We're in for another classic men's final at Roland Garros as Rafael Nadal takes on Novak Djokovic, while a surprise champion awaits in the women's field as Iga Swiatek faces Sofia Kenin.
Expert tips, predictions and daily best bets for the French Open, live from Roland Garros in Paris between September 27 and October 11.
Read on below as we provide daily best bets for the French Open over the next fortnight, along with our predictions and tips for the outright winner.
French Open Men: Best bet for Sunday October 11
Rafael Nadal to beat Novak Djokovic & both players to win a set @ $2.50
History is once again on the line as Nadal and Djokovic square off for the 56th time in the French Open final on Sunday. Nadal is unbeaten in Roland Garros finals and is aiming for a 13th title in Paris, while the Spaniard is also hoping to draw level with Roger Federer on 20 slams.
Djokovic meanwhile is looking to become the first man to beat Nadal twice at the French Open, along with being the first player in the Open Era to win all four slams at least twice.
It’s shaping as an unmissable contest, but I can’t go against Nadal on these courts. The Spaniard is a staggering 99-2 lifetime at Roland Garros and hasn’t dropped a set en route to the final, while Djokovic struggled physically against Pablo Carreno Busta and was stretched to five sets by Stefanos Tsitsipas in the semi-finals.
Nadal holds a dominant 17-7 record over Djokovic on clay and has not lost to him on this surface in the last four years. Expect Djokovic to make this competitive and take at least a set, but the King of Clay will be reigning supreme once again.
French Open Women: Best bet for Saturday October 10
Sofia Kenin to beat Iga Swiatek H2H @ $2.50
Kenin is way over the odds here and I’m happy to back her as the underdog in this surprise French Open final.
Yes, Swiatek has been on fire for the last fortnight and has only dropped 24 games en route to her first major final – the least amount since Mary Pierce all the way back in 1994. But, Pierce went on to lose that final and I can see the same thing happening with Swiatek – she hasn’t faced any adversity whatsoever this tournament, but you can be sure she’ll face her toughest moments of the event at some stage in the final.
Kenin knows what it takes to win a Grand Slam having done so at the Australian Open in January and is one of the fiercest competitors out there. The American methodically took apart Petra Kvitova in the semi-finals and her dogged consistency, along with a precise backhand, means she will work Swiatek over like nobody this tournament has before – minus Simona Halep.
Swiatek was up to the challenge that day, but it goes without saying playing to the same level in a major final is an entirely different kettle of fish.
Kenin has been there and done that, so at these odds, we’ve got to side with the American to, sensationally, win her second major of 2020.
French Open Multi Tips: Men’s Semi-Finals
We have combined our favourite bets for the men’s semi-finals into a two-leg multi that pays $172 from a $20 investment.
French Open Seeds (Men)
1. ?? Novak Djokovic
2. ?? Rafael Nadal
3. ?? Dominic Thiem
4. ?? Daniil Medvedev
5. ?? Stefanos Tsitsipas
6. ?? Alexander Zverev
7. ?? Matteo Berrettini
8. ?? Gael Monfils
9. ?? Denis Shapovalov
10. ?? Roberto Bautista Agut
11. ?? David Goffin
12. ?? Diego Schwartzman
13. ?? Andrey Rublev
14. ?? Fabio Fognini
15. ?? Karen Khachanov
16. ?? Stan Wawrinka
17. ?? Pablo Carreno Busta
18. ?? Grigor Dimitrov
19. ??Felix Auger Aliassime
20. ?? Cristian Garin
21. ?? John Isner
22. ?? Dusan Lajovic
23. ?? Benoit Paire
24. ?? Borna Coric
25. ?? Alex de Minaur
26. ?? Filip Krajinovic
27. ?? Taylor Fritz
28. ?? Casper Ruud
29. ?? Hubert Hurkacz
30. ?? Jan-Lennard Struff
31. ?? Nikoloz Basilashvili
32. ?? Dan Evans
French Open Seeds (Women)
1. ?? Simona Halep
2. ?? Karolina Pliskova
3. ?? Elina Svitolina
4. ?? Sofia Kenin
5. ?? Kiki Bertens
6. ?? Serena Williams
7. ?? Petra Kvitova
8. ?? Aryna Sabalenka
9. ?? Johanna Konta
10. ?? Victoria Azarenka
11. ?? Garbine Muguruza
12. ?? Madison Keys
13. ?? Petra Martic
14. ?? Elena Rybakina
15. ?? Marketa Vondrousova
16. ?? Elise Mertens
17. ?? Anett Kontaveit
18. ?? Angelique Kerber
19. ?? Alison Riske
20. ?? Maria Sakkari
21. ?? Jennifer Brady
22. ?? Karolina Muchova
23. ?? Yulia Putintseva
24. ?? Dayana Yastremska
25. ?? Amanda Anisimova
26. ?? Donna Vekic
27. ?? Ekaterina Alexandrova
28. ?? Svetlana Kuznetsova
29. ?? Sloane Stephens
30. ?? Ons Jabeur
31. ?? Magda Linette
32. ?? Barbora Strycova
Roland Garros Tips & Predictions (men)
While 128 players are in the draw, only three have a realistic chance of winning the title for me, and they of course are Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem.
Nadal obviously deserves his favouritism. The King of Clay has won the French Open a staggering 12 times and is almost unbeatable at this tournament. However, there are more question marks than usual surrounding Nadal coming into this tournament, including the colder weather, new balls and the fact he’s only played a handful of matches in the last seven months, suffering a shock loss to Diego Schwartzman in the Rome Masters quarter-finals.
Nadal also didn’t get a great draw, with Thiem landing in his half, which could mean he has to go through the Austrian and Djokovic back-to-back to win the title. Certainly more than doable, but also not the most ideal preparation and draw Nadal would have wanted.
Thiem is playing his first tournament since winning his maiden Grand Slam at the US Open and I do wonder if he’s going to suffer a hangover from that triumph, like so many first-time major winners do in the months following their success. Thiem is a two-time runner-up at Roland Garros, beaten Nadal on clay and in best-of-five and conquered Djokovic at this tournament, but potentially defeating the pair back-to-back so soon after winning his first slam is an enormous task.
Which leaves Djokovic as my pick. The Serbian is yet to be defeated in a completed match in 2020 and will be determined to put his US Open demons behind him. He’s coming off another title in Rome and was handed the best draw he could have hoped for. I can’t see anyone stopping him before the final, which means he will be fresh for whoever out of Nadal or Thiem is waiting across the net.
Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev and Andrey Rublev are amongst the young guns leading the charge once again, but I can’t see any of them doing any damage to the aforementioned trio on clay. Medvedev’s flat game doesn’t translate well to the dirt, Tsitsipas isn’t playing his best right now, while US Open finalist Zverev is still shaky in slams and mucks around too much in the early rounds.
Rublev, in my opinion, is the guy most likely to make an impact with his huge forehand, but his second serve will get eaten up by Djokovic and Nadal should they meet.
Stan Wawrinka is also someone to keep an eye on – if he can get past a marquee first round clash with Andy Murray – but the 2016 champion’s body probably can’t last a gruelling fortnight of clay-court battles these days.
Djokovic is the man to beat for me and is well-positioned to collect an 18th Grand Slam title.
French Open Tips ?
Roland Garros Tips & Predictions (women)
Unlike the men’s field, you could make a genuine case for at least 10 women to win this year’s French Open, such is the depth and unpredictability of the WTA tour.
In saying that, my two leading contenders – with defending champion Ashleigh Barty opting not to play this year – are Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza. Halep has all the momentum coming in, compiling a 20-2 record so far in 2020 and winning the title in Rome last week. She’s in a great place mentally and of course is a former champion at Roland Garros. She has tricky player en route to the title – namely Amanda Anisimova, who beat her here last year and Marketa Vondrousova, who she is 0-2 against and made the final in 2019, but Halep is as confident as ever, bringing a 14-match winning streak into the tournament, and I’d back her to beat just about anybody right now on clay.
Muguruza perhaps has the greatest chance of beating Halep after their brilliant battle in Rome and the Spaniard’s overall resurgence in 2020, which saw her make the Australian Open final at the start of the season. She also has a tough path to the final and could run into the player that beat her in Melbourne in Sofia Kenin, but I’d expect Muguruza to reverse that result on clay. Muguruza is a former champion at Roland Garros as well and when she’s playing her best tennis – something she’s doing a lot more often than not these days – she’s almost impossible to stop.
Serena Williams of course has to be in the conversation, but the French Open is probably the slam where she has the least chance of capturing an elusive 24th major, and coupled with zero clay-court match preparation and her nerves at business stages of slams in recent years, I just can’t see her outlasting the likes of Halep and Muguruza – if she gets that far to face them.
Karolina Pliskova tends to go quiet in slams and hasn’t justified herself as a contender for me, while Victoria Azarenka repeating her US Open heroics seems like a long shot. Elina Svitolina is coming off a title in Strasbourg, but again, she hasn’t made a big enough impact at slams to elevate her into the Halep and Muguruza tiers of favouritism.
As is frequently becoming the norm, their will most likely be a belter coming out of nowhere to make the semi-finals or final, but Halep is the favourite for me, slightly ahead of Muguruza.
French Open Tips ?