EXPERT TENNIS TIPS: FRENCH OPEN

Welcome to the home for French Open tips on the Betfair Hub! You’ll find expert analysis and betting insights for the famous clay court Grand Slam, led by tennis analyst Steve from Ace Previews.

Access daily French Open tips across a range of matches from the first round through to the Final. You’ll also find pre-tournament predictions and advice on how to bet the French Open on the Betfair Exchange.

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After a solid stint of clay tennis, the focus of the ATP and WTA tour now turns to Paris, with the second Grand Slam of the calendar year, Roland-Garros, kicking off its main draw this coming Sunday May 22.

It has been a rollercoaster year on both the men’s and women’s tour to kick off 2022, and it shapes to be a fascinating fortnight of main draw tennis. Let’s take a look at some of the key storylines as we look towards Paris.

Can anyone escape from Alcaraz?

After needing to make his way through qualifying in the 2021 edition of Roland-Garros, Carlos Alcaraz now finds himself at the top of the outright market with another Spaniard who I will discuss shortly.

Alcaraz bulked up over the tennis off-season and showed in the early stages of the year that he could match it with most players on the hardcourt. After losing to Seb Korda in Monte Carlo, Alcaraz has gone on an impressive run, including defeating Nadal and Djokovic back-to-back in Madrid, having started as a favourite in both matches.

The big question, given his short outright odds, is can he sustain it over best-of-5 for a Grand Slam fortnight?

Can Nadal do it again?

Spanish tennis has been in a great place for the last fifteen years thanks to Rafa, and looks to be in safe hands for the decade ahead. Nadal has won the title in Paris THIRTEEN times, owns the crowd support against almost any player, and commands respect given his record.

His chronic injuries flared up again in Rome versus Denis Shapovalov and he will be in a race against time to be at a physical level to handle a gruelling fortnight, so fast and early wins will be key.

With Nadal ranked at 5 and Alcaraz at 6, the draw is going to be crucial here, with the potential for both players to end up in the same quarter.

Novak under the radar

After commanding the attention of not only all tennis fans, but all Australians with the immigration issues in the lead-up to the Australian Open, it is a slightly more subdued lead-up to Roland Garros for Novak Djokovic.

He has only played a handful of tournaments, however he has built his form in each, culminating with winning the ATP Rome title last week.

At the end of the day, Novak is hunting Grand Slams, and is likely to build his way into the fortnight. He needs to be respected here, and where he draws in relation to Nadal and Alcaraz will be crucial.


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Beware the unseeded ATP floaters

When the draw comes out for the men, it is worth keeping an eye on the location of a number of unseeded players who could cause some genuine grief on the clay. These include

  • Tommy Paul
  • Aslan Karatsev
  • Sebastian Baez
  • Pedro Martinez
  • Holger Rune
  • Albert Ramos
  • Cristian Garin
  • Alex Molcan
  • David Goffin
  • Francisco Cerundolo
  • Lorenzo Musetti
  • Filip Krajinovic
  • Fabio Fognini
  • Laslo Djere

as well as a couple of former Grand Slam winners in Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka.

This has all the makings of a super fortnight of men’s tennis!

Can anyone stop Swiatek?

It didn’t take the women’s tour all that long to find out who was going to take over from Ashleigh Barty at the top of the tour pecking order.

Iga Swiatek is now well clear on top of the rankings, winning titles in Doha, Indian Wells, Miami, Stuttgart and Rome. So… who can beat her? Maria Sakkari got the better of Swiatek on a damp day in Paris last year, and Swiatek’s most nervous looking appearances in 2022 came in the later stages of the Australian Open.

Can she handle the pressure as the fortnight unfolds and talk of her winning streak continues? It will be interesting to see her draw.

Will there be a surprise this year?

Ash Barty retired during her second round match last year as the number 1 seed, throwing the draw into disarray. There ended up being chaos at almost every turn of the women’s draw in 2021, with Barbora Krejcikova winning the final 6-1 2-6 6-4 against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Not only were they first-time Finallists, but we also saw Maria Sakkari and Tamara Zidansek make deep runs to the semi finals.

Two players who lost epic quarter finals in Paula Badosa and Elena Rybakina are chances to feature again late in the fortnight this year, or could we see an Emma Raducanu-style run from someone off the radar?


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Will the number 2 WTA contender please stand up?

Since Barty retired, Swiatek is the only player who has been able to stand up and assert their dominance at the top of the tour. World number 2 Barbora Krejcikova hasn’t been playing a lot of tennis of late, and then those ranked 3 to 8 have one just Grand Slam final appearance between them (Karolina Pliskova last year).

Ons Jabeur has stepped up her level on the clay in the last month, whilst Paula Badosa has improved her big-game play over the last 12 months. Who can take a stranglehold on the number 2 position?

Beware of the conditions

It is worth considering the number of variables that can come into play on the outdoor clay.

Temperature can play a key role on how clay plays, as does moisture. The conditions may look incredibly lively in the heat of the day, and the next day rain may dampen things significantly (unless players are scheduled to play under the roof).

Wind can also play a role across the course of the fortnight, and it’s worth taking a good look at the conditions to consider the impact it can have on match-up styles.

New final set rules in play

New rules have come into play at Roland-Garros this year.

While we saw 9-7 and an 8-6 third set results in the women’s quarter finals last year, we won’t be seeing that again this year. All the Grand Slams have decided that the same rules are to apply across all Grand Slams, meaning we will see the match tiebreaks (first to 10) occurring in Paris in the same style to those we saw in Melbourne earlier this year.

Keep this in mind when considering in-play odds late in matches.

Beware of the long ATP head-to-head odds

As with other Grand Slams, you will notice some significantly one-sided odds match-ups in the early rounds of Grand Slams when the top men are in action.

While it can be tempting to jump into odds that you don’t see every week for standard tennis matches, it is worth remembering why the big names seem to make it deep into the fortnight so consistently. It is more difficult for the underdog players to knock off the top players, as they need to win over the larger sample of best-of-5 sets – just ask Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Greek world number 5 led by two sets to 0 in the Final at Roland-Garros last year against Novak Djokovic before falling in five sets. Motivation should be high from all players for the fortnight.


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ROLAND GARROS | FRENCH OPEN

Betfair offers French Open betting tips for every event during the two-week tournament, including the men’s and women’s singles, the men’s and women’s doubles, the mixed doubles, and the wheelchair and junior events. Betfair’s expert analysis can help you get a better handle on likely match trends and outcomes. Our data and advice can guide punters to make astute decisions when considering categories including head-to-head match odds, correct set betting, set winners and the best back and lay bets. Betfair offers French Open tips and the ability to set your own odds for all events, as well as futures markets. When you register with Betfair, you’ll get access to in-depth, betting analysis on major upcoming tennis tournaments. You’ll also get to the largest betting exchange which allows you to bet differently with features such as lay betting and setting your own odds.

French Open matches are played on clay, a red brick dust surface that produces slow, high-bouncing play that tends to favour baseliners with strong, consistent groundstrokes, rather than serve-volleyers. The slow surface negates the advantage big-serving players usually have on faster courts. To be successful at the French Open, players need to be patient, have tactical and strategic nous, and must be extremely fit with supreme stamina to handle what are often long and drawn-out matches sometimes played in swirling winds and stifling heat. In 2004, French pair Fabrice Santoro and Arnaud Clement took six hours and 33 minutes (over two days) to complete their first-round match. At the time, it was the longest recorded match in professional tennis history. By studying Betfair’s French Open tennis tips offered as part of a broad range of betting information and analysis on the tournament, bettors can learn more about which players are better suited to playing in the unique conditions at Roland-Garros.

The two main events at the French Open, the men’s and women’s singles, each feature 128 players. Thirty-two players in each event are seeded according to world rankings, with matches decided in a pre-tournament draw. The seeded system typically keeps the higher ranked players from meeting into the earlier rounds, creating potential matchups of the top players to meet in the final rounds. Often though, big-name players suffer shock defeats in the early rounds of the French Open, beaten by low-profile or little-known players more accustomed to handling the conditions. Follow Betfair’s French Open tips today and use our trusted data to help you study and dissect players’ form and background to make informed betting decisions, particularly early in the tournament when upsets are likely.

Spaniard Rafael Nadal is the most successful player of all-time at the French Open, having won the men’s singles title 13 times, including five straight from 2010-14 and four in a row on two other occasions. At the 2022 French Open, Nadal will be aiming to win his 22nd Grand Slam. Among those likely to challenge him are Serbian Novak Djokovic, the defending champion, young Spanish up-and-comer Carlos Alcaraz and Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas. On the women’s side, Poland’s Iga Swiatek, the new world number one, Romania’s Simona Halep, who won in 2018, and Spain’s Paula Badosa are expected to be in the thick of the action, with Czech Barbora Krejčíková, the 2021 winner, also likely to be in the mix.Make sure to follow Betfair’s French Open 2022 tips to help you understand likely outcomes in events and for professional guidance on which players to back or lay during the tournament.


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