French Open - Guide
The French Open is one of four coveted Grand Slams in the sport of tennis. Along with the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open, the French Open is one of the tournaments which can elevate players to legendary status.
Taking place from Sunday, 26th May to Sunday, 9th June at the Roland Garros complex in Paris, the 2019 French Open will pit the world's best male and female players against each other in two singles draws. A women's and men's doubles competition will also be contested.
In this guide, we set the scene for the 2019 French Open; introducing you to the venue itself, confirming the schedule, discussing which players could make an impact this year, and looking back at the history of this iconic event.
Ready for Roland Garros
Roland Garros is one of the most impressive arenas dedicated to tennis, featuring no less than 20 courts across a 21-acre site. The complex was opened back in 1928, and today boasts three large 'show court' arenas - the 14,840-capacity Court Philippe Chatrier where the Men's Final and Women's Final are played, the 10,068-capacity Court Suzanne-Lenglen, and the 3,800-capacity Court 1.
All courts have a clay surface, giving the French Open the distinction of being the only Grand Slam to be played on clay. Clay is typically the slowest of the main surface types in tennis, being conducive to a tactical game and long, breathtaking rallies.
2019 French Open format
Once the qualifying rounds have been played, the draws of 128 players will be confirmed for both the Men's and Women's draw. These draws will include 32 seeds, which are usually picked to reflect the top 32 players in the world rankings at that time.
2019 French Open schedule
The schedule for the tournament is as follows:
Sunday, 26th May - 1st Round
Monday, 27th May - 1st Round
Tuesday, 28th May - 1st Round
Wednesday, 29th May - 2nd Round
Thursday, 30th May - 2nd Round
Friday, 31st May - 3rd Round
Saturday, 1st June - 3rd Round
Sunday, 2nd June - 4th Round
Monday, 3rd June - 4th Round
Tuesday, 4th June - Quarter Finals
Wednesday, 5th June - Quarter Finals
Thursday, 6th June - Semi Finals
Friday, 7th June - Semi Finals
Saturday, 8th June - Women's Final; Men's Doubles Final
Sunday, 9th June - Men's Final; Women's Doubles Final
The Kings and Queens of Clay
So who should you think about backing as the outright winner of the Men's and Women's tournaments? One of the tennis betting favourites could make history by claiming top honours, or there is always the chance that an outsider might shock the world.
In the men's draw, of all the players expected to appear, one stands head and shoulders above the others in terms of past achievements at Roland Garros. Spain's Rafael Nadal 11/10* has lifted the Coupe des Mousquetaires an astonishing 11 times and is the reigning champion. Perhaps it is no surprise that he is installed as the favourite in the run-up to an event which he has truly made his own. But Nadal, who is yet to win on tour this year at the time of writing, certainly won't underestimate the potential challenge of 15-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic 12/5*, who won at Roland Garros in 2016. Then there are the likes of in-form Dominic Thiem 5/1* and ATP Tour Finals champion Alexander Zverev 22/1*, who could stake a claim. Former champions Roger Federer 18/1* and Stan Wawrinka 40/1* might also have a say in the latter stages of the tournament.
In the women's draw, the identity of the outright winner seems much harder to predict. Serena Williams 12/1*, the 23-time Grand Slam winner, is expected to enter the draw, although she might not have the privilege of a seeding. That's because Williams's world ranking has suffered as a result of her erratic playing schedule. But provided Williams can negotiate her way through what could be a tough road to the final week, who would bet against her claiming a fourth French Open crown? Other ladies to watch include Simona Halep 4/1*, the current champion and world number two; Elina Svitolina 16/1*, winner of last year's WTA Finals, and Garbine Muguruza 20/1*, the Spanish former world number one who triumphed at Roland Garros in 2016.
A rich heritage
The French Open began life as the Championnats Internationaux de France de tennis in 1891 and was only open to players who were members of French tennis clubs. By the time the event moved to the new Roland Garros complex in 1928, it had become an international showpiece and has since gone on to become one of the most famous annual sporting occasions.
With his 11 titles, Nadal has more than any man in the open era, or any era, for that matter. Max Decugis, a star of the amateur era, compiled eight wins between 1903 and 1914. Aside from Nadal, Sweden's Björn Borg has the most French Open wins in the modern age, claiming the Grand Slam six times in the 1970s and 1980s.
Chris Evert of the United States is the most successful woman of all time at Roland Garros, with seven wins in the same era as Borg, and a few years later Steffi Graf also became a force at the French, picking up the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen six times.
We hope you enjoyed our guide to the 2019 French Open. As we count down the days to this year's event, it's fascinating to consider who could grab glory on Finals Weekend at Roland Garros. You can stay up to date with the latest French Open odds here at Bet UK.
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*All odds from Bet UK's online betting correct at the time of writing.
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