The French Open (Roland Garros)
The French Open is a two-week tennis event which is officially known as The Roland Garros Tournament. It is held annually at the end of May and the beginning of June at the Roland Garros Stadium (Stade de Roland Garros) in Paris. The French Open is played on a red clay surface, which makes it different from the other three Grand Slam Championships. This surface often causes problems for some of the top tennis professionals as well as amateur players, who often find a title win on the clay courts eludes them whilst they do particularly well at the other Open championships.
The French Open was originally a national event and has now become the most coveted clay court title. It is now an international tennis tournament for both professionals and amateurs as it became an ‘open’ in 1968 and has grown in both size and prestige. It attracts the best players in both men’s and women’s tennis and is one of the four Tennis Grand Slam events, the others being The US Open, The Australian Open and Wimbledon. The Roland Garros is the second of the Open Championships to be played in the Grand Slam line up each year.
Betting on tennis matches is becoming increasingly popular, and The French Open is an ideal place for novices to gamble, as it offers a large number of matches and betting opportunities.
For more about the history of The French Open, visit our History of The French Open page.
Qualifying for the French Open (Roland Garros)
Ways in which a tennis player can qualify to play in the main championship events at The French Open include automatically qualifying if their computerised tennis ranking is high enough.
Some tennis players may receive a wild card. Wild cards are discretionary qualifications issued by the Committee, and they are usually awarded either to players thought to deserve a chance to play at The French Open based on past performance, or to players who are likely to attract audiences.
If a tennis player does not qualify by either of these methods, they must compete in a qualifying competition.
Seedings are awarded based on a player’s world ranking and their ranking against other players entered into The French Open.
Format of the French Open (Roland Garros)
The French Open includes a number of Championship events. The main events are:
· The Men’s’ Singles
· The Ladies’ Singles
· The Men’s Doubles
· The Ladies’ Doubles
· The Mixed Doubles.
The Junior French Open events consist of:
· The Boys’ Singles
· The Girls’ Singles
· The Boys’ Doubles
· The Girls’ Doubles.
The event also includes:
· Legends Over 45 Doubles
· Legends Under 45 Doubles.
In 2006 The French Open Tournament will start on the Sunday. This decision has been made to take advantage of the great promotional opportunities presented in a Sunday launch. Sunday 28 May will see twelve matches played on the three top courts. It will take three days to play the first rounds of the singles tennis matches. The Sunday and Monday will see the first half of the draws played out, with the remaining games to be played on the Monday and Tuesday. The quarterfinals, semi-finals and finals will be played during the second week.
The most popular of The French Open events are the Women’s Singles Final (usually played on the final Saturday afternoon) and the Men’s Singles Final (usually played on the final Sunday afternoon).
Previous Winners at the French Open (Roland Garros)
The French Open Championship events have been won by some of the best and well known tennis players. Winners of the Men’s Singles title include Bjorn Borg from Sweden, who has won the final a record six times in total, first in 1974 and 75, then four times in succession starting in 1978. Few players have managed a Grand Slam, (meaning that they have won all four of the Grand Slam tennis events in the same year). Donald Budge became the first grand slam winner, taking all four Grand Slam championship titles in 1938.
Winners of the French Open Ladies’ Singles titles have included Billie-Jean King, Martina Navratilova and the brilliant teenager Monica Seles, who won The French Open three consecutive times, the first being in 1990. Monica Seles was attacked and stabbed during another tournament, three years after her last win at The French Open.
German Steffi Graf, a grand slam winner in 1988, has won a total of six times, leaving her just behind Chris Evert in the women’s record for most amount of singles wins. Chris Evert had her first win in 1974 and was to follow this up a further six times. Most of her wins have been in batches of consecutive years and five of them were under the name of Chris Evert-Lloyd. Her last French Open Championships finals title was in 1986.
Maureen Connolly was also a grand slam winner in 1953 and so was Margaret Court 1970.
Several French women had three and four consecutive years of success at Roland Garros before the Championships rolled with the times and opened itself to international players, setting itself on the way to become The French Open Championships that we know today.
The last five winners of The French Open Men’s Singles title were:
Year Winner Seed
2005 Rafael Nadal 4
2004 Gaston Gaudio Unseeded
2003 Juan Carlos Ferrero 3
2002 Albert Costa 20
2001 Gustavo Kuerten 1
The last five winners of The French Open Ladies’ Singles title were:
Year Winner Seed
2005 Justine Henin-Hardenne 10
2004 Anastasia Myskina 6
2003 Justine Henin-Hardenne 4
2002 Serena Williams 3
2001 Jennifer Capriati 4
Betting on the French Open (Roland Garros)
The French Open offers a wealth of betting opportunities whether you want to bet on the ultimate winners of the Championships or on individual matches. Whilst the Women’s Finals seem to have become somewhat predictable, always be ready for some upsets and unexpected results, making all of the events within The French Open Tournament exciting prospects on which to bet.
If you are thinking of placing a bet on one of the many The French Open tennis matches, here are a few things to consider:
The tennis styles of the players: One of the key things to look for when deciding whether or not to back a player in a tennis match at The French Open is whether or not their playing style is suitable for clay tennis. Look to see whether they have a history of being successful on clay courts. Tennis players who win big on grass courts often find they have trouble on the red clay surface as the ball bounce is different and so is the speed. Players who prefer to stay at the baseline tend to do better on clay courts such as The French Open Championships as preferred to grass surfaces. There are some tennis players who have become very experienced on a clay court.
The current form of the players: Another key factor in deciding which of The French Open player to bet on is the form of each player. If they have recently been injured this may still be affecting their performance. Also, if they have been playing in a lot of tournaments prior to The French Open, and if they have played long matches during previous rounds in the championship, they may be suffering from fatigue.
Head-to-Head records: It’s always worth taking a look at the results of previous matches between the two tennis players in the match you are considering betting on, to see if they have been dominated by one player. However, even if one player has won every time the two players have met, this doesn’t mean that they will win again – the players’ styles and form should still be your main guide when placing a bet on a match at The French Open at Roland Garros.
The players’ French Open seedings: Although the title doesn’t always go to the top seed at The French Open, it’s often the players at the top half of the seedings table who go on to win. This is worth keeping in mind when placing a bet but always remember unseeded players have been known to win.
Some bookmakers offer you the chance to bet on which players will win The French Open titles well in advance of the event itself, so you don’t need to wait in order to bet on it. For the latest odds on The French Open 2006 from a range of bookmakers and betting exchanges, visit our Latest Odds section.
The French Open is only one of many events in the tennis calendar. Check out other tennis events!
If you are new to betting and want to place a bet on The French Open, be sure to check out our Tennis – How To Bet and Tennis Betting Strategy sections for some betting hints and tips.