Of the four Grand Slam tournaments, the only one that is played on clay is the French Open, conducted each year at the end of May. The atmosphere for this exciting sporting event is warmed-up by several other tournaments such as those in Monte Carlo, Barcelona, and Madrid. In addition to pleasing the eye of avid tennis fans, they are an excellent source of information for online betting enthusiasts who put the finishing touches on their Roland-Garros betting strategy. Almost without exception, online bookmakers feature a wide range of bet types and some specific promotions particularly designed for this Grand Slam.
The winners in the singles and doubles categories receive 2,000 points for the world’s rankings. As regards prize money in the prestigious event, currently they start at €10,000 for singles Qualifying Round 1 and reach €1,400,000 for the Champions. Due to the characteristics of the court surface and the relatively long duration of matches, it is considered that the French Open is the most exhausting event in the tennis calendar.
French Open History and Features
It was 1891 when the Championnat de France began, initially open only for male French club tennis players. Six years later women became part of the event but still, no foreign players were entitled to participate. The tournament’s popularity gradually grew and in 1925 the International Lawn Tennis Federation designated it a major international championship. Like other tournaments with a similarly long history, the French Open has been conducted on several venues over the years until it finally settled on Stade de France. The now comprising 24 clay courts venue was built in 1928 with the condition to be named after Roland-Garros, a First World War hero and aviation trailblazer.
The distinguishing feature of the French Open, the first thing that comes to mind even for people who are not that interested in sports, is the type of court surface, namely clay. Unlike Wimbledon’s grass courts and even the hard courts, which are used by a growing number of tournaments around the world, the game on clay requires a completely different approach, which sometimes proves inapplicable even to the greatest champions. Martina Hingis, Venus Williams, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, and Boris Becker are just a part of the talented and otherwise successful tennis stars who never managed to win the title in Paris. Despite his tremendous career, the crowd’s favorite, the charming Andre Agassi has lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires only once, in 1999, with which he achieved a Career Slam, the first in the open era.
The red dirt slows down the ball’s speed, reducing to some extent the strength and power of the players’ hits. Instead, they need to show more patience and ingenuity than usual if they want to achieve victory. The bounce of the balls is also different, although moving relatively slower, they sometimes reach greater heights, i.e. more time is needed to achieve the end result. Clay court surface has something to do with another interesting fact – the absence of the Hawk-Eye system in the tennis French Open. The organizers persistently refuse to introduce it despite the calls of many players and tennis specialists. The main reason they point out is that when bouncing off the ground, the ball leaves traces, so there is no need for an electronic line calling system. This tradition has been maintained since the very beginning of the French Open, and technological advancements do not seem likely to displace it any time soon.
Rafael Nadal and All The Others
We could name this paragraph “The Most Successful Players in Roland-Garros History” but Nadal’s supremacy is so ruthless that we had to bring him to the fore. The Spaniard’s dominion began in the distant 2005 when he won his first title just two days after becoming 19 years of age. Currently, Nadal leads the ranking with 13 French Open finals won, more than twice as many as the ones of the player who comes second, the great Björn Borg. We will hardly ever see a tennis player who can at least get close to the Matador’s achievement, especially having in mind that more than 15 years after his first title in Paris, he is still in top form and is the undisputed bookie’s favorite to win the Roland-Garros. We will allow ourselves to quote John McEnroe who once stated: “Some say beating Rafa over five sets on clay is the toughest thing in sport – not just tennis. I would agree with that.”
It is an unwritten rule that nowadays men’s Grand Slam titles are conquered by players who already have at least one such achievement under their belts. As you will see from the table below, the situation for women is quite different.
|French Open Winners in the Last 5 Years|
|2017||Rafael Nadal||2017||Jelena Ostapenko|
|2018||Rafael Nadal||2018||Simona Halep|
|2019||Rafael Nadal||2019||Ashleigh Barty|
|2020||Rafael Nadal||2020||Iga Świątek|
|2021||Novak Dvokovic||2021||Barbora Krejčíková|
Each of the last 5 women’s singles titles has been the first for the respective player. We delved deeper into statistics and found out that, except for Simona Halep, neither of the champions has even reached another Roland-Garros final for that particular period. All this serves to show that it is much harder for online punters to predict the Outright Winner in the women’s part of the tournament. If, however, you insist on placing a wager on that particular tennis betting market, our advice is to wait until the last possible moment so you can properly estimate the current form of players – it has already become clear that history and statistics will not help you.
Betting on Roland-Garros Matches
Despite the challenge of outright betting, many tennis punters prefer the variety that individual match betting markets bring. Given its usual Grand Slam tournament structure, Roland-Garros provides a great number of events for this type of wagering, and this of course results in a lot of money-making options. Here are the key tennis betting tips that will help you improve your chances of making accurate predictions.
Do not underestimate the stage of the tournament
You should always consider which stage of the French Open is the match on which you will risk your stake. The event is long and during the first week, the favorites usually try to save their energy and win the matches as quickly as possible. The scheme of the tournament allows them to take more risks, as in the opening rounds they face weaker opponents. It’s worth keeping this in mind, especially if you prefer handicap or spread bets. Logically, things become quite different by the middle of the tournament as opponents tend to be more evenly matched. Fatigue has its say, so it is a good idea to follow how the matches in Paris have gone so far, i.e. how many sets each player had to play to reach this stage of the event.
Check H2H statistics but do it properly
Head-to-head statistics are an inevitable part of every punter’s betting strategy including when it comes to wagering on tennis matches from the French Open. However, it has to be done wisely, taking into account the specifics of this Grand Slam tournament. First of all, you can safely ignore matches that have happened a long time ago. There are too many important factors that are subject to change, so it is not worth losing time searching for info too far back in time. Two are the main aspects of head-to-head meetings – surface and tournament level. We have discussed the first one enough, and you already know why matches played on grass are not particularly relevant when deciding on bets on clay events. As regards the tournament level, it is believed that the bigger the stage, the more indicative the results achieved.
Style of play is important
You need to know both the serving and the return performed by the tennis players in order to be able to make accurate betting predictions about the French Open. Due to the slower speed at which the ball bounces, the powerful servers do not have as much of an advantage at Roland-Garros as at Wimbledon, for example. That is why in our betting guides we always advise you to focus – the fact that a betting strategy works great for a certain tournament does not necessarily mean that it will be beneficial for another. One more thing, do not forget that this is a Grand Slam tournament, which means that the men’s singles format is the best of five sets. The physical endurance of the players will be put to a great test. If you get information about athletes who have recently suffered injuries, you must inevitably take it into account when making your predictions.
The French Open is significantly different from other major tennis tournaments around the world and that is why it is a real challenge for both top players and online betting enthusiasts. There is no other tennis competition in which such a devastating superiority of a single player in men (Nadal) is observed and at the same time strong rivalry and a new champion every year when it comes to women. The purpose of this article from our tennis betting guide was to introduce you to the highlights of the history of Roland-Garros and to draw your attention to some specific aspects of its conduct, which will certainly increase your chances of placing successful bets. Once you have the information you need, all you have to do is find an online sports betting platform that offers a diverse set of betting markets, competitive odds, and real promotional offers.