Ooh La La! A Dramatic start to the French Open

May 29, 2019

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Things are heating up at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris at the French Open. The qualifiers started last week. Each day, the contenders are being narrowed down more and more in the run-up to the finals on the 8th and 9th of June.

Paris is host to the 123rd edition of the tournament. This is the second Grand Slam event of 2019, after the Australian Open which was won by Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka in the singles.

Men’s and women’s singles and doubles, as well as mixed doubles, are all taking place at once in Paris. We’ll be looking just at the men’s and women’s singles for now. This week, the first, second and third rounds are taking place, with the most exciting quarter and semi-finals taking place next week before the ultimate finale.

You might think it’s just Djokovic vs Nadal to look out for, but at this stage, anything can happen with the French Open odds.  You can bet on the outcome of every one of the games taking place in the competition, not just a punt on the winner.

If you know your tennis, you will have an advantage, of course. As well as outrights, there are plenty of markets being served for us to explore, whether you know your stuff or not.

An Update So Far

Men’s Singles

In the first round of the men’s singles, 21-year-old American Frances Tiafoe was sick twice on the court during his defeat to Filip Krajinovic. Gross. It’s no wonder he ran out of steam when he was up against that from his insides, so he is now out of the running.

Obviously, the fellas topping the odds to win all made it through the first round successfully.

Rafael Nadal, the ‘King of Clay’, beat his German opponent Hanfmann, taking him to a tight lead in the French Open odds at 5/6 with Ladbrokes. Roger Federer was also victorious in his first-round return to Paris against Lorenzo Sonego.

Looking for some incredible gameplay from the outset? Novak Djokovic played an absolute blinder against his Polish opponent Hubert Hurkacz. From playing beyond the sidelines to a petite little drop shot over the net that snatched the win, Djokovic was set to play at his peak from the very beginning. After all, he is hoping to make history by holding all four Grand Slam titles at once.

Djokovic faced the world 92, Henri Laaksonen, in the second rounds this week. No doubt he’ll fly through that and sustain his position amongst the fellow favourites in the French Open odds. Djokovic is 3/1 with Betfair.

Also among the high-flyers in the French Open odds to win is Austrian Dominic Thiem at 8/1 with Unibet. He lost out to Nadal back in the 2018 competition but is ready to fight his way back to the finals for a victory this time. He survived his first round, but it wasn’t without difficulty. Playing American Tommy Paul, it was uncertain who would prevail at one point. Thiem won and is now sitting amongst the top players in the French Open odds to win as we enter into the second rounds of the tournament.

Women’s Singles

Former Grand Slam champion Serena Williams had a close shave in her first-round match against world number 83, Russian Vitalia Diatchenko. After a wobbly and flustered start, Williams crept up and beat Diatchenko, securing her spot in the second rounds.

Some more good news for Serena was that this year’s collaboration with Nike on her outfit was much better received than last year’s catsuit. I really liked the catsuit, but what do I know? This year’s get-up has got ‘champion’, ‘goddess’, ‘queen’ and ‘mother’ printed on it in French. Work it, girl.

It’s good news for the Brits! Johanna Konta has made it through to the second rounds for the first time. She had previously lost all four of her first-round matches at the Stade Rolland Garros, so it is game on for round two.

Konta was the first Briton through to the second rounds, and here’s hoping she can make it to the next stage. Her next game is against American Lauren Davis, the world number 111.

Simona Halep, last year’s women’s singles champion, faced a challenging start against world number 478, Ajla Tomljanovic. Regardless of the challenge, she is still sitting comfortably as the favourite to win at 10/3 with Betfred, if you’re looking to have a solid bet on the French Open.

World number 1 and top seed Japanese Naomi Osaka has high hopes for a third successive Grand Slam title. This is her first Grand Slam as the top seed. In the first set, she lost 0-6 to Anna Karolina Schmiedlova. From here, we could see Osaka fuming around the court, holding her head in a towel for the entirety of one changeover.

Luckily though, she managed to bring it back and win the round. She will have to up her game if she wants to carry on towards the final and defend her title, as her odds have drifted a little to 12/1 with BoyleSports after that tough first battle.

Ones to Watch

As more rounds continue over the next week or so, there are a variety of top players to watch, some you may know, others perhaps not.

Let’s take a look at the other players to keep an eye on in the French Open odds, whether you’re betting outright, on individual matches or on rounds.


Dutch Kiki Bertens has solidified a standing amongst the favourites in the Women’s French Open odds after her first-round battle with French Pauline Parmentier. Parmentier had won the previous three meetings between them, and Bertens was not going to let it happen again. Even with a home crowd advantage, Parmentier couldn’t quite meet the standard of Kiki Bertens, who aced the Madrid title earlier this month without dropping a single set.

American Sloane Stephens was the runner-up in the 2018 French Open behind Simona Halep. She is back trying to make it all the way this time. She survived a lapse in her second set before eventually beating Misaki Doi, now sitting just above Serena Williams towards the favourites in the French Open odds. Doi upped her game and Stephens had to step up to match it. Stephens admitted it was a nerve-wracking first round, but now her head is completely in the game. Sloane Stephens faces the Spanish Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second rounds of the tournament.


Fabio Fognini rowed with the umpire during his first round against fellow Italian Andreas Seppi, but still came away with the victory. Winning in four games, Fognini claimed his 50th Grand Slam success and has a lot of value if you fancy a sensible bet on mid-range odds.

Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas was dubbed a dark horse, but I’m not sure he’s that much of a dark horse, really. He’s pretty damn good. He beat Nadal on clay earlier this month which was his first victory against a top 2 ranking player. In his first round, he beat the world number 110, with full control from start to finish. He managed to take a commanding lead against the German competition.

Last year, Tsitsipas lost in the second round of Roland Gallos, so here’s hoping he can make it through this time. He’s currently sitting among the top five favourites in the French Open odds and there’s value in a punt on the Greek if you have faith.

Bet on the French Open with Courtside Action All Week

As each day passes, we will see more victories while others dwindle out of the running. Timing is key when you’re having a bet on the French Open. If you want the best value, you will have to try and figure out whether it’s best to bet as soon as you can, or to hang on and see if they make it to the next round.

Find your French Open betting odds here

Author: Laura

Laura has been sharing her opinions on all kinds of popular culture for over a year, with a strong focus on great music and questionable TV. A massive Geordie who has a love of all things Newcastle United, when she isn't sprinting across the Tyne Bridge to St James Park, we normally find her in-front of the TV watching Shrek, Coronation Street or Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.

Twitter @loz_wald

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