French Open 2020
Arguably the toughest and most physically-demanding tournament to win in all of tennis, the very best in the world will once again battle it out on the famous clay of Roland Garros when the second Grand Slam of the season gets underway on May 18 and runs through to June 7, 2020.
Record 12-time champion Rafael Nadal will return for another crack at the tournament he has dominated for over a decade, alongside rivals Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Roger Federer, while we are set for another unpredictable women’s event starring the likes of Serena Williams, Simona Halep, Bianca Andreescu, Naomi Osaka and defending champion Ashleigh Barty.
French Open Live Streaming
French Open tennis is live from May 18 to June 7, 2020, with play starting around 11.00am local/10.00am GMT. Bookmaker bet365 are offering customers the opportunity to watch a live stream of the match alongside in-play betting.
Watch and bet on French Open tennis live at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)
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4. Select ‘Tennis’ from the ‘All Sports’ dropdown menu
5. Enjoy a live stream & in-play betting for French Open tennis, live from May 18 to June 7, 2020.
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French Open Tournament Schedule
Check back here when the 2020 French Open schedule is released.
French Open Players 2020
The biggest names in tennis return to Paris, including defending champions Rafael Nadal and Ashleigh Barty, for the second Grand Slam of the season, live from Roland Garros between May 18 and June 7.
What a season it was for the Spaniard in 2019. After a difficult start to the year after being crushed by Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open final and suffering some injury problems that caused him to lose before the final in his first three clay tournaments for the first time since 2004, Nadal put together an extraordinary back-half of the season, winning a record-extending 12th French Open and the U.S. Open to increase his major-tally count to 19, while he also picked up titles in Rome and Montreal, finishing the year as World No. 1 and leading Spain to the Davis Cup Finals title in Madrid. Nadal needs no introduction at Roland Garros with a jaw-dropping 93-2 record and will once again be the man to beat in 2020.
With Nadal having a stranglehold on the French Open since 2005, it’s left very little room for others to reign supreme on the famous Roland Garros clay, but Djokovic is one of just three other men to have got his hands on the trophy, prevailing in 2016 to claim a career slam. However, Djokovic hasn’t been back to the final since, losing in the quarter-finals in 2017 and 2018, while he was knocked out in five sets by Dominic Thiem in 2019. In saying that, Djokovic (along with Thiem) is still the man most likely to trouble Nadal in Paris.
The ‘Prince of Clay’ has been making significant inroads at Roland Garros over the last couple of years, reaching his first Grand Slam finals in 2018 and 2019, but Nadal has proved too tough to overcome. Thiem continues to improve with each season and is patiently biding his time for a maiden Grand Slam breakthrough – could it come in 2020?
Federer, the 2009 Roland Garros champion, returned to the French Open for the first time in four years in 2019, putting in a respectable performance as he reached the semi-finals before going down to Nadal. The Swiss continues to defy age in the twilight of his career, and while a second title at Roland Garros would be an enormous surprise, you can never count a legend out.
The young Greek played one of the matches of the season at Roland Garros in 2019 as he lost an epic fourth round clash with Stan Wawrinka in five sets, but after winning the year-end ATP Finals to close a superb season, Tsitsipas could be ready for a Grand Slam breakthrough in 2020. It’s a tall order for anyone not named Nadal to win Roland Garros, but Tsitsipas certainly deserves to be in the conversation.
One of the biggest stories of the 2019 season, Medvedev now has to prove it wasn’t a fluke and back up everything in 2020. The Russian proved how good he can be as he almost came back from the brink in the U.S. Open final against Nadal and his maddening consistency could prove to be very tough to overcome on the clay of Roland Garros.
Grand Slams are still proving tough for Zverev to master, but the German has achieved his best results at the French Open, reaching the quarter-finals in the last two years. Surely a major breakthrough has got to happen sooner rather than later…
Along with Federer and Djokovic, Wawrinka is the only other man not named Nadal to have won the French Open since 2005. It’s been a long road back from knee surgery in 2017, but Wawrinka is slowly getting back to his best tennis and is one of the few men who has the necessary firepower to blow anyone off the court when he is fit and firing.
The comeback continues for the former World No. 1, who finished runner-up to Djokovic at the 2016 French Open. Murray had improved his clay-court game considerably before injury – but how will his hip hold up in some of the toughest conditions in tennis?
Most people thought Barty would break through at some stage and win a Grand Slam, but not many would have predicted it to come at the 2019 French Open. The Australian lost just one set on her way to the title and would rise to World No. 1 just a few weeks later, finishing 2019 in the top spot as she took out the WTA Finals title in Shenzhen. It’s another wide open women’s field, but Barty is as good a shot as anyone to be the last woman standing.
The Japanese is yet to master Roland Garros, failing to make it past the third round in four previous appearances, but once Osaka gets on a roll, she can prove impossible to stop. Despite struggling for the clay and grass swings in 2019, Osaka still managed to finish the year at No. 3 in the world, which highlights just how good she is when at her best.
After finishing runner-up at the French Open in 2017, Halep finally captured her maiden major title at Roland Garros the following year, defeating Sloane Stephens in the final. The Romanian suffered a disappointing quarter-final loss to rising star Amanda Anisimova in 2019, but bounced back in perfect fashion to claim her second Grand Slam at Wimbledon. Once again in the top handful of favourites for the title.
Andreescu put together a phenomenal season in 2019, rising from outside the top 100 into the top five, winning titles at the U.S. Open, Indian Wells and Rogers Cup in her native Canada. Now one of the best players in the world and a top 10 star, can the teenager back it all up and avoid the dreaded second-year syndrome?
The Czech is always in the conversation at the biggest tournaments in the world, despite failing to secure a Grand Slam title so far in her career. Pliskova has improved her consistency and finished No. 2 in the world in 2019, but sometimes her best tennis deserted her in the majors. Can she step up when it matters most in 2020?
Since winning the title in 2015 and finishing runner-up in 2016, Serena hasn’t had the best results at Roland Garros, missing the 2017 tournament and failing to make it past the R16 in her last two appearances, withdrawing last year with injury in the third round. However, you can never discard the greatest player of all time, and Serena will once again be as determined as ever to add another slam to her remarkable tally.
Another player searching for their maiden major title after a few years of being a top 10 mainstay. Svitolina is a bit like Alexander Zverev in the sense she has proven she can beat just about everyone, but can’t translate it over to the slams. The Ukrainian has a game built for clay – can Svitolina find the formula for success at Roland Garros in 2020?
The French Open is Kvitova’s least successful slam, with the Czech only making it past the fourth round once in her 10 previous appearances, while she missed last year’s event through injury, However, Kvitova is one of those players that can be unstoppable if she gets on a roll, so if she can survive the early rounds and make the second week, she will definitely be someone the top seeds would want to avoid.
It promises to be another thrilling fortnight of French Open tennis as the second Grand Slam of the year is live from Paris between May 20 and June 9, 2020.
About The French Open
The second Grand Slam of the year is one of the most gruelling and demanding of the tennis season – if not the most demanding for the men, who must compete in best-of-five set matches for a fortnight on the most endurance-requiring surface in the game.
The French Open – otherwise known as Roland Garros, named after the Stade Roland Garros, where the tournament has been held since 1928 – has a long and complicated history. This has seen the tournament change locations and identities multiple times since its founding in 1891. Before 1925, the tournament was open to members of French tennis clubs only, and named the Championnat de France. Originating as a men’s event alone, a women’s tournament was added for the first time in 1897 – with doubles tournaments beginning to be added in 1902.
As the Championnat de France, the event changed both location and surface several times over. Initially, it was contested in Puteaux, and played on sand laid out on rubble. In moving on the the Racing Club of France, Paris, it changed surfaces to clay, and remained as such throughout periods of time spent in Bordeaux and Auteuil (Paris.)
After a couple more venue changes, the tournament finally came to rest at the Roland Garros stadium in 1928 – the year it officially became a Grand Slam tournament.
The tournament’s history can be divided up into three stages: Before 1925 (the French club members only event), 1925-1967, and the Open Era – which is 1968 and beyond. It was only at the beginning of the Open Era that the tournament dropped its title of the ‘French Championships’ and adopted the major title of the French Open.
In the 1925-1967 era, France’s own Henry Cochet won the most editions of the French Open, achieving four (1926, 1928, 1930, 1932). Bjorn Borg of the Open Era bested this record with six titles (1974-75, 1978-81), a tally which nobody expected would be broken. Nevertheless, Rafael Nadal – still an active player – has gone above and beyond with his current all-time record of ten Roland Garros trophies (2005-08, 2010-14, 2017). The Spaniard also holds the record for most consecutive titles won with his five from 2010 to 2014. This also translates into an all-time record, as Frank Parker, Jaroslav Drobny, Tony Trabert and Nicola Pietrangeli of the pre-Open Era only scored two consecutive victories each.
Over with the women, the legendary Suzanne Lenglen won the most titles before the Open Era, triumphing six times (1920-23, 1925-26.) Chris Evert’s seven title victories hold the record from 1968 onwards (1974-75, 1979-80, 1983, 1985-86.) Lenglen also holds the pre-Open Era record for most consecutive titles – four – and shares that status with fellow Frenchwoman Jeanne Matthey (1909-12.) In the Open Era, Monica Seles (1990-92) and Justine Henin (2005-07) share the status.
In recent years, the reign of Rafael Nadal, which saw him win nine of ten years between 2005 and 2014 (the exception being 2009 when he suffered a shock defeat to Robin Soderling, creating an opening for Roger Federer to finally complete his career Grand Slam), was suspended by titles for Stan Wawrinka in 2015 and Novak Djokovic in 2016 before Nadal returned in triumph in 2017, capturing ‘La Decima’ – a tenth title – without dropping a set despite facing Wawrinka in the final. Nadal successfully defended his title in 2018, prevailing for the 11th time with a straight sets win over first-time major finalist Dominic Thiem. Nadal and Thiem would clash for the second year in a row in the 2019 final, and while the Austrian was able to match it with the King of Clay for the first two sets, he couldn’t maintain the superhuman level required to beat Nadal at Roland Garros, eventually succumbing in four as the Spaniard collected his 12th French Open title.
On the women’s side, recent years have seen Maria Sharapova (2012, 2014) and Serena WIlliams (2013, 2015) ending a string of one-time champions which included Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Francesca Schiavone and Li Na, while Garbine Muguruza became the first Spanish woman since Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 1998 to lift the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen when she claimed her maiden Grand Slam title at the 2016 French Open and Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko, just 19 years old, became the first unseeded player in history to win the crown when she captured the title in 2017, defeating Simona Halep in the final.
Halep would bounce back in the 2018 showpiece, finally capturing her maiden Grand Slam title with a come-from-behind win over Sloane Stephens. The Romanian couldn’t become the first woman since Justin Henin in 2007 to defend her Roland Garros title, losing in the quarter-finals of her title defence to Amanda Anisimova, with Australian star Ashleigh Barty going on to beat Anisimova in the semis and Marketa Vondrousova in the final to win her first major crown.
Why is the French Open so hard to win?
Played on the traditional clay known as terre battue, the French Open has a serious claim to being the biggest physical and mental challenge in tennis. Unlike the skiddy grass at Wimbledon or the hard courts in New York, the crushed brick at Roland Garros means a slower court surface and high-bouncing balls, with contemporary players routinely able to load the ball with topspin, and vicious kick. That, in turn, means longer rallies, with the best in the world able to run each other from side to side in grueling exchanges under the scorching Paris sun.
Physical fitness, power and stamina are vital qualities for success at Roland Garros, but so are variety, tactical awareness and acuity – a well-executed drop shot can have the devastating effect of a big serve on other surfaces.
Also, the clay in Paris does have a tendency to swirl around in the wind, making conditions even more difficult for the players.
It’s no surprise that the French Open has been sorting the best from the rest since it was first opened to all amateurs back in 1925. Some of the greatest in tennis history, including Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker, have found the Coupe des Mousquetaires eluding them and, with it, their dream of winning all four majors. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic both endured years of frustration and multiple experiences of falling short at the final hurdle before completing the career Grand Slam in Paris.
On the other hand, there are those for whom Roland Garros has been the rock on which their greatness was built. Bjorn Borg won the title six times between 1974 and 1981, becoming the most successful player at the French Open in the Open Era – a record decimated when a certain Rafael Nadal came along, winning an incredible ten titles between 2005 and 2017. Nadal’s extraordinary movement and defensive skills have rendered him almost unbeatable on the surface. While defence is a key requirement for success at Roland Garros, it is not the sole requirement. For all of Nadal’s defensive genius, the great Spaniard wields one of the most devastating forehands in the sport, and his use of the top-spin high-bouncing forehand to force his opponents back has been a constant feature of his clay-court dominance over the years.
Who are the greatest French Open players?
The great Rafael Nadal is unarguably the greatest human to ever step foot at Roland Garros. Nadal’s dominance of the tournament is staggering, with 12 titles and a 93-2 record in the French capital. A teenage Nadal claimed the title in his first attempt in 2005, beating Roger Federer in the semi-finals, and taking out Mariano Puerta in the title match. He would retain the Coupe des Mousquetaires in the next three seasons before Swede Robin Soderling ended his reign in 2009, causing one of the most seismic upsets in Grand Slam history with a four-set victory over the Spaniard in the fourth round.
Nadal came back with a vengeance, claiming an Open Era record five straight titles between 2010 and 2014. The closest man to Nadal in the Open Era was Swed, Bjorn Borg, who wound up with six Roland Garros crowns, including four straight success between 1978 and 1981. Borg’s big rival Ivan Lendl won three, so did Mats Wilander and the likeable Brazilian, Gustavo Kuerten.
Prior to the advent of the Open Era, Frenchman Max Decugis won his eight titles before the first World War, while Henri Cochet, one of the Mousquetaires, had five titles.
Chris Evert leads the women’s all-time field with seven titles, while Steffi Graf and Suzanne Lenglen, the great Frenchwoman who has one of the main show courts and the women’s singles’ trophy named after her, are joint second with six crowns. Margaret Court is one of a couple of women with five titles, while modern day French Open great Justin Henin picked up four. Henin and Monica Seles are the only women to win three straight Roland Garros crowns in the Open Era. How about Serena Williams, you ask? Well, the great American has hoisted the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen on three occasions – 2002, 2013 and 2015.
French Open Records
Most titles (men):
Pre-1925 (French-only event) – Max Decugis, who won eight titles between 1903 and 1914
Amateur era (1925-67) – Henri Cochet, who won four titles between 1926 and 1932
Open Era (post-1967) – Rafael Nadal, with 12 titles between 2005 and 2019
All-time- Rafael Nadal (2005-9, 2010-14, 2017, 2018, 2019)
Most titles (women):
Pre-1967 – Suzanne Lenglen, who won six titles between 1920 and 1926
Open Era (post-1967) – Chris Evert, who won seven titles between 1974-1986
All-time – Chris Evert (1974-5, 1979-80, 1983, 1985-6)
Most consecutive singles titles (men)
Pre-1925 (French-only event) – Paul Ayme, who won four straight titles 1897-1900
Amateur era (1925-67) – Frank Parker (1948-49), Jaroslav Drobny (1951-2), Tony Trabert (1954-55), Nicola Pietrangeli (1959-60)
Open Era (post-1967) – Rafael Nadal, who won five straight titles 2010-2014
All-time – Rafael Nadal 2010-14
Most consecutive singles titles (women)
Pre-1967 – Suzanne Lenglen (four titles between 1920-1923) and Jeanne Mathey (1909-1912)
Open Era (post-1967) – Monica Seles (three titles between 1990-92) and Justine Henin (three titles 2005-7)
Most finals appearances (men)
Rafael Nadal made 12 finals between 2005-2019 (and has a 12-0 record)
Most finals appearances (women)
Chris Evert made nine finals between 1973-1986 (7-2 record)
Youngest winner (men) – Michael Chang, aged 17 years and 3 months in 1989
Youngest winner (women) – Monica Seles, aged 16 years and 6 months in 1990
Oldest winner (men) – Andre Vacherot, aged 40 years and 8 months in 1901
Oldest winner (women) – Zsusza Kormoczy, aged 33 years and 10 months in 1958
Unseeded winners (men)
Marcel Bernard (1946)
Mats Wilander (1982)
Gustavo Kuerten (1997)
Gaston Gaudio (2004)
Unseeded winners (women)
Margaret Scriven (1933)
Jelena Ostapenko (2017)
Longest match (men)
By time – Fabrice Santoro d. Arnaud Clement (R1, 2004), 6-4, 6-3, 6-7(5), 3-6, 16-14 in 6 hours, 33 minutes
By games (with tie break scoring) – Paul-Henri Mathieu d. John Isner (R2, 2012), 6-7(2), 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 18-16, 76 games total
In a singles final – Mats Wilander d. Guillermo Vilas (1982), 1-6, 7-6(6), 6-0, 6-4 in 4 hours, 42 minutes
Longest match (women)
By time – Virginie Buisson d. Noelle van Lottum (R1, 1995), 6-7(3), 7-5, 6-2 in 4 hours, 7 minutes
By games (with tie break scoring) – Linda Harvey-Wild d. Laura Gildemeister (R2, 1991), 7-6(7), 6-7(7), 11-9, 46 games total
Most aces in a single match (men)
Ivo Karlovic of Croatia served 55 aces in a win over Lleyton Hewitt at the 2009 French Open
Most aces in a single match (women)
Ekaterina Bychkova of Russia served 21 aces in a win over Lindsay Lee-Waters at the 2011 French Open