How to Bet on the French Open – French Open Betting Tips & Guide

More than $1 billion is wagered on tennis on average every year. A considerable portion of that comes from the majors, with the French Open making up a large percentage of the total revenue.

If you want to improve your betting strategy, you’re in the right place. Here we explain how to bet on the French Open, reveal our top betting tips and strategies, cover the markets, plus bring you a preview of this year’s tournament.

French Open Betting – What Can I Bet On?

The range of markets you can wager on for the French Open is extensive. Most of the best online sportsbooks will have a much wider range than standard tournaments, which makes the betting more exciting.

You can place various bets on the French Open, including match winner (moneyline), set betting, game handicap, total games over/under, point betting, first set winner, tiebreak in the match, total aces over/under, correct score betting, outright winner, quarter betting, and bets on the top player from a specific country.

Even though the majors bring in additional betting markets, the most popular is the outright winner. Sportsbooks will have odds for this market posted as early as 12 months before the tournament starts. As soon as one ends, markets often open for the following year almost instantly, referred to as futures betting markets.

Example Bet

Men’s and women’s singles make up the majority in terms of volume, but betting on doubles, mixed doubles, and junior competitions will open up as the event draws nearer. For this example (below), we’re using a futures market for the overall winner of the 2024 men’s French Open winner.

The market is simple to follow, and here you can see a series of players and their odds. Each of the odds represents the amount you will win if that player wins the tournament outright.

how to bet on the french open

Our no.1 recommended sportsbook, BetOnline, uses American-style betting odds, where the positive number is the total profit from a $100 bet. If the odds were negative, this would highlight the amount the bettor needs to wager to make a $100 profit.

Let’s assume for this example that we wager $100 on Rafael Nadal to win. The odds are set at +550, giving us the following payouts:

  • $100 x +550 = $650 total returns = $550 profit

Given that this market is only on the outright winner, any other result than Nadal winning would mean the bet will lose.

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How to Bet on the French Open – Step-by-Step Guide

To highlight how to bet on the French Open, we’ve included a step-by-step process for placing a bet using BetOnline. We’ve chosen BetOnline as it offers one of the biggest ranges of markets and some of the best odds in the industry. However, it’s worth noting that this process will work similarly regardless of the tennis sportsbook you choose.

1. Open a BetOnline account

betonline french open betting

Click on the ‘Join Now’ button at the top of the page to get started. Once here, use the forms to create your account, including name, address, email, and password. It should take no longer than a couple of minutes from start to finish.

2. Deposit at the cashier

betonline tennis cashier

When the account has been set up, head to the cashier to make your first deposit. BetOnline comes with a wide range of payment methods, and you can choose any of these from within the cashier section.

3. Head to the sportsbook

betonline tennis market

You need to use the menu in the sportsbook to find the tennis betting section. You can do this by clicking on the three dots at the top of the page and then choosing ‘Tennis’ within this. If the tournament is close, you will have multiple markets to choose from, but if it’s several weeks or months away, you can find markets within ‘Tennis Futures.’

4. Place a bet

Betonline french open market

To place a bet, click the odds to add the selection to your betslip. The selection will be highlighted in red once it’s been added. You can remove these selections by clicking on the bet again, which toggles the pick within your bet slip.

5. Confirm in the betslip

Betonline french open bet slip

The betslip will showcase all the selections made from the main sportsbook. You can clear any picks you don’t want to make by clicking the cross next to the pick. Enter your stake in the ‘Risk’ tab to place a bet. Within the ‘Win’ tab will be the amount returned if your bet wins based on the stake and the odds for the bet. When happy, click ‘Place Bet’ at the bottom.

How the French Open Works (Format)

The French Open is played on clay and is the only one of the four on this surface, making it iconic. Clay plays differently to grass and hard courts, often being much slower, which makes for long and often grueling rallies.

The men’s and the women’s games have 128 players to start. Most entrants are based on world rankings from the previous season, but some spaces are reserved for qualifiers and even tournament invites, often called wildcards.

There are 16 qualifiers in total, with each group containing eight players. They play a three-game knockout where the winner makes it to the tournament proper. On top of the 16 that qualify, four “Lucky Losers” are on standby should any qualifiers drop out before the start.

The tournament proper is a straight knockout. Players are drawn based on seed, so the number one and two players in the world will be at opposite ends of the draw. There are seven games in total, which include:

  • Round of 128
  • Round of 64
  • Round of 32
  • Round of 16
  • Quarterfinals
  • Semifinals
  • Final

Game formats differ slightly for men and women. The men play best of five sets and the women best of three. In 2022, a tiebreaker was introduced if games were tied in the final set at six each. When this happens, players will play a 10-point game, where the winner must win by at least two points if it’s still tied at 9-9.

Doubles and mixed doubles have 32 pairs in total. Again, the format is a straight knockout, with each pair advancing to the next round, with a maximum of five games to be played, which includes the final.

2024 French Open Betting Odds and Preview

The 2024 French Open looks to be one of the most exciting for a long time. The men’s and women’s sections are wide open as we preview the early betting markets for the winner.

Men’s

The biggest surprise in the men’s section is that the 2023 winner, Novak Djokovic, is not the favorite. Carlos Alcaraz’s rise up the rankings over the last 18 months has him priced at +160 after winning the US Open in 2022 and Wimbledon in 2023.

2024 french open betting odds

However, the Spaniard has never made it past the semi-finals at the French Open, with his best results coming in 2023, ultimately losing out to Djokovic, before the Serbian won yet another major in a record-breaking career.

There’s merit to backing both players, but Djokovic, priced at +240, looks like incredible value before the start of the season. At the end of 2023, he stated that he’s planning to play on for “several years” yet, so retirement doesn’t look like it will happen any time soon.

It’s tough to write off 14-time winner Rafael Nadal outside of these two. Priced at +550, he’s likely the only one to cause Djokovic or Alcaraz any issues. Even though he’s in his twilight years, his French Open record is mind-blowing. He missed 2023 through injury, but a fit Nadal looks good value.

Casper Ruud at +1400 is another option that’s a good choice for a place. He’s made the last two French Open finals, ultimately losing to Nadal and Djokovic, which is no disgrace. He also made the 2022 US Open final, losing to Alcaraz, so he has plenty of pedigree when it comes to reaching major championship finals.

Women’s

The women’s section looks a little more like a closed shop. Iga Swiatek is the next big thing in tennis, and the 22-year-old Pole already has four majors to name, three of which have come at the French.

She’s the Queen of Clay for a reason, and it’s tough to look past here, but at odds of +110, it shows very little in the way of value.

2024 french open womens betting odds

One of the issues on the women’s side is not necessarily the pedigree of Swiatek but more the competition. Barbora Krejcikova is the only woman to beat Swiatek at the French in the last four years, winning her first major in 2021.

She’s priced at +2000, but her best result in any major since then has been quarter-final appearances a the US Open (2021) and Australian Open (2022), which is hardly ideal form.

Until we get a bit nearer to the tournament, there’s not a lot of value in the women’s side right now. We’d recommend looking to beat on head-to-head markets instead of the tournament winner in a search for a value bet.

Types of French Open Bets

The majors bring a huge amount of added interest to tennis betting, and with that comes an increase in the range of betting markets. As part of our guide on how to bet on the French Open, we’ve created a list of markets that you can access before and during the tournament.

  • Match Winner (Moneyline): This is the simplest form of tennis betting. You bet on the player you believe will win the match. Each player is assigned odds, and you’ll win your bet if your chosen player wins.
  • Set Betting: In set betting, you predict the exact score of sets in a match. For example, you might bet a player will win the match 3-1 or 3-0 in a best-of-five sets format.
  • Game Handicap: A game handicap involves giving one player a virtual head start or deficit in games. If you bet on a player with a -3.5 game handicap, they need to win the match by at least four games for your bet to win.
  • Total Games Over/Under: The sportsbook sets a total number of games, and you bet on whether the total will be over or under that number.
  • Point Betting: Point betting involves predicting the total number of points played in a match. You might bet on whether there will be more or fewer points than a specified number.
  • First Set Winner: This bet focuses solely on the outcome of the first set of the match. It doesn’t matter who ultimately wins the match – you’re only concerned with the player who takes the first set.
  • Tiebreak in Match: Here, you wager on whether there will be a tiebreak in the match. Tennis matches use tiebreaks to decide sets that reach a certain game score (usually 6-6).
  • Total Aces Over/Under: This bet predicts whether the combined number of aces served by both players will be over or under a specified number.
  • Correct Score Betting: Like set betting, correct score betting requires you to predict the final score of the entire match. This can be a challenging but rewarding bet.
  • Outright Winner: Betting on the player you believe will win the tournament. This bet is usually placed before the tournament begins.
  • Quarter Betting: You bet on the player you think will advance the furthest in a specific quarter of the tournament bracket.
  • Top Player from a Country: This bet involves predicting which player from a particular country will progress the farthest in the tournament.

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French Open Betting Tips and Strategies

To become a successful tennis bettor, you need to apply a strategy that will work at major championships like the French Open. To showcase how to bet on the French Open and become more potable doing so, we’ve created a betting strategy series that you can apply to your bets.

Analyze Player Form on Clay Courts

When betting on the French Open, analyzing a player’s recent form on clay courts is fundamental.

Clay is a unique surface that demands different playing techniques and emphasizes endurance. A player consistently performing well on clay leading up to the tournament will likely carry that momentum into the French Open.

To analyze a player’s form on clay, look at their recent performances on this surface in the lead-up tournaments. Consider win-loss records, match statistics, and how they’ve fared in previous French Open editions on clay.

Rafael Nadal is a prime example of a player excelling on clay. His exceptional record at the French Open, where he has won 14 titles, is a testament to his proficiency on this surface. Betting on players with a strong recent clay court record, such as Nadal, is strategic.

Look at Head-to-Head Records on Clay

Examining head-to-head records between players is crucial. Some players may have specific strengths or weaknesses against certain opponents on this surface, which gives them a notable advantage.

For example, if Player A consistently performs well against Player B on clay courts, it might indicate a tactical advantage. Analyzing past encounters on clay can provide insights into how players match up, helping you make more informed betting decisions.

Assess Recent Form and Fitness

Assessing a player’s recent form and fitness levels is imperative for successful betting. Players in good form and optimal fitness are better equipped to handle the physical and mental demands of a Grand Slam tournament like the French Open. Assess their performance in recent tournaments on clay and overall fitness levels.

For example, if a player recently won or had a deep run in a clay court tournament leading up to the French Open, it indicates strong recent form.

Conversely, if a player struggles with injuries or doesn’t go well in extended matches (majors are five sets instead of three for men), it might be a reason to reconsider betting on them or, alternatively, betting against them, thus finding value.

Consider Specialist vs All-Round Players

Clay court specialists often thrive at the French Open due to the unique characteristics of the surface. Players comfortable with the slower pace and longer rallies on clay may have a distinct advantage over all-round players who excel on faster surfaces.

Take the example of players like Dominic Thiem, known for their prowess on clay. Thiem is well known for having one of the biggest engines in the game, but he’s actually not all that quick. The slower-paced nature of clay allows Thiem to utilize his strengths (endurance) and minimize his weaknesses (speed).

Pick Players With Experience in Grand Slam Tournaments

Experience in Grand Slam tournaments, specifically the French Open, can play a pivotal role in a player’s performance. The pressure and challenges of a major tournament can impact players differently, and those with a history of deep runs in such events may possess the mental resilience needed to succeed.

Novak Djokovic, for instance, has consistently demonstrated his ability to perform well in Grand Slam tournaments, including the French Open.

Considering a player’s track record in major events can be a valuable aspect of a betting strategy, helping identify those likely to handle the unique pressures of the tournament the best.

French Open 2024 Prizemoney and Ranking Points

The cash injection tennis seemingly benefits from each year occurs again in 2024. Prize money is up around 12% from 2023 to almost $50 million. This purse is split evenly between the men’s and women’s games. Doubles purses are also taken from this but are significantly lower.

Stage Men’s Singles Women’s Singles Men’s Double Women’s Doubles
Winners $2,372,150 $2,372,150 $590,000 $590,000
Runners-Up $1,186,075 $1,186,075 $295,000 $295,000
Mixed Double $122,000 $61000 N/A N/A

Below, we’ve included a breakdown of how payments are made for each round of the French Open. 2024 also sees a boost in the money from the qualifying events, starting at $15,095 for the first qualifying stage and increasing from there. These amounts are the same for men’s and women’s games.

Tournament Stage Prize Money 
Qualifier 1 $15,095
Qualifier 2 $21,565
Qualifier 3 $33,425
Round 1 $66,851
Round 2 $92,729
Round 3 $135,643
Round 4 $237,215
Quarterfinal $409,735
Semi-final $646,950
Runner-Up $1,186,075
Winner $2,372,150

Most Successful Players at the French Open

The French Open has been running since 1891 and is hosted exclusively at the world-renowned Roland-Garros. It’s been a professional event since 1968, but before that, it was an amateur tennis tournament.

When we talk about the “greatest,” most refer to the professional era of 1968 onward, but the traditions of the amateur era are still fondly referred to by those closely linked to the sport.

Men’s

There’s been few more dominant sportspeople in any discipline than Rafael Nadal at the French Open. He’s won an incredible 14 times on the clay courts of Roland-Garros, a feat that will likely never be broken.

What’s most impressive about Nadal’s wins is that they came at a time when men’s tennis was arguably at its peak, with the likes of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray all trying to beat Nadal on clay. Only a handful of times did they succeed.

Player Amateur Era Open Era All-time Years
Rafael Nadal (ESP) 0 14 14 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022
Max Decugis (FRA) 8 0 8 19031904190719081909191219131914
Björn Borg (SWE) 0 6 6 1974, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981
Henri Cochet (FRA) 5 0 5 1922, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1932
André Vacherot (FRA) 4 0 4 1894189518961901
Paul Aymé (FRA) 4 0 4 1897189818991900
Mats Wilander (SWE) 0 3 3 1982, 1985, 1988
Ivan Lendl (TCH) 0 3 3 1984, 1986, 1987
René Lacoste (FRA) 3 0 3 1925, 1927, 1929
Gustavo Kuerten (BRA) 0 3 3 1997, 2000, 2001
Maurice Germot (FRA) 3 0 3 190519061910
Novak Djokovic (SRB) 0 3 3 2016, 2021, 2023

Women’s

The women’s game is a little more spread out than the men’s. Chris Evert holds the record with seven wins, spanning 12 years from 1974 to 1986. Her final appearance was a semi-final game in 1987, where she lost to Martina Navratilova (two wins) in a year when Steffi Graf won her first of six French Open wins.

One of the most impressive feats was that of Margaret Court, the only one to have won titles in both the amateur and open eras. She won five titles in total, two of which as an amateur then three more as part of the open.

Player Amateur Era Open Era All-time Years
Chris Evert (USA) 0 7 7 1974, 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986
Suzanne Lenglen (FRA) 6 0 6 1920192119221923, 1925, 1926
Steffi Graf (GER)[h] 0 6 6 1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999
Adine Masson (FRA) 5 0 5 18971898189919021903
Margaret Court (AUS) 2 3 5 1962, 1964, 1969, 1970, 1973
Kate Gillou (FRA) 4 0 4 1904190519061908
Jeanne Matthey (FRA) 4 0 4 1909191019111912
Helen Wills (USA) 4 0 4 1928, 1929, 1930, 1932
Justine Henin (BEL) 0 4 4 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007
Hilde Krahwinkel Sperling (GER) 3 0 3 1935, 1936, 1937
Arantxa Sánchez Vicario (ESP) 0 3 3 1989, 1994, 1998
 Monica Seles (YUG) (SCG) 0 3 3 1990, 1991, 1992
Serena Williams (USA) 0 3 3 2002, 2013, 2015
Iga Świątek (POL) 0 3 3 2020, 2022, 2023

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FAQs

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Jonathan Askew

Jonathan is a freelance writer working with Techopedia. He has been working within the gambling sector for over 15 years and has been fortunate enough to work with brands that include Gambling.com, CheekyPunter.com, BasketballInsiders.com and Betfair. He specializes in US and UK-based sports and casino content for Techopedia.