The 2018 French Open, also known as Roland Garros, runs between Sunday, 27 May to Sunday, 10 June. Watch and bet on French Open tennis live from Paris and get the latest news, tips, previews and predictions at live-tennis.com.

Latest French Open news

When is the 2018 French Open?

The 2018 French Open is live from Roland Garros, Paris from Sunday 27 May to Sunday, 10 June, 2018.
The French Open holds the distinction of being the only Grand Slam that starts on a Sunday, with the other three majors - the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open - all beginning on Mondays.

That is just one of many unique characteristics of Roland Garros. The tournament is the second Grand Slam of the year, held about four months after the Australian Open. Wimbledon comes up just three weeks after the conclusion of Roland Garros. That gap between Roland Garros and Wimbledon used to be two weeks, but because of the difficulty in transiting between the long clay court season and the relative shorter grass court season, the authorities decided to extend the grass court calendar to allow the players more time to fine-tune their game on grass. 

The French Open is the climax of the European clay court season, a giant umbrella over a run that would have taken players through Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Budapest, Estoril, Munich, Istanbul, Madrid and Rome, Geneva and Lyon. 

The great Rafael Nadal has dominated the clay court season for over a decade now, amazingly winning his maiden French Open title on debut in 2005, and claiming his tenth crown ('La Decima') in 2017. The 31-year-old Spaniard is again the overwhelming favourite for the 2018 title. Nadal hasn’t played much tennis this year, as he has been bothered by a thigh injury that forced his retirement from his quarter final meeting with Marin Cilic at the Australian Open. He sat out over two months after that, pulling out of tournaments in Acapulco, Indian Wells and Miami. Nadal only made his return to the tour in the Davis Cup at the start of April, where he guided Spain to victory over Germany in a quarterfinal tie. 

Well-rested and typically motivated, the king of clay will take some stopping at Roland Garros this year! 
The prime obstacle to Nadal’s seemingly inexorable march to a staggering eleventh French Open title is Dominic Thiem - the rising Austrian who has been earmarked as the heir apparent to Nadal. Thiem was clearly the second-best player on clay last season - he soiled Nadal’s otherwise perfect record with a crushing victory in Rome - and has now reached consecutive Roland Garros semi-finals. The general consensus seems to be that he is a French Open champion in waiting, but with Nadal still going so strong, the 24-year-old may have to wait a little longer to get his hands in the famous Coupe Des Mousquetaires. 

Former world number one, and 12-time Grand Slam champion, Novak Djokovic should ideally be a top challenger, but the Serbian has had a difficult season, and except he undergoes a dramatic upturn in form between now and Paris, it’s tough to see how he will get into the latter stages, let alone earn a shot at Nadal. 

The other members of the traditional big four, Roger Federer and Andy Murray, are both missing in action. Federer is currently on a well-earned hiatus, while Murray is continuing his recovery from surgery. 

Top ten stars Grigor Dimitrov, Alexander Zverev, Marin Cilic will all be in Paris, but they may once again have to settle for the minor places with the relentless Nadal in no mood to surrender his title.

The women’s field is a lot more difficult to call, with Simona Halep looking to finally exorcise the demons of two final defeats in the French capital. Halep lead by a set and a break, and a break in the final set against Jelena Ostapenko in last season’s final, but she still fell under the fearless ball-striking skills of Jelena Ostapenko. 

Can Ostapenko recreate her stunning run to the 2017 title? It’s not totally out of the question, as the Latvian remains one of the most devastating players on the tour when she gets it right. Former champion, Garbine Muguruza could well be a factor in Paris, but Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber have not really shown much in their past visits to Roland Garros to suggest that they can go all the way. The French Open is Serena Williams' least successful Slam, so claiming a fourth Paris title so soon after returning from child birth looks highly unlikely, while two-time champion Maria Sharapova has not been playing well enough to back up the possibility of a third French Open crown. The women’s draw is open as always, and there is always the chance of a surprise winner, like Ostapenko last year. Daria Kasatkina, maybe? Naomi Osaka?

French Open History

The foundations of the French Open were first laid in 1891, when the inaugural edition of the French Championships was staged. History has it that matches were played as best-of-three sets contests until 1902 or 1903, after which the best-of-five format was adopted. Participation at the French Championships was initially restricted to members of French clubs, but it became an international event in 1925, when it was upgraded to major championship status by the International Lawn Tennis Federation.
 
Despite the initial restriction to home-based players, Briton, H. Briggs, a Paris resident, was the first ever men’s champion in 1891. The French Championships women’s singles began six years later in 1897, with Adine Masson emerging as the first winner. Between 1891 and 1924, the tournament was held at four different venues, including the sandy courts of the Ile de Puteaux, but it has been staged exclusively on outdoor clay since 1908. The French Open moved to its current site Roland Garros in 1928. The venue, which was opened in the same year for France’s first Davis Cup title defence, was named after World War I hero Roland Garros.

Henri Cochet, one of the famous Mousquetaires, was the first champion at the new venue, while American Helen Wills Moody won the women’s singles title in the first ever edition at Roland Garros. Australia’s Jack Crawford, in 1933, was the first non-French champion at Roland Garros, and the first non-French winner of the French Championships since Briton H. Briggs won the inaugural edition in 1891. The women’s singles didn’t have a foreign winner until Dutchwoman Kea Bouman defeated South African Irene Bowder Peacock in 1927.

The French Championships became the first Grand Slam to go Open in 1968, allowing both amateur and professional athletes to participate. Australian great Ken Rosewall was the first men’s singles champion in the Open Era, while Nancy Richey won the women’s event. Tournament organizers announced in March 2007 that there would be equal prize money for men and women, aligning the tournament with other majors which were already paying equal prize money to both sexes.

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.

French Open statistics

French Open winners

Previous winners at Roland Garros (in the Open Era)

YearMen's championRunner-upWomen's championRunner-up
1968Ken RosewallRod LaverNancy RicheyAnn Haydon-Jones
1969Rod Laver (2)Ken RosewallMargaret Court (3)Ann Haydon-Jones
1970Jan KodesZeljko FranulovicMargaret Court (4)Helga Niessen
1971Jan Kodes (2)Ilie NastaseEvonne GoolagongHelen Gourlay
1972Andres GimenoPatrick ProisyBillie Jean KingEvonne Goolagong
1973Ilie NastaseNikola PilicMargaret Court (5)Chris Evert
1974Bjorn BorgManuel OrantesChris EvertOlga Mozorova
1975Bjorn Borg (2)Guillermo VilasChris Evert (2)Martina Navratilova
1976Adriano PanattaHarold SolomonSue BarkerRenata Tomanova
1977Guillermo VilasBrian GottfriedMima JausovecFlorenta Mihai
1978Bjorn Borg (3)Guillermo VilasVirginia RuziciMima Jausovec
1979Bjorn Borg (4)Victor PecciChris Evert (3)Wendy Turnbull
1980Bjorn Borg (5)Vitas GerulaitisChris Evert (4)Virginia Ruzici
1981Bjorn Borg (6)Ivan LendlHana MandlikovaSylvia Hanika
1982Mats WilanderGuillermo VilasMartina NavratilovaAndrea Jaeger
1983Yannick NoahMats WilanderChris Evert (5)Mima Jausovec
1984Ivan LendlJohn McEnroeMartina Navratilova (2)Chris Evert
1985Mats WilanderIvan LendlChris Evert (6)Martina Navratilova
1986Ivan Lendl (2)Mikael PernforsChris Evert (7)Martina Navratilova
1987Ivan Lendl (3)Mats WilanderSteffi GrafMartina Navratilova
1988Mats Wilander (2)Henri LeconteSteffi Graf (2)Natasha Zvereva
1989Michael ChangStefan EdbergArantxa Sanchez VicarioSteffi Graf
1990Andres GomezAndre AgassiMonica SelesSteffi Graf
1991Jim CourierAndre AgassiMonica Seles (2)Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
1992Jim Courier (2)Petr KordaMonica Seles (3)Steffi Graf
1993Sergi BrugueraJim CourierSteffi Graf (3)Mary Joe Fernandez
1994Sergi Bruguera (2)Alberto BerasateguiArantxa Sanchez Vicario (2)Mary Pierce
1995Thomas MusterMichael ChangSteffi Graf (4)Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
1996Yevgeny KafelnikovMichael StichSteffi Graf (5)Arantxa Sanchez Vicario
1997Gustavo KuertenSergi BrugueraIva MajoliMartina Hingis
1998Carlos MoyaAlex CorretjaArantxa Sanchez Vicario (3)Monica Seles
1999Andre AgassiAndrei MedvedevSteffi Graf (6)Martina Hingis
2000Gustavo Kuerten (2)Magnus NormanMary Pierce Conchita Martinez
2001Gustavo Kuerten (3)Alex CorretjaJennifer CapriatiKim Clijsters
2002Albert CostaJuan Carlos FerreroSerena WilliamsVenus Williams
2003Juan Carlos FerreroMartin VerkerkJustine HeninKim Clijsters
2004Gaston GaudioGuillermo CoriaAnastasia MyskinaElena Dementieva
2005Rafael NadalMariano PuertaJustine HeninMary Pierce
2006Rafael Nadal (2)Roger FedererJustine Henin (2)Svetlana Kuznetsova
2007Rafael Nadal (3)Roger FedererJustine Henin (3)Ana Ivanovic
2008Rafael Nadal (4)Roger FedererAna IvanovicDinara Safina
2009Roger FedererRobin SoderlingSvetlana KuznetsovaDinara Safina
2010Rafael Nadal (5)Robin SoderlingFrancesca SchiavoneSamantha Stosur
2011Rafael Nadal (6)Roger FedererLi NaFrancesca Schiavone
2012Rafael Nadal (7)Novak DjokovicMaria SharapovaSara Errani
2013Rafael Nadal (8)David FerrerSerena Williams (2)Maria Sharapova
2014Rafael Nadal (9)Novak DjokovicMaria Sharapova (2)Simona Halep
2015Stan WawrinkaNovak DjokovicSerena Williams (3)Lucie Safarova
2016Novak DjokovicAndy MurrayGarbine MuguruzaSerena Williams
2017Rafael Nadal (10)Stan WawrinkaJelena OstapenkoSimona Halep

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 ten titles in his twelve visits to 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 10 titles between 2005 and 2017
All-time- Rafael Nadal (2005-9, 2010-14, 2017)

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 ten finals between 2005-2017 (and has a 10-0 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

How do the biggest stars fare at the French Open?

French Open performance: Top men

PlayerTitlesFinalsMain-draw appearancesWin-loss record2017 result
Rafael Nadal10 (2005-8, 2010-14, 2017)01379-2Champion (d. Stan Wawrinka)
Novak Djokovic1 (2016)3 (2012, 2014, 2015)1359-12QF (lost to Dominic Thiem)
Stan Wawrinka1 (2015)1 (2017)1338-12Runner-up (lost to Rafael Nadal)
Roger Federer1 (2009)4 (2006-8, 2011)1765-16Did not play
Andy Murray01 (2016)1039-10SF (lost to Stan Wawrinka)
David Ferrer01 (2013)1544-15R2 (lost to Feliciano Lopez)
Dominic Thiem00412-4SF (lost to Rafael Nadal)

French Open performance: Top women

PlayerTitlesFinalsMain-draw appearancesWin-loss record2017 result
Serena Williams3 (2002, 2013, 2015)1 (2016)1560-12Did not play
Maria Sharapova2 (2012, 2014)1 (2013)1353-11Did not play
Jelena Ostapenko1 (2017)027-1Champion (d. Simona Halep)
Garbine Muguruza1 (2016)0519-4R16 (lost to Kristina Mladenovic)
Francesca Schiavone1 (2010)1 (2011)1740-16R1 (lost to Garbine Muguruza)
Svetlana Kuznetsova1 (2009)1 (2006)1552-14R16 (lost to Caroline Wozniacki)
Simona Halep02 (2014, 2017)817-8Runner-up (lost to Jelena Ostapenko)
Lucie Safarova01 (2015)1319-13R1 (lost to Veronica Cepede Royg)
Sara Errani01 (2012)1021-10R2 (lost to Kristina Mladenovic)
Samantha Stosur01 (2010)1437-14R16 (lost to Jelena Ostapenko)

French Open performance timeline: Men

French Open performance timeline: Men

Player1999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Rafael Nadal------WWWWR16WWWWWQFR3W
Novak Djokovic------R2QFSFSFR3QFSFFSFFFWQF
Stan Wawrinka-----Q1R3R1R2R3R3R16R16R16QFR1WSFF
Roger FedererR1R16QFR1R1R3SFFFFWQFFSFQFR16QF--
Andy Murray-------R1-R3QFR16SFQF-SFSFFSF
David Ferrer----R2R2QFR3R3QFR3R3R16SFFQFQFR16R2
Dominic Thiem---------------R2R2SFSF

French Open performance timeline: Women

French Open performance timeline: Women

Player19981999200020012002200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
Serena WilliamsR16R3-QFWSFQF--QFR3QFQF-R1WR2WF-
Maria Sharapova-----R1QFQFR16SFR16QFR3SFWFWR16--
Jelena Ostapenko-----------------Q1R1W
Garbine Muguruza--------------Q3R2QFQFWR16
Francesca Schiavone--Q3QFR3R2R16R16R16R3R3R1WFR3R16R1R3R1R1
Svetlana Kuznetsova----Q2R1R16R16FQFSFWR3QFR16QFQFR2R16R16
Simona Halep------------R1R2R1R1FR2R16F
Lucie Safarova-------R1R1R16R2R2R2R2R2R1R16FR3R1
Sara Errani---------Q1R1R1R1R2FSFQFQFR1R2
Samantha Stosur-----Q1R1R2R1R3R2SFFR3SFR3R16R3SFR16

French Open Tips

It’s extremely difficult to see beyond another victory for Rafael Nadal at the 2018 French Open. Nadal’s injury at the Australian Open, and the subsequent two-month break should turn into a blessing in the end, as the Spaniard should be well-rested for the clay court season. Not that he has needed much rest in the past, but this only strengthens his claims to the Roland Garros throne. In fact, it may be worth putting a punt on the Spaniard going all the way without dropping a set, as was the case last season!

Dominic Thiem has made the semi-finals in each of the last two seasons; and has established himself as a clear second-best on clay, hence this could be the year when he makes his first final at Roland Garros. 

There isn’t much competition coming from elsewhere. Roger Federer is on hiatus, Andy Murray is recovering from injury, while Novak Djokovic is struggling to win matches, let alone go deep in Slams.

In the women’s draw, Elina Svitolina and two-time finalist, Simona Halep are the early favourites to finally get their first majors, but nothing is ever set in stone in that field. Caroline Wozniacki hasn’t really done well on clay, so she isn’t expected to make much of an impact in Paris, neither is Angelique Kerber. Former champion, Garbine Muguruza might not have had the greatest opening quarter of the year, but the Spaniard retains that ability to hit through a WTA draw when she gets in a groove, like she did at Roland Garros a few seasons ago when she claimed her first Grand Slam title. She doesn’t look too bad a shout in an unpredictable field. The swashbuckling defending champion, Jelena Ostapenko cannot entirely be ruled out. 

It might be asking a bit too much of the two other former champions in the draw- Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova to go all the way this time around!

The French Open has a penchant for throwing up surprise champions, so Daria Kasatkina may be worth a gamble…

French Open live streaming

The French Open is live from Roland Garros between late May and early June, and you can stream all the matches live via the streaming services of our partners. To watch free live streams from Roland Garros online, simply open a free account with one of our fully licensed live streaming partners.

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