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2020 French Open Odds: Betting Preview & Picks

Rafael Nadal leads 2020 French Open odds on the men's side.

While the world was getting its sports back, fans were hoping and wishing that ATP and WTA tennis would return. Finally, it did and now French Open odds are available as the tournament kicks off this week in Paris after being rescheduled from June due to the pandemic.

To recap, this month saw the return of the ATP and WTA with the Western & Southern Open, won by Novak Djokovic, and then the first major in the restart, the U.S. Open, which was won by Dominic Thiem as he earned his first major title.

This was the first ATP major tournament in which we didn’t see Djokovic, Rafael Nadal or Roger Federer in the quarterfinals. It also marked the first major not won by one of the Big Three since Stan Wawrinka was victorious at the U.S. Open in 2016.

Nadal opted not to play the U.S. events, Federer is out until 2021 due to injury and Novak ... well, we know what happened. An unfortunate incident led to him being defaulted from the tournament during his Round of 16 match against Pablo Carreño Busta.

But now, we move into the clay-court season. Just this week, we saw the Italian Open in Rome come to an end and in a bit of a surprise, Djokovic took the title to earn his 36th ATP Masters 1000 singles title, surpassing Nadal’s 35. Surprised that Novak won? Not quite, more so surprised that Nadal lost in the quarterfinals to Argentine Diego Schwartzman, but we’ll come back to that.

Here’s a guide to the top online Tennis betting websites.

Let’s preview the 2020 French Open.

Fans in the Stands

One thing to consider: fans in attendance. At the U.S. Open, the lack of an audience was a significant factor in allowing certain players to focus who under ordinary circumstances wouldn’t have been able to do so. This made for entertaining tennis with upsets, unbelievable comebacks, saved match points, and saved break points but did not necessarily make for good match-play betting options.

Why this matters: for the French Open, there will be a bit of a crowd. Despite the rise of coronavirus cases in France, there are plans to have 5,000 spectators a day on site, down from the initial projection of 11,500.

One caveat, those fans will only be on the Chatrier main court, the largest court on the 12-court grounds. This is something to keep an eye on in case plans change.


Moving from hard court to clay court is different. Clay plays at a much slower pace. This means that your weapons are neutralized. Hard court benefits big servers, but on clay, your serves won’t hold well. Instead, playing on clay is about fitness and mindset. Why? Longer points. You throw out your best shots but the point is still going. It’s all about who can keep their composure as the rally gets longer. If you plan on betting this tournament, be prepared for the emotional swings. Clay court tennis is about getting broken, then breaking back.

French Open in September

Aside from fans, another change is that the French Open is typically played in late May through early June. Well, now here we are in September. It’s not a guarantee that we will see it have an effect but with cooler temperatures, that means the ball isn’t as heavy and doesn’t bounce as high. This will affect players like Nadal and even out the playing field.

Who are the ATP French Open Betting Favorites?

Odds to Win men’s 2020 French Open
Rafael Nadal-125
Novak Djokovic+250
Dominic Thiem+300
Stefanos Tsitsipas+1400
Alexander Zverev+1800
Daniil Medvedev+2500
Stan Wawrinka+2500
Diego Schwartzman+3300
Gael Monfils+3300
Andy Murray+4000
Christian Garin+4000
Felix Auger-Aliassime+4000
Juan Martin Del Potro+5000
Matteo Berrettini+5000
Andrey Rublev+6600
Borna Coric+6600
David Goffin+6600
Karen Khachanov+6600
Kei Nishikori+6600
Marin Cilic+6600
Milos Raonic+6600
Casper Ruud+8000
Denis Shapovalov+8000
Grigor Dimitrov+8000
Roberto Bautista-Agut+8000
Carlos Alcaraz+10000
Fabio Fognini+10000
Jannik Sinner+10000
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga+10000
Kevin Anderson+10000

Odds as of September 23 at BetOnline

Why It’s Hard to Beat Rafael Nadal (-125)

There’s a reason he’s called the King of Clay. He’s won here 12 times, including wins in the last three straight. Referring back to his quarterfinals loss in the Italian Open, in the 12 years that Nadal has won the French Open, he has never failed to win a clay-court title before arriving in Paris. He did just have an off-day, with only 21 winning shots to 30 unforced errors in two sets. That’s unheard of from Nadal. So, I’m not worried.

On clay, the one weapon that does not get downplayed is a heavy topspin ball. That’s Nadal’s game and no one does it better than him. Tie that in with the fact that this guy loves long rallies and, yes, I’m still firing him to win (-125). He’s 34 years old but his fitness is top-notch.

On his side of the draw, two players he could conceivably lose to are Fabio Fognini and Thiem. If he meets either one early in the tournament, that’s when they have a better shot at pulling off an upset, when they have fresh legs and he will have yet to build rhythm. Fognini has variety in his game, as well as well-timed aggression. Thiem is a right-handed Nadal on clay. Which leads me to…

Why I don’t like Dominic Thiem to Win (+300)

This is probably the most tennis Thiem has ever played. He did make the French Open final last year but that was after a killer five-set semifinal match against Djokovic. Then, he had to face Nadal in the final. By that point, he was gassed and it showed. He lost in four sets but the last two sets were 6-1, 6-1.

Then he makes the final in the Australian Open, losing in another five-set match against Novak, and was probably one of the most active players during the six-month break. Any chance he had to play, he did.

He then plays another five-setter in the U.S. Open final to win his first major title and we didn’t see him play in Rome. Then there’s a potential injury he had during his semifinal match against Daniil Medvedev, which may have lingered into his finals match against Zverev. He cramped up but got it done. His fitness is something I simply don’t trust right now. If he were to somehow win, it would be one of the greatest feats in sports because he’ll likely have to beat both Djokovic and Nadal. His odds to win are +300.

Why I Like Novak Djokovic (+250) to Win

In a really good mindset, he can definitely play spoiler to Nadal. Had he not been disqualified from the U.S. Open, I am confident he would have won his 18th Grand Slam singles title.

In last year’s French Open semifinal, he almost beat Thiem. If he can get through to the final this year, then we are going to see a classic between Nadal and Djokovic because both will be in their 2020 prime.

Djokovic has variety and he’s one of the players who can play the drop shot really well, which we saw him utilize in his finals match against Schwartzman in the Italian Open. The drop shot is a big weapon to have because the ball simply dies on clay and moves your opponent out of position to the point where they can’t recover because you are sliding into the shot.

Playing in September instead of May, the ball won’t bounce as high if it is cooler and that will neutralize the edge Nadal has in his game. Enter Novak. It levels out the playing field between the two and Thiem.

Best Bets

I would definitely wait to see the draw. However, I know I will comfortably be taking Novak Djokovic in my futures bets at +250. With the climate and cooler temperatures playing a factor, I do believe this is his tournament to lose. Rafael Nadal is a -125 favorite and though I do believe it’s warranted, I think the cards line up in Novak’s favor.

When looking to make a bet, check out the best online sports betting websites.

Why I Don’t Think We’ll See a Non-Nadal, Non-Novak Winner

Djokovic failed to get to the U.S. Open final only because of his negligent on-court behavior, not because of his athletic ability.

There’s a reason they refer to Nadal, Djokovic and Federer as the Big Three, because they are the only players who can withstand the test in a best-of-five match and you were witness to that in the U.S. Open when we saw passive tennis in the late rounds. One long-shot consideration could be Dominic Thiem, but I’m just not sure this is the tournament for him at this moment.

Give me a Nadal vs Djokovic final.

Who are the WTA French Open Betting Favorites?

Odds to Win Women’s 2020 French Open
Simona Halep+275
Garbine Muguruza+600
Kiki Bertens+800
Serena Williams+900
Victoria Azarenka+1000
Elina Svitolina+1400
Petra Kvitova+1400
Elise Mertens+1600
Anett Kontaveit+2000
Aryna Sabalenka+2000
Elena Rybakina+2000
Karolina Pliskova+2000
Maria Sakkari+2000
Sofia Kenin+2000
Angelique Kerber+2500
Cori Gauff+2500
Iga Swiatek+2500
Jennifer Brady+2500
Marketa Vondrousova+2500
Madison Keys+2800
Dayana Yastremska+3300
Johanna Konta+3300
Petra Martic+3300
Sloane Stephens+3300
Amanda Anisimova+4000
Belinda Bencic+4000
Donna Vekic+5000
Jelena Ostapenko+5000
Katerina Siniakova+5000
Caroline Garcia+6600
Daria Kasatkina+6600
Ons Jabeur+6600
Anastasija Sevastova+8000
Kaja Juvan+8000
Qiang Wang+8000
Jil Belen Teichmann+10000
Svetlana Kuznetsova+10000
Venus Williams+10000

Odds as of September 23 at BetOnline

Why Simon Halep (+275) Will Win Women’s Singles

Since 2014, six different women have taken the French Open title. However, I think Halep has a good shot because she is in good form. After winning the title in Prague, she opted out of the U.S. Open and just won the Italian Open. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see a full finals match between her and Karolina Pliskova but she won the first set 6-0 to take the title in a walkover.

Halep won the French Open in 2018 after finishing as runner-up twice and with world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty not playing, that opens the door to Halep winning her third major title.

Don’t Spend Your Money on Serena Williams/Victoria Azarenka

The last time Williams performed well at the French Open was in 2016 when she took second place after winning the event in 2015. Four of her six matches at the U.S. Open went to three sets, which does not give me confidence in her abilities from a physical standpoint to reach a final, much less win. Her fitness is not at peak, and in a clay major, it needs to be. She also opted not to play in Rome, which means she could struggle to find her rhythm early in this tournament.

Vika played phenomenal tennis in the U.S. Open but ultimately lost to Naomi Osaka in the final. Clay is not Azarenka’s best surface and Osaka has pulled out of the French due to injury.

Garbine Muguruza a Contender at +600

Muguruza has reached the final 16 or better at Roland Garros in each of the last six years. She did reach the final in the Australian Open but had a poor performance in the U.S. Open, losing in the second round. She was able to bounce back in the Italian Open, defeating Azarenka, Gauff and Stephens and nearly upsetting Halep in the semifinal. If she is in full health, she can contend for the French Open title.

Betting Tip

As much as I want to fire big on these futures bets, I won’t be. Coronavirus is still very much a factor in sports and if any player tests positive, they will be forced to withdraw. One challenger on the women’s side has already tested positive this week and due to contact tracing could affect other players moving forward.

We already saw this come into play at the U.S. Open and you’d just hate to be on the wrong side of chance.

For more betting information, check out our How to Bet Tennis page.