The French Open begins on Sunday where Rafael Nadal and Simona Halep will attempt to defend their singles titles.
Roger Federer returns to the Grand Slam event for the first time since 2015 and Serena Williams will bid to match Margaret Court’s pre-Open era record of 24 major titles, but the two veterans should be rated as outsiders rather than genuine contenders in Paris.
French Open 2019 Men’s Singles
The ‘King of Clay’ reached the Australian Open final at the start of the season but has endured a mixed campaign since. Nadal also struggled on his return to his favoured surface after losing in the semi-finals of the Monte Carlo Masters, Barcelona Open and Madrid Open but did end his wait for a trophy in 2019 by claiming the Italian Open crown – claiming a morale boosting win over old foe Novak Djokovic in the final.
The Spaniard may not look quite so invincible as he once did on the red dirt but there can be no denying his record in the French capital. The 32-year-old has only lost twice in the tournament, boasting a 97.7% win ratio, and has won 12 of the 15 French Opens he has entered – having been forced to withdraw due to injury once. As such, he justifies being the favourite and remains the man to beat for the rest of the field.
Due to Nadal’s dominance of the French Open there are not too many players on the ATP Tour who have managed to land the title but Novak Djokovic did claim the prize in 2016, the year the Majorcan withdrew.
The world number one is the second seed in Paris and cannot face Nadal until the final should both players make it that far. As well as being a former winner, Djokovic has reached three further finals at Roland Garros and has been in good form on clay with a win in Madrid and a final appearance in Rome in the Masters 1000 events.
Dominic Thiem is the fourth seed and third favourite as he looks to go one better than last year when he finished as runner-up.
Thiem should go deep in Paris as he has reached at least the last four in each of the last three years and offers value at 5/1. The Austrian struggled for form initially in 2019 but then bounced back in style by landing the Indian Wells crown – the biggest title of his career so far – and claimed a win over Nadal on his way to securing the 500 series Barcelona Open.
Rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas looks a strong option if you are looking for an outsider or an each way bet at 16/1. The 20-year-old Greek hopeful is a career-high six in the ATP rankings at present and reached his first Grand Slam semi-final in Melbourne at the start of the year.
Tsitsipas beat Alexander Zverev and Nadal on his way to the Madrid Open final this year, and beat Thiem on the dirt in Barcelona last year, so he can take on the best on this surface but probably needs a favourable draw if he is to go all the way in Paris.
Other players worthy of a mention are Monte Carlo Masters winner Fabio Fognini at 40/1 and Zverev at 22/1 – if he can rediscover his form. It would be a shock if either were to take the title but they could be worth an each-way bet, particularly if drawn on the opposite side to Nadal.
French Open 2019 Women’s Singles
Halep ended her wait for a maiden Grand Slam crown in Paris last year and goes into the 2019 French Open as the third seed and favourite.
The Romanian has not enjoyed the best of build-ups to this year’s event after struggling for form following her split with long-time coach Darren Cahill at the end of last year.
However, she did reach the Madrid Open final and looks to be working her way back to her best. If she can hit her stride at Roland Garros, there is every chance she will successfully defend the title.
Kiki Bertens sits at a career-high four in the WTA rankings and, after taking the Madrid Open title, could well be a real contender at the French Open.
The Dutch star managed her best ever Grand Slam result at the French Open in 2016, reaching the semi-finals but her record in the majors is a concern. Bertens has only reached one further quarter-final since that last-four appearance three years ago, and has not reached the second week in Paris since.
American Sloane Stephens has flown under the radar a bit going into the Parisian major and last year’s runner-up could be a shrewd each-way option.
The seventh seed has the ability to raise her game when it comes to the big events and has been working her way to top form going into the French Open, despite an early exit in Italy.
Stephens reached the semi-finals of the Madrid Open and the quarter-finals of the Charleston Open on the dirt, and now will be looking for a big performance in France as she seeks a second Grand Slam title.
Naomi Osaka goes into the French Open seeking a third straight major win and is the world number one and top seed.
However, the Japanese ace has endured an injury-hit few months and may best be avoided in the outright betting. Osaka has also never been beyond the third round in Paris and clay is arguably her weakest surface.
Garbine Muguruza, the 2016 champion, is worth a mention at 20/1 as a potential each-way bet despite her recent struggles. The Spaniard was not at her best last year but still managed a semi-final appearance in Paris and remains a dangerous player.
Home hope Caroline Garcia also stands out at 40/1 as an each-way option, particularly if she is handed a favourable draw.
For all new customers, ComeOn! are currently offering a £10 free bet – make sure you sign up!