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

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 is the second tournament in the Grand Slam calendar, and the only one to be played on the quintessential red clay courts of Paris.

The Best Betting Sites for the French Open

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French Open 2021 Betting Odds

In 2020, owing to the global pandemic, the second Grand Slam of the year was postponed to September 21 – October 11, which gave the tournament an additional six days. However, Tournament Director Guy Forget has announced that the 2021 French Open will go ahead and take place during its usual May/June slot. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

We will add the latest odds soon – keep watching this space!

 

French Open 2021: Tournament Information

We will update this section once this information is available.

 

French Open 2021 Predictions

Our betting predictions for the 2021 French Open will be added closer to the commencement of the tournament.

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bet365
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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 Tips and 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.

 

Popular French Open Betting Markets

It’s not only the players who win at Roland-Garros – many bettors stand to take home handsome prizes too! Make the most of a range of exciting French Open betting markets and impressive odds to get the most bang for your buck.

We’ve already told you how clay is markedly distinct from other surfaces and that you should consider all its idiosyncrasies before placing any bets. 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.

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 could ever forget his first-round match against Nicolas Mahut at the 2010 Wimbledon!

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. Therefore, this market can be a money-maker with somebody like a 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 compared to the men who play the best of five.

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.

Roland-Garros: A slice of history

The legend of Roland-Garros began about 129 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, the 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 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 12 French Open titles to his name, won between 2005 and 2019, 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 Champions at the French Open

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

Recent Champions at the French Open

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.

Throughout the mid-1970’s and early 80’s, American Chris Evert displayed a blistering run of form. Below is her number of Championships won, along with those of a few other 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 Betting FAQs

 🏆 When is the 2021 French Open?

Despite the 2020 edition of the tournament having been postponed due to the global pandemic, the 2021 French Open will be taking place during its usual May/June slot, according to Tournament Director Guy Forget. We will update you with more information about the schedule when it is available.

❌ 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. A good knowledge of the sport is essential, however, to make informed bets. To brush up on what you need to know, check out our article on the best tennis betting sites.

 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?

Simple - just check out our list of the best UK betting sites out there, and take your pick! Should you choose one that's not mentioned here, make sure it has been licensed and certified by the proper authorities.

 

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.