home is that tiebreaks are relatively rare at the French Open, simply because breaking a service game is more likely. Tread carefully if you wish to bet on a set going to a tiebreak.

Steer Clear of Players with Injury Concerns

Stamina and athleticism will hold the key for any player hoping to go the distance at Roland-Garros. No matter how good the player is, chances are he/she would not be abler to steamroller opponents in straight sets. Again, it all comes down to clay's unique characteristics and how a match is likely to be played out here.

Staying at peak physical shape is vital if one is to nurture hopes of winning the French Open. Any player heading into the tournament with even the smallest of injuries will find it increasingly difficult as the rounds progress. You must factor in this when looking at outright French Open betting odds.

Consider In-play Betting

Suppose two equally-matched athletes are squaring off against each other, where picking a favourite is difficult. With in-play betting, you can wait and watch how the first set plays out before choosing to get involved. The idea is to watch first and bet later.

If a player has been returning well, you can bet on him/her to continue playing in similar fashion through subsequent games and sets. Likewise, if you have a good feeling about a particular player going the distance, you can bet on them in the outright market. Today, most leading bookies offer outright French Open betting odds even when a tournament is underway.

Choose Your Player Wisely

Clay doesn’t care for champions. While some take to this surface naturally (think Rafael Nadal or Dominic Thiem), some struggle to find their footing, despite being excellent athletes otherwise, with multiple Grand Slam titles in their cabinet.

Think about it – for the GOAT that he is, Roger Federer hasn’t ever got a proper grip on the ball on this surface; he won the French Open just once in 2009, arguably due to Rafa’s shock exit at the hands of Robin Soderling.

Conversely, there have been players who could only taste sweet success at Roland-Garros, but with no other Grand Slam to their names: Sergi Bruguera, Yannick Noah, Gustavo Kuerten, Carlos Moya, Albert Costa, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Gastón Gaudio – it’s a long and illustrious list.

And, finally, the most crucial bit…

Never Forget the Irresistible Force

Rafael Nadal is called the King of Clay and with good reason. He has won a mind-numbing 12 times here, a feat that will take some beating. No other tournament has ever been witness to such sheer dominance of this proportion. So, until Rafa hangs up his boots, he will always remain (arguably) the most potent force.

The women’s draw isn’t as straightforward. Ashleigh Barty won her maiden French Open title in 2020, defeating rising star Markéta Vondroušová in a gripping final. Now that Maria Sharapova has called it curtains on her career, as many as six players (expected to be) in the women’s draw have won the Roland-Garros earlier – Barty, Garbine Muguruza, Serena Williams, Jelena Ostapenko, Svetlana Kuznetsova, and Simona Halep.


5 Reasons to Bet on The French Open Tennis

  • This is the second tennis major of the season.
  • The French Open provides a handy form guide for Wimbledon, just a few weeks away.
  • We are witnessing history in the men’s event where Rafael Nadal is breaking Roland-Garros records.
  • This is one of Tennis betting’s biggest events.
  • The world’s best players will all be in attendance.


Betting Sites With French Open Tennis Live Streaming


Popular French Open Betting Markets

It’s not only the players who win at Roland-Garros, but you also can. Make the most of a range of exciting French Open betting markets as well as impressive odds and place a bet to start winning.

Take note that clay is markedly distinct from other surfaces so you should consider all its idiosyncrasies before betting with cash. Listed below are the more sought-after French Open betting markets:

Match Result

Also called Match Betting or Moneyline, this is undoubtedly a classic. However, it can be challenging to predict who’d beat whom in a head-to-head at Roland-Garros. Keep an eye out for players who have fared well in clay-court tournaments in the past. If you have a personal favourite, assess how he/she performed at the French Open the previous year.

Another good indicator is your selection’s H2H against the same opponent.

Best French Open betting site for match result: Betfair

Set Heading for a Tiebreak

Some athletes have a thing for tiebreaks (Roger Federer is regarded as a tiebreak titan). When they play, you half expect the set to go to a tiebreak. For instance, American John Isner is known for his extended matches. Who would ever forget his first-round match against Nicolas Mahut at the 2010 Wimbledon! For those uncertain what a tiebreak is, they are enforced when a set cannot be split naturally, and the players cannot be separated from a 6-6 score. A tiebreak is played in all sets of the match except the final one, where players continue until one secures a two-game lead. Serving in the tiebreak works alternatingly as players aim to be the first to reach seven. If the players are still tied at 6-6, they continue playing until one player has a two-point lead over the other and is deemed the winner.

Best French Open betting site for tiebreak: BoyleSports

To Win in Straight Sets

This could be a vital addition to your French Open betting arsenal, especially if there’s a player who is in red hot form going into the tournament. So, this market can be a money-maker with somebody like Nadal or Thiem, particularly during the early stages of Roland-Garros.

However, the French Open men’s betting odds are likely to be longer than those on women, considering women only play best of three sets while men play best of five.

Best French Open betting site for straight set win: Novibet

Outright Winner

Betting in this market means you are taking a punt on a player to win the tournament. That way, outright betting represents a long-term opportunity. Before you dive headlong into this market, ensure you are updated with the latest French Open betting odds.

The idea is simple – you win the wager if the player you back wins the trophy. Notably, the odds are generally long, allowing you to put your money on two or more players and still enjoy handsome winnings.

Best French Open betting site for outright winner: bet365


Tournament Structure For The French Open

The French Open at Roland-Garros in Paris is the only tennis major played on a clay surface. This clay surface plays a crucial role in determining the winner of the tournament, as do the other surfaces, grass and hard (acrylic), for different tournaments. This is why the arguably finest two players in the history of the men’s game – Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal – have vastly different records at events such as Paris (clay court) and Wimbledon (grass court). In fact, Nadal, known as the King of Clay, is the most successful men’s single in the history of Roland-Garros.

The tournament itself, both for the men, who play best of five set matches, and women, who play best of three, is a seeded knockout format. Players progress after each win, while match losers are eliminated until there are only two players left. These two will compete in a final to be played on the last weekend of the tournament. The women’s final is played first on the Saturday and the men’s is played one day later on the Sunday. In both cases, the winner of the final is the winner of that year’s tournament and the new French Open champion.


History of The French Open

The legend of Roland-Garros began about 130 summers ago. The tournament stands out in the international sporting calendar and has rightfully earned a badge of heritage in its native country, France.

After the tournament began in 1891, Frenchman Max Decugis emerged an unlikely hero, winning the French Clay-court Championships – as it was then called – eight times between 1903 and 1914. In that era, participation was limited to members of French clubs. Decugis’s feat was a record that was overhauled in 2014 by Rafael Nadal.

The year 1925 witnessed a significant change when participation was opened to international players. Subsequently, the French Open – as we know it today – was born. However, French nationals continued to dominate proceedings, ushering in a golden era of sorts. Suzanne Lenglen clinched the French Championships six times between 1925 and 1926 (2 singles, 2 doubles, 2 mixed doubles) in the women’s draw. In doing so, she became the most decorated tennis player in that era.

On the men’s side, René Lacoste, Henri Cochet, Jacques Brugnon, and Jean Borotra – the four Musketeers – shared 10 singles titles between them from 1922 to 1932. The arena was later renamed Roland-Garros, a namesake of the pioneering aviator killed in action during World War I.

When the Open Era began in 1968, Roland-Garros assumed added significance. Björn Borg (six French Open titles) and Chris Evert (seven, a women’s singles record) dominated the court. While the French did put up some opposition (with Françoise Dürr winning the title in 1967, Yannick Noah in 1983 and Mary Pierce in 2000), it wasn’t enough to stop the Spanish juggernaut that took Paris by the storm from 1990 onwards.

Arantxa Sanchez (1989, 1994, 1998), Sergi Bruguera (1993, 1994), Carlos Moya (1998), Albert Costa (2002), and Juan Carlos Ferrero (2003) were all forerunners of Rafael Nadal, the Matador from Manacor. With 13 French Open titles to his name, won between 2005 and 2020, Nadal has rewritten the playbook and shown what can be achieved through sheer athleticism and dogged determination at Roland-Garros.
At the same time, the most elusive Grand Slam (one can argue) has hoodwinked, time and again, some of the biggest names, including Jimmy Connors, Stefan Edberg, John McEnroe, Martina Hingis, Boris Becker, and Venus Williams. After bowing out from the finals thrice – twice to Nadal in 2012 and 2014, and once to Stanislas Wawrinka in 2015, Novak Djokovic left this (distinguished yet damned) club in 2016. But since then and to date, it has only been the Rafa show lighting up the Parisian skies.

Recent French Open Winners

YearMen’s WinnerMen’s Runner-upFinal Scoreline
2020Rafael NadalNovak Djokovic6–0, 6–2, 7–5
2019Rafael NadalDominic Thiem6-3, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1
2018Rafael NadalDominic Thiem6-4, 6-3, 6-2
2017Rafael NadalAndy Murray6-2, 6-3, 6-1
2016Novak DjokovicStanislas Wawrinka3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4
2015Stanislas WawrinkaNovak Djokovic4-6, 6-4, 6-3, 6-4
2014Rafael NadalNovak Djokovic3–6, 7–5, 6–2, 6–4

YearWomen’s WinnerWomen’s Runner-upFinal Scoreline
2020Iga ŚwiątekSofia Kenin6–4, 6–1
2019Ashleigh BartyMarkéta Vondroušová6-1, 6-3
2018Simona HalepSloane Stephens3–6, 6–4, 6–1
2017Jelena OstapenkoSimona Halep4–6, 6–4, 6–3
2016Garbine MuguruzaSerena Williams7–5, 6–4
2015Serena WilliamsLucie Šafářová6-3, 6-7, 6-2
2014Maria SharapovaSimona Halep6-4, 6-7, 6-4


5 Most Successful Men at Roland-Garros

Over the years, many have tried to etch their names on the red dirt. None could ever come close to the Matador from Spain, Rafael Nadal.

Here are some of the Open Era greats:

PlayerOpen Era ChampionshipsYears
Rafael Nadal (ESP)132005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Björn Borg (SWE)61974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
Mats Wilander (SWE)31982, 1985, 1988
Ivan Lendl (TCH)31984, 1986, 1987
Gustavo Kuerten31997, 2000, 2001

(Only Open Era championships have been included)

5 Most Successful Women at Roland-Garros

The first women’s game was held in 1897. American Chris Evert had a blistering run of form through the mid-70’s and early-80’s.

Here’s taking a look at some of the women’s Open Era greats:

PlayerOpen Era ChampionshipsYears
Chris Evert (USA)71974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986
Steffi Graf (GER)61987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999

Margaret Court (AUS)3 (+2 in the Amateur Era)1969, 1970, 1973
Justine Henin (BEL)42003, 2005, 2006, 2007
"Arantxa" Sánchez Vicario31989, 1994, 1998

(Only Open Era championships have been included)


French Open Tennis Key Stats

  • With 13 championship wins, Spain’s Rafael Nadal is the most successful men’s player of all time at the French Open.
  • His female equivalent is Germany’s Steffi Graf who has six titles to her name.
  • USA’s Michael Chang is the youngest ever winner of the men’s competition, lifting the trophy when he was just 17 years and three months old.
  • Younger still was Monica Seles who won the women’s event when she was 16 and a half, making her the youngest ever ladies’ champion.
  • On four occasions, the men’s tournament has been won by an unseeded player, one more time than the women’s event which has been won by a non-seed on three occasions.


Similar Tournaments to The French Open Tennis

  • 28th June – 11th July, Wimbledon: The oldest and the most prestigious tournament in the world of tennis and one of the four classics, this event is held at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in Wimbledon, South London.
  • 30th August – 12th September, The US Open: The highest paying classic and the last to be held each year, this tournament takes place in Flushing Meadows, New York.
  • 17th – 30th January, The Australian Open: Melbourne is the setting to the first classic of the season.


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French Open Betting FAQs

❓ Which Are The Best Betting Sites For French Open Betting?

The best bookmakers for French Open betting are William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral.

✅ Where Can I Watch The French Open?

Terrestrial viewers can watch coverage of Roland-Garros for free on ITV4, but footage will also be available on Eurosport.

⭕ When is the 2021 French Open2021?

Terrestrial viewers can watch coverage of Roland-Garros for free on ITV4, but footage will also be available on Eurosport. Terrestrial viewers can watch coverage of Roland-Garros for free on ITV4, but footage will also be available on Eurosport.

👌 How many players participate in the Roland-Garros?

Both the men’s and women’s singles draw consist of 128 players. This, however, excludes the qualifiers.

💲 Can I bet on the French Open for real money?

Of course, you can. Knowledge of the sport is essential, however, to make informed bets, look up our post on the best tennis betting sites.

❗ How can I Withdraw Winnings From French Open Betting?

Usually, the payment option that you use for depositing the funds is the one that you use to withdraw your winnings as well. In fact, online bookmakers will credit the money to your account via the same method.

❌ How can I find the most reliable bookies?

Stick to the best betting sites we recommend. Should you choose one outside of the list, make sure it is reputed and certified by licensing authorities. Here are the best UK betting sites for you.


ThePuntersPage Final Say

This French Open betting guide seeks to help you bet successfully and boost your winnings. We have compiled the top markets and offered proven tips and strategies that can help you make an informed decision, so we suggest you read our guide carefully.

However, success will ultimately depend on the work you put in and your ability to draw out a value proposition. Be smart with your money and try not to go overboard, for it can be difficult to get back what you lose.

More importantly, be sure to read our bookmaker reviews which cover in detail all the most important aspects of each of the best UK bookies.