French Open betting

We’ll explore these questions and quite a lot more, concluding with some French Open betting strategies and French Open betting tips. These should be more than enough to make your next tennis bet better than the last – which is what we’re all about here at Betting Fellow.

The four Grand Slam tournaments are the cornerstone of top-level international tennis. And we’re not just talking about the prestige and rewards here. If you’re into tennis betting, these four tournaments are some of the most exciting events all year. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at The French Open – otherwise known as Roland Garros. What makes this major tournament unique among the Grand Slams? What are some things you should pay attention to during French Open betting?

We’ll explore these questions and quite a lot more, concluding with some French Open betting strategies and French Open betting tips. These should be more than enough to make your next tennis bet better than the last – which is what we’re all about here at Betting Fellow. 

French Open Results

French Open History and General Info

The full name of this respected competition is Championnats Internationaux de France de tennis or the Tournoi de Roland-Garros, which translates to the "French International Championships of Tennis", or the Roland Garros Tournament. Still, it is most often referred to simply as the French Open or French Open.

The first tournament was held in 1891, some 15 years after court tennis as we know it today was invented as an alternative to the indoor tennis that was popular at the time. Back then the event was known simply as the French Championships and only admitted players from French Clubs. The international tennis scene was nothing even close to what we bear witness to these days, and the original competition was more of a national championship, as the name might imply.

Because of this, some consider the Wolrd Hard Court Championships to be French Open’s true predecessor. Held at the Stade Francais from 1912 to 1923, this was a truly international competition, accepting players from all across the globe. The tournament was rather short-lived, however, and was dropped because tennis was an event at the 1924 Olympics in Paris.

In 1925, the Championships were opened to amateur players from other countries. It is also interesting to note that female players were already accepted at this point – the first women's singles event was held in 1897 as part of the Championships. This was still slightly behind the curve set by the likes of Wimbledon and was followed by the first Mixed Doubles tournament in 1902. Either way, this is considered to be the true turning point which led RollanGarros to become the giant it is today – although the start of the Open era in the 1960s was just as important, if not more.

To the standard viewer, French Open has one distinguishing characteristic that it’s held on to for more than a century: the clay court surface. For decades, it was the only Grand Slam tourney not held on grass. However, the US Open and Australian Open switched to a hard court, leaving Wimbledon the only grass-court Grand Slam. Either way, the French Open held on to its clay tradition for as long as it has existed. So why are we interrupting the short history lesson to tell you this? The surface has had a profound impact on how French Open is played and perceived. Clay is considered the “slowest” among standard tennis, extending the matches significantly. As a result, French Open is widely seen as the most physically demanding major tennis tournament. We’ll get to the specifics of how this might affect your French Open bets – just make a mental note of it for now.

The grounds where French Open is held – now known as Court Philippe Chatrier – has a rather interesting story. It starts with the "Four Musketeers" – a quartet of French tennis players who dominated the international scene during the 20s and 30s. They won the Davis Cup in 1927, and it was decided that a new court will be used to defend the title. The tennis authorities were given three hectares of land, on the condition that the new facilities be named after the French WW1 hero pilot French Open. The Championships were moved there in 1928, and have been held there every year since.

Typically, Roland Garros is in early June, with qualifying tournaments a few weeks prior.


The events held annually at French Open are more-or-less similar to other Grand Slam tourneys, although there are some important distinctions in the ruleset.

The events are divided into three categories – the main events, doubles, and the so-called Legends Invitational trophy. The main events are, as one might expect, the centrepiece of the whole competition. They include two Singles tournaments – Men’s and Women’s – with 128 participants each. There are also Doubles categories with 64 teams each, including a mixed doubles event.

The Juniors events feature all pretty much the same tournaments but are reserved for young players aged 14 to 18. Conversely, the Legends trophy is played by noteworthy past players past their professional careers. For instance, there are categories for ages between 35 and 45, 45+ and so on. Additionally, special competitions are held for players in wheelchairs and quad tennis. Still, much of the focus in terms of both media coverage and French Open betting offers remains on the main events.

Besides champions being named for each of the above categories, there are several separate prizes given to players for reasons other than winning. These were implemented starting in 1981 and include:

The Prix Orange, given to the player demonstrating the best sportsmanship and acting as a fitting ambassador to the press.

The Prix Citron, for the player with the “strongest character and personality.”

The Prix Bourgeou, for the most noted rising star.

These prizes were introduced as just one of the several efforts this annual event has made in an attempt to rejuvenate and innovate. There were even talks to begin moving the French Open away from Roland Garros for a time, although such ideas were dropped in favour of improving the existing framework.

A system of seeds and draws is used to determine the proceedings, as is the case with most ATP-backed competitions. By this system, the 32 top-ranked players are used to create 8 separate sections of the tournament tables. Each section has four seeded players combined with players who qualified through other means – be it ATP/WTA rankings, qualifying tournaments, or Wild Cards or Lucky Losers.

As always in tennis, all tournaments are single-elimination. Essentially, all players progress along the tournament table by beating their opponents and eliminating them from the tournament. The results and prizes, both monetary and in ATP rank points, are determined by how far the participant managed to climb up the table.

Men’s Singles and Men’s Doubles events are played exclusively as best-of-five sets, while all other matchups are determined in a best-of-three. Combined with the “slow” nature of matches played on a clay surface, this is another of the major reasons why French Open is considered a test of endurance. A player would need to participate in at least 7 matches to be named champions, and these can sometimes last up to between four and six hours. The matter of extremely long matches is further complicated by the exceptionally long rallies caused by the clay surface and the lack of a tiebreaker in final sets. As of the writing of this article, the French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament that refuses to implement such tie-breaks. In a way, the French Open is known for gruellingly long six-hour marathons, as finial sets occasionally take more than 20 games to complete.

How to Bet on French Open

All of this should give you at least a slight idea about how to improve your French Open predictions. Before we go any further, let’s talk about the elephant in the room: the clay grounds. Clay grounds slow down the ball considerably more than grass or hard surfaces. Furthermore, the ball tends to bounce much higher, which just adds to the same problem where games are extended and slowed down. In a way, this is a stark contrast to Wimbledon, whose grass courts cause the ball to bounce lower and support the idea of quick play and powerful serves. If you’re interested, we’ve covered the different side of the same coin in our Wimbledon betting guide.

As a result, big servers and players who rely on a serve-and-volley playstyle are seen as having a disadvantage on clay courts. This puts the French Open in a precarious position, seeing how the global trend for tennis tactics in recent decades has been to favour a strong serve-and-volley. This has had interesting effects over the years, where all-time favourites who top the lists at almost any other tournament have trouble tackling French Open. A perfects example of this is the legendary Pete Sampras, whose powerful serve spurred Wimbledon to attempt to slow down the play.

From a perspective purely focused on winning French Open bets, this fact can present some interesting opportunities. Just think about it: the biggest issues a player might run into during play are the most common reasons that got the player to the French Open in the first place.

Traditionally, tennis betting is seen as partial to favourites. The entire seeding system, combined with drawn-out matches that favour consistency, means that major upsets are a rare thing in this sport. However, Roland Garros is loved precisely because the advantage of players who dominate other tournaments is a bit smaller. Don’t get carried away with this concept, however. At the end of the day, the majority of champions are still hard favourites. As such, this idea is mostly applicable on a smaller scale of Match Winner bets and not in the case of Outright French Open bets.

Which Players to Bet On for French Open Matches?

Let’s take some of the points we just discussed and try to reach some more concrete conclusions.

The first bit of French Open betting advice is the most obvious: avoid big servers and serve-and-volleyers. This especially holds if you're considering outright bets – some of the biggest legends of tennis like Venus Williams and Boris Becker have never won a Frenc Open title, despite multiple titles from other Grand Slam tournaments.

On the flip side, players who favour athleticism, endurance, and a slower pace of the game will truly feel at home in these matches. Rafael Nadal, “The King of Clay”, is probably the most relevant example of this currently, but there are plenty of others. Clay is notoriously difficult to get a grip on, making manoeuvrability a big determining factor for French Open matches. Speed, mobility, and physical fitness are the main advantages of French courts, while players who heavily rely on technical ability are at a disadvantage.

Another aspect of tennis play which is brought front-and-centre during French Open is the return. As mentioned previously, powerful serves are something of a trend these days, but being able to maintain composure under pressure is essential – even more so if this is the tournament you chose.

Still, we should present another side to this. Even though drawn-out finals are what this event is known for, more than 40% of Men’s Singles matches in recent years end with a 3-0 in sets. This leaves us with several additional questions that need to be asked before placing Roland Garros bets: is the player in question often involved in long 5-set matches? If so, how much time did they have to rest? Do they always draw out matches, or do they ever try and end with a quick 3-0?

As always, research is your best friend if you want to make French Open predictions. Statistics are the smart punter’s best friend, so consult them heavily before deciding on a selection.

French Open Betting Strategies

So, what are the exact steps you need to make a relatively good French Open betting predictions?

Clay Court Play

First of all, when consulting statistics, try to only look at other competitions played on clay. Examples include the Monte Carlo Masters series, the Barcelona Open, and Rome Masters. All of these conveniently take place between April and early June, so it’s relatively easy to keep track of player performance on clay.

We might be sounding repetitive with all these references to clay, but the importance can’t be stressed enough. So much so that some players are unofficially dubbed “clay specialists” if their style and strategy are especially suitable for this soft surface. But how can you tell?

Firstly, these players tend to stick to a semicircle around 2 meters behind the baseline. They often use a forehand western grip which allows for more topspin. Because of the relatively long rallies, clay courts favour consistency and strongly defensive strategies. Beyond that, clay allows for special moves you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else, such as running slides.

Seeing any of these marks might indicate that the player will perform above-average on clay.

Betting Markets

With all that in mind, are some tennis betting markets better for French Open than others?

Let’s start with outright French Open bets. If you’re making one – bet on Rafael Nadal. Jokes aside, Nadal is the holder of the three previous titles, so calling him a favourite would be an understatement. Still, the odds offered for him winning the competition are too short to be worthwhile at this point, and yet betting against him does not seem like a great idea either. As such, we would suggest staying away from outrights in the current climate.

When it comes to French Open Match Winner bets – these should be your primary focus in most cases. If you consider everything we’ve talked about throughout this French Open betting guide, you shouldn’t have too much trouble measuring relative player strength. It will take some practice, though, so be patient.

On the other and, we recommend staying away from Point bets. Because the advantage of serves is smaller, accurately predicting who will win the point in question becomes guesswork.

Live betting is recommended for the same reasons. First of all, the longer rallies give you more time to think about the bet. Secondly, we've already talked about how exhausting this tournament can be, and how underdogs have more of a fighting chance. Live French Open betting allows you to judge a player’s form and mental state during the early stages of the match. This, in turn, allows you to make better decisions.

Best Bookmakers to bet on French Open

Helping punters find the best online bookmakers for their needs is a large part of what we do here on Betting Fellow. So, what are the best French Open betting sites? Here are a few suggestions to get you started.


Loved by high-stakes punters across the globe, Pinnacle is the go-to French Open betting site if getting the best odds possible is your primary concern.


This bookie offers some of the best French Open betting odds on the market


An old-school, reliable online sportsbook with plenty of options. We would especially single out Ladbrokes if you’re looking for in-play French Open betting because of the excellent tennis streaming service

All recommended tennis betting sites you can find here! That’s it for Betting Fellow’s French Open betting guide. Good luck!