For over 130 years, the French Open has been one of the pinnacles of achievement in tennis. The sport's greatest champions have all stood atop this mountain and often asserted their dominance for years to come.
Beginning its annual run in late May, the French Open is held at Stade Roland Garros for two weeks of clay court battles. Currently, as the only major tournament held on this surface, clay is noted for slower speeds but higher bounces—placing a premium on precision shots and expert lobs. Because the play on clay is so grueling, the French Open is considered by many to be the most physically demanding tournament in tennis.
Given its prestigious status, earning a qualifying spot at Roland-Garros is quite competitive. Only 128 players will make it to the main draw of the French Open for a chance at tennis greatness.
The first 104 slots into the tournament are granted to the 104 highest-ranked players who qualify—meaning that players earning this initial berth must have been competing successfully to climb the tennis rankings through the year. However, this is not as straightforward as just the top 104 players in the rankings, as some will decline their opportunity due to injuries or scheduling as it relates to the entire tennis calendar year. Players outside of the top 104 will receive entry if players above them decline.
Players can request a protected ranking. When a top player has had to take extended time off due to an injury, they will request to be entered at their previous ranking to enter the tournament's main draw.
After the top 104 have been entered, the next 118 play for the opportunity to earn one of 16 spots on the main draw. To earn one of these spots, players must win three consecutive (and highly competitive) matches for their chance at the main draw of the French Open. These players have already added several grueling matches before they even join the rest of the talent pool, who will now battle over the next two weeks.
Eight lucky players will receive a wild card entry. These entries do not require a player to earn a spot through qualifying matches but are typically awarded to top players returning from injury or young players who’ve shown greatness but lack the time for a high ranking.
Spread bets place a margin by which a given player will need to finish ahead of another competitor. In tennis, this spread is measured as the number of games won. A negative spread indicates a player is the favorite, while a positive spread indicates an underdog. For example:
In this instance, a bet on Nadal to cover the spread means that Nadal would need to win at least two more games than Ruud to win the bet.
A French Open moneyline bet means choosing a victor from the full field. For moneyline bets, the odds indicate how much money would be returned on a $100 wager. For example, a $100 bet on Novak Djokovic at +200 odds would return $300 ($200 plus your original $100 bet).
In tennis, the over/under bet is a wager on how many sets the match will take to complete. The French Open tournament plays best-of-five-set matches. If the Carlos Alcaraz versus Daniil Medvedev match has an over/under of 4, and you believe this match will end in straight sets, you would bet the under.
Prop bets add a layer of fun to your French Open wagers. Prop bets allow you to bet on specific outcomes that may or may not occur throughout the Roland-Garros tournament. Typically, the player prop bets will give you the option to bet over/under the number of games a specific player will win throughout the tournament.
A parlay bet on the French Open is a bet on multiple outcomes but requires each of those outcomes to occur for a payout. For example, if you bet $100 for Nadal to beat Ruud and for Ben Shelton to beat Cameron Norrie, both events would need to occur for a payout.
For parlay bets, you can include a variety of bets on one ticket—spreads, moneyline bets, and props can all be pulled together into a parlay bet. While the payouts for a parlay bet can be substantial, all conditions must be met to win.
The 2023 Roland-Garros French Open will take place between Sunday, May 28, and Sunday, June 11, 2023, at the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France.
To potentially rematch their 2022 French Open quarterfinal bout, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are still favored picks to win the men’s French Open. Nadal did finish 2022 with injuries and, as a result, is off to a slow start in 2023, but his consistent greatness is tough to discredit. Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz is considered a promising talent who has been making a recent run at the number-one ranking. Stefanos Tsitsipas brings a strong clay court game to Roland Garros but has often fallen short of winning the tournament; perhaps 2023 is his year.
Rafael Nadal captured his 22nd major title and 14th French Open title by defeating Casper Ruud in straight sets in the men’s 2022 French Open final.
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