2019 French Open Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips

Rafael Nadal is the King of Clay, winning the French Open at Roland Garros 11 times (Getty Images)

What is the French Open?


The French Open is a major tennis tournament held over two weeks between May and June at the Stade Roland-Garros in Paris, France. One of the four tennis Grand Slams, the French Open is without doubt the premier clay court tennis championship event in the world.

French Open History


The French Open dates back to 1891 and is considered a highlight of the tennis tour. Originally only open to tennis players who were members of French clubs, the ‘Championnat de France’ remained that way 1924. 

A different tournament called the World Hard Court Championships was contested on clay courts at Stade Français in Saint-Cloud from 1912 to 1914 and in 1920, 1921 and 1923. In 1925 the French Championships was open to international amateurs and held at the Stade Français. 

The tournament changed drastically when France won the Davis Cup in America in 1927 with the famous quarter of René Lacoste, Jean Borotra, Henri Cochet, and Jacques Brugnon who were known as the ‘Philadelphia Four’.

Deciding to defend the Davis Cup at home, the French decided to build a new tennis stadium in the Porte d'Auteuil region of Paris. Three hectares of land was offered by the Stade de France with the Stade de Roland Garros built and names after aviation pioneer and World War I pilot Roland Garros. 

In 1928 the French Internationals tennis tournament was moved to Roland Garros where it has been held ever since. The tournaments held from 1941-1945 during World War II were not recognised by the French governing body.

The French Championships were held after Wimbledon in 1946 and 1947. In 1968 the tournament became the first Grand Slam to become open which allowed amateurs and professionals to compete.

Various player awards were introduced in 1981 such as the Prix Orange, the Prix Citron and the Prix Bourgeon. In 2007 the French Open decided to distribute prize money equally for men and women for the first time.

The clay courts at the French Open produce a different style of tennis when compared to grass courts or hard courts. The ball is slowed down and produces a high bounce which makes it difficult for big servers and serve-and-volleyers.

Many former top tennis players never won the French Open including Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, John Newcombe, Stefan Edberg, Boris Becker and Venus Williams. On the other hand, some players have dominated at Roland-Garros such as Rafael Nadal, Björn Borg, Ivan Lendl, Justine Henin and Chris Evert.

Where is the 2019 French Open being played?

The 2019 Fench Open will be held at Roland Garros which was built in 1928. The Roland Garros complex contains 20 courts with three large-capacity stadiums, France's National Training Centre (CNE) and the Tenniseum which is a multimedia museum of the history of tennis.

When does the 2019 French Open start?


The 2019 French Open begins on Sunday 26 May 2019 and ends with the Men's Final on Sunday 9 June 2019. 

Who has won the most French Open titles?


Rafael Nadal has had a stranglehold over the tournament in recent years, winning 11 of the past 14 French Open men's singles titles. Nadal is the current champion having defeated Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 in the 2018 final. 

Romania's Simona Halep is the current French Open women's singles champion after defeating Sloane Stephens 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in the 2018 final.  

Who are the favourites to win the 2019 French Open?


Rafael Nadal dominated the betting markets in the men's tournament ahead of Novak Djokovic and rising stars Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. In the women's draw Simona Halep leads the betting markets with Garbine Muguruza, Serena Williams and Elina Svitolina next best.

What is the 2019 French Open Prize Money?


The prize money for the 2019 French Open is yet to be determined. It is expected to rise from the €39,197,000 on offer for the 2018 tournament where the men's and women's winners collected €2,200,000 each.

Who were the French Open Men's Winners and Runners-up?

Year
Winner
Country
Runner-up
Country
2019



2018Rafael NadalSpainDominic ThiemAustria
2017Rafael Nadal SpainStan Wawrinka Switzerland
2016Novak DjokovicSerbiaAndy MurrayGreat Britain
2015Stan Wawrinka
Switzerland
Novak Djokovic
Serbia
2014Rafael Nadal
Spain
Novak Djokovic
Serbia
2013Rafael Nadal
Spain
David FerrerSpain
2012Rafael Nadal
Spain
Novak Djokovic
Serbia
2011Rafael Nadal
Spain
Roger FedererSwitzerland
2010Rafael NadalSpainRobin SoderlingSweden
2009Roger FedererSwitzerlandRobin SoderlingSweden
2008Rafael Nadal
Spain
Roger FedererSwitzerland
2007Rafael Nadal
Spain
Roger FedererSwitzerland

Who were the French Open Women's Winners and Runners-up

Year
Winner
Country
Runner-up
Country
2019

2018Simona Halep RomaniaSloane Stephens United States
2017Jelena Ostapenko LatviaSimona Halep Romania
2016Garbine MuguruzaSpainSerena WilliamsUnited States
2015Serena WilliamsUnited StatesLucie SafarovaCzech Republic
2014Maria SharapovaRussiaSimona HalepRomania
2013Serena WilliamsUnited StatesMaria SharapovaRussia
2012Maria SharapovaRussiaSara ErraniItaly
2011Li NaChinaFrancesca SchiavoneItaly
2010Francesca SchiavoneItalySamantha StosurAustralia
2009Svetlana KuznetsovaRussiaDinara SafinaRussia
2008Ana IvanovicSerbiaDinara SafinaRussia

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