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)

How to watch and bet on French Open tennis:

1. Visit the bet365 website

2. Sign into your account or register for a new one

3. Select Live Streaming

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.

PLEASE NOTE: You must have a funded account or have placed a bet in the last 24 hours in order to watch tennis; geo-restrictions apply.

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.

Rafael Nadal

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.

Novak Djokovic

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.

Dominic Thiem

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?

Roger Federer

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.

Stefanos Tsitsipas

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.

Daniil Medvedev

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.

Alexander Zverev

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...

Stan Wawrinka

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.

Andy Murray

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?

Ashleigh Barty

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.

Naomi Osaka

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.

Simona Halep

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.

Bianca Andreescu

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?

Karolina Pliskova

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?

Serena Williams

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.

Elina Svitolina

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?

Petra Kvitova

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, 2019.

French Open seeds

The 2020 French Open seeds won't be confirmed until the week before the tournament begins, but you can see how the 2019 seeds fared in the tables below.

RG19 men's seeds

SeedPlayerBest French Open resultLatest 2019 RG result
1Novak DjokovicChampion (2016)R1: d, Hubert Hurkacz, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2
R2: d. Henri Laaksonen 6-1 6-4 6-3
R3: d. Salvatore Caruso 6-3 6-3 6-2
R16: d. Jan-Lennard Struff 6-3 6-2 6-2
QF: d. Alexander Zverev 7-5 6-2 6-2
SF: Lost to Dominic Thiem 2-6 6-3 5-7 7-5 5-7
2Rafael NadalChampion (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018)R1: d. Yannick Hanfmann, 6-2, 6-1, 6-3
R2: d. Yannick Maden 6-1 6-2 6-4
R3: d. David Goffin 6-1 6-3 4-6 6-3
R16: d. Juan Ignacio Londero 6-2 6-3 6-3
QF: d. Kei Nishikori 6-1 6-1 6-3
SF: d. Roger Federer 6-3 6-4 6-2
Final: Dominic Thiem
3Roger FedererChampion (2009)R1: d. Lorenzo Sonego, 6-2, 6-4, 6-4
R2: d. Oscar Otte (LL) 6-4 6-3 6-4
R3: d. Casper Ruud 6-3 6-1 7-6(8)
R16: d. Leonardo Mayer 6-2 6-3 6-3
QF: d. Stan Wawrinka 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(5) 6-4
SF: Lost to Rafael Nadal 3-6 4-6 2-6
4Dominic ThiemRunner-up (2018)R1: d. Tommy Paul, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6(5), 6-2
R2: d. Alexander Bublik 6-3 6-7(8) 6-3 7-5
R3: d. Pablo Cuevas 6-3 4-6 6-2 7-5
R16: d. Gael Monfils 6-4 6-4 6-2
QF: d. Karen Khachanov 6-2 6-4 6-2
SF: d. Novak Djokovic 6-2 3-6 7-5 5-7 7-5
Final: Faces Rafael Nadal
5Alexander ZverevQF (2018)R1: d. John Millman 7-6(4) 6-3 2-6 6-7(5) 6-3
R2: d. Mikael Ymer 6-1 6-3 7-6(3)
R3: d. Dusan Lajovic 6-4 6-2 4-6 1-6 6-2
R16: d Fabio Fognini 3-6 6-2 6-2 7-6(5)
QF: Lost to Novak Djokovic 5-7 2-6 2-6
6Stefanos TsitsipasR2 (2018)R1: d. Maximilian Marterer, 6-2, 6-2, 7-6(4)
R2: d. Hugo Dellien 4-6 6-0 6-3 7-5
R3: d. Filip Krajinovic 7-5 6-3 6-7(5) 7-6(6)
R16: Lost to Stan Wawrinka 6-7(6) 7-5 4-6 6-3 6-8
7Kei NishikoriQF (2015, 2017)R1: d. Quentin Halys, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4
R2: d. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 4-6 6-4 6-4 6-4
R3: d. Laslo Djere 6-4 6-7(6) 6-3 4-6 8-6
R16: d. Benoit Paire 6-2 6-7(8) 6-2 6-7(8) 7-5
QF: Lost to Rafael Nadal 1-6 1-6 3-6
8Juan Martin del PotroSF (2009, 2018)R1: d. Nicolas Jarry 3-6 6-2 6-1 6-4
R2: d. Yoshihito Nishioka 5-7 6-4 6-2 6-7(5) 6-2
R3: d. Jordan Thompson 6-4 6-4 6-0
R16: Lost to Karen Khachanov 5-7 3-6 6-3 3-6
9Fabio FogniniQF (2011)R1: d. Andreas Seppi 6-3 6-0 3-6 6-3
R2: d. Federico Delbonis 6-4 3-6 6-3 6-3
R3: d. Roberto Bautista Agut 7-6(5) 6-4 4-6 6-1
R16: Lost to Alexander Zverev 6-3 2-6 2-6 6-7(5)
10Karen KhachanovR16 (2017, 2018)R1: d. Cedrick-Marcel Stebe 6-1 6-1 6-4
R2: d. Gregoire Barrere 6-3 7-6(6) 0-6 7-5
R3: d. Klizan 6-1 6-4 6-3
R16: d. Juan Martin del Potro 7-5 6-3 3-6 6-3
QF: Lost to Dominic Thiem 2-6 4-6 2-6
11Marin CilicQF (2017, 2018)R1: d. Thomas Fabbiano, 6-3, 7-5, 6-1
R2: Lost to Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(3) 4-6 6-4 6-7(2) 3-6
12Daniil MedvedevR1 (2017, 2018)R1: Lost to Pierre-Hugues Herbert, 6-4, 6-4, 3-6, 2-6, 5-7
13Borna CoricR3 (2015, 2016, 2018)R1: d. Aljaz Bedene, 6-1, 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-4
R2: d. Lloyd Harris 6-2 6-3 7-6(2)
R3: Lost to Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4 1-6 6-4 6-7(1) 9-11
14Gael MonfilsSF (2008)R1: d. Taro Daniel 6-0 6-4 6-1
R2: d. Adrian Mannarino 6-3 6-4 6-4
R3: d. Antoine Hoang 6-3 6-2 6-3
R16: Lost to Dominic Thiem 4-6 4-6 2-6
15Nikoloz BasilashviliR3 (2017)R1: Lost to Juan Ignacio Londero, 6-4, 6-1, 6-3
16Marco CecchinatoSF (2018)R1: Lost to Nicolas Mahut (WC), 6-2, 7-6(6), 4-6, 2-6, 4-6
17Diego SchwartzmanQF (2018)R1: d. Marton Fucsovics, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7), 2-6, 6-2
R2: Lost to Leonardo Mayer 6-4 3-6 4-6 5-7
18Roberto Bautista AgutR16 (2016, 2017)R1: d. Steve Johnson 6-3 6-4 6-2
R2: d. Taylor Fritz 6-2 6-3 6-2
R3: Lost to Fabio Fognini 6-7(5) 4-6 6-4 1-6
19Guido PellaR2 (2013, 2016, 2018)R1: d. Guido Andreozzi, 7-6(2), 6-4, 1-6, 6-1
R2: Lost to Corentin Moutet 3-6 1-6 6-2 5-7
20Denis ShapovalovR2 (2018)R1: Lost to Jan-Lennard Struff, 6-7(1), 3-6, 4-6
21Alex de MinaurR1 (2017, 2018)R1: d. Bradley Klahn, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4
R2: Lost to Pablo Carreno Busta 3-6 1-6 1-6
22Lucas PouilleR3 (2017, 2018)R1: d. Simone Bolelli 6-3 6-4 7-5
R2: Lost to Martin Klizan 6-7(4) 6-2 3-6 6-3 7-9
23Fernando VerdascoR16 (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014, 2017, 2018)R1: d. Dan Evans 6-3 6-7(4) 6-3 6-2
R2: Lost to Antoine Hoang 4-6 6-3 6-7(5) 5-7
24Stan WawrinkaChampion (2015)R1: d. Jozef Kovalik, 6-1, 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-3
R2: d. Cristian Garin 6-1 6-4 6-0
R3: d. Grigor Dimitrov 7-6(5) 7-6(4) 7-6(8)
R16: d. Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6(6) 5-7 6-4 3-6 8-6
QF: Lost to Roger Federer 6-7(4) 6-4 6-7(5) 4-6
25Felix Auger-AliassimeNever playedWithdrew
26Gilles SimonR16 (2011, 2013, 2015)R1: d. Sergiy Stakhovsky, 6-3, 6-3, 6-4
R2: Lost to Salvatore Caruso 1-6 2-6 4-6
27David GoffinQF (2016)R1: d. Ricardas Berankis, 6-0, 6-2, 6-2
R2: d. Miomir Kecmanovic 6-2 6-4 6-3
R3: Lost to Rafael Nadal 3-6 1-6 6-4 3-6
28Kyle EdmundR3 (2017, 2018)R1: d. Jeremy Chardy 7-6(1) 5-7 6-4 4-6 7-5
R2: Retired vs Pablo Cuevas
29Matteo BerrettiniR3 (2018)R1: d. Pablo Andujar, 6-7(3), 6-4, 6-4, 6-2
R2: Lost to Casper Ruud 4-6 5-7 3-6
30Dusan LajovicR16 (2014)R1: d. Thiago Monteiro 6-3 6-4 6-4
R2: d. Elliot Benchetrit 6-3 6-3 6-4
R3: Lost to Alexander Zverev 4-6 2-6 6-4 6-1 2-6
31Laslo DjereR1 (2016, 2018)R1: d. Albert Ramos-Vinolas, 6-3, 6-2, 7-6(2)
R2: d. Alexei Popyrin (WC) 6-4 7-6(4) 6-4
R3: Lost to Kei Nishikori 4-6 7-6(8) 3-6 6-4 6-8
32Frances TiafoeR1 (2015, 2017, 2018)R1: Lost to Filip Krajinovic, 2-6, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 0-6

RG19 women's seeds

SeedPlayerBest French Open resultLatest RG19 result
1Naomi OsakaR3 (2016, 2018)R1: d. Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 0-6 7-6(4) 6-1
R2: d. Victoria Azarenka 4-6 7-5 6-3
R3: Lost to Katerina Siniakova 4-6 2-6
2Karolina PliskovaSF (2017)R1: d. Madison Brengle, 6-2, 6-3
R2: d. Kristina Kucova 6-2 6-2
R3: Lost to Petra Martic 3-6 3-6
3Simona HalepChampion (2018)R1: d. Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2 3-6 6-1
R2: d. Magda Linette 6-4 5-7 6-3
R3: d. LesiaTsurenko 6-2 6-1
R16: d. Iga Swiatek 6-1 6-0
QF: Lost to Amanda Anisimova 2-6 4-6
4Kiki BertensSF (2016)R1: d. Pauline Parmentier, 6-3, 6-4
R2: Retired vs Viktoria Kuzmova 1-3
5Angelique KerberQF (2012, 2018)R1: Lost to Anastasia Potapova, 4-6, 2-6
6Petra KvitovaSF (2012)Withdrew
7Sloane StephensRunner-up (2018)R1: d. Misaki Doi, 6-3, 7-6(4)
R2: d. Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-1 7-6(3)
R3: d. Polona Hercog 6-3 5-7 6-4
R16: d. Garbine Muguruza 6-4 6-3
QF: Lost to Johanna Konta 1-6 4-6
8Ashleigh BartyR2 (2013, 2018)R1: d. Jessica Pegula, 6-3, 6-3
R2: d. Danielle Collins 7-5 6-1
R3: d. Andrea Petkovic 6-3 6-1
R16: d. Sofia Kenin 6-3 3-6 6-0
QF: d. Madison Keys 6-3 7-5
SF: d. Amanda Anisimova 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3
Final: d. Marketa Vondrousova 6-1 6-3
9Elina SvitolinaQF (2015, 2017)R1: d. Venus Williams, 6-3, 6-3
R2: d. Kateryna Kozlova via walkover
R3: Lost to Garbine Muguruza 3-6 3-6
10Serena WilliamsChampion (2002, 2013, 2015)R1: d. Vitalia Diatchenko, 2-6, 6-1, 6-0
R2: d. Nara 6-3 6-2
R3: Lost to Sofia Kenin 2-6 5-7
11Aryna SabalenkaR1 (2018)R1: d. Dominika Cibulkova 7-5 6-1
R2: Lost to Amanda Anisimova 4-6 2-6
12Anastasija SevastovaR3 (2017)R1: d. Luksika Kumkhum, 6-1, 6-4
R2: d. Mandy Minella 6-2 6-4
R3: d. Elise Mertens 6-7(3) 6-4 11-9
R16: Lost to Marketa Vondrousova 2-6 0-6
13Caroline WozniackiQF (2010, 2017)R1: Lost to Veronika Kudermetova, 6-0, 3-6, 3-6
14Madison KeysSF (2018)R1: d. Evgeniya Rodina 6-1 6-2
R2: d. Priscilla Hon 7-5 5-7 6-3
R3: d. Anna Blinkova 6-3 6-7(5) 6-4
R16: d. Katerina Siniakova 6-2 6-4
QF: Lost to Ashleigh Barty 3-6 5-7
15Belinda BencicR2 (2015, 2018)R1: d. Jessika Ponchet, 6-1, 6-4
R2: d. Laura Siegemund 4-6 6-4 6-4
R3: Lost to Donna Vekic4-6 1-6
16Qiang WangR3 (2018)R1: d. Zheng Saisai 6-1 7-5
R2: Lost to Iga Swiatek 3-6 0-6
17Anett KontaveitR16 (2018)R1: Lost to Karolina Muchova 6-3 2-6 2-6
18Julia GoergesR16 (2015)R1: Lost to Kaia Kanepi, 5-7, 1-6
19Garbine MuguruzaChampion (2016)R1: d. Taylor Townsend, 5-7, 6-2, 6-2
R2: d. Johanna Larsson 6-4 6-1
R3: d. Elina Svitolina 6-3 6-3
R16: Lost to Sloane Stephens 4-6 3-6
20Elise MertensR16 (2018)R1: d. Tamara Zidansek, 6-4, 3-6, 6-2
R2: d. Diane Parry 6-1 6-3
R3: Lost to Anastasija Sevastova 7-6(3) 4-6 9-11
21Daria KasatkinaQF (2018)R1: d. Jasmin Paolini 6-2 6-3
R2: Lost to Monica Puig 3-6 1-6
22Bianca AndreescuNever playedR1: d. Marie Bouzkova 5-7 6-4 6-4
R2: Withdrew vs Sofia Kenin
23Donna VekicR3 (2015)R1: d. Liudmila Samsonova (Q), 6-2, 6-4
R2: d. Rebecca Peterson 1-6 6-1 6-2
R3: d. Belinda Bencic 6-4 6-1
R16: Lost to Johanna Konta 2-6 4-6
24Caroline GarciaQF (2017)R1: d. Mona Barthel 6-2 6-4
R2: Lost to Anna Blinkova 6-1 4-6 4-6
25Su-Wei HsiehR3 (2017)R1: d. Viktorija Golubic, 6-4, 3-6, 6-0
R2: Lost to Andrea Petkovic 6-4 3-6 6-8
26Johanna KontaR1 (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)R1: d. Antonia Lottner, 6-4, 6-4
R2: d. Lauren Davis 6-3 1-6 6-3
R3: d. Viktoria Kuzmova 6-2 6-1
R16: d. Donna Vekic 6-2 6-4
QF: d. Sloane Stephens 6-1 6-4
SF: Lost to Marketa Vondrousova 5-7 6-7(2)
27Lesia TsurenkoR16 (2018)R1: d. Eugenie Bouchard 6-2 6-2
R2: d. Aleksandra Krunic 5-7 7-5 11-9
R3: Lost to Simona Halep 2-6 1-6
28Carla Suarez NavarroQF (2008, 2014)R1: d. Dayana Yastremska, 2-6, 7-6(0), 6-0
R2: d. Shelby Rogers 6-1 6-7(4) 6-3
R3: Lost to Marketa Vondrousova 4-6 4-6
29Maria SakkariR3 (2018)R1: d. Anna Tatishvili 6-0 6-1
R2: Lost to Katerina Siniakova 6-7(5) 7-6(8) 3-6
30Mihaela BuzarnescuR16 (2018)R1: Lost to Ekaterina Alexandrova, 4-6, 4-6
31Petra MarticR16 (2012, 2017)R1: d. Ons Jabeur, 6-1, 6-2
R2: d. Kristina Mladenovic 6-2 6-1
R3: d. Karolina Pliskova 6-3 6-3
R16: d. Kaia Kanepi 5-7 6-2 6-4
QF: Faces Marketa Vondrousova
32Aliaksandra SasnovichR2 (2017, 2018)R1: Lost to Polona Hercog, 6-4, 2-6, 6-8

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.

French Open tournament information

Fast facts about Roland Garros

French OpenRoland Garros
DatesMay 18 to June 7, 2020
LocationParis, France
VenueStade Roland Garros
SurfaceRed clay (outdoors)
CategoryGrand Slam
Governing bodyFrench Tennis Federation (FFT)
First played1891
Draw size128 singles/64 doubles
Most men's singles titles Rafael Nadal (12)
Most women's singles titlesChris Evert (7)
Most consecutive titles (men)Rafael Nadal (5, 2010-14)
Most consecutive titles (women)Monica Seles (3, 1990-92), Justine Henin (3, 2005-7)
Youngest winner (men)Michael Chang (17 years, 3 months)
Youngest winner (women)Monica Seles (16 years, 6 months)
Oldest winner (men)Andre Vacherot (40 years, 9 months)
Oldest winner (women)Zsuzsa Kormorczy (33 years, 10 months)
Current men's singles championRafael Nadal
Current women's singles championAshleigh Barty
Current men's doubles championsKevin Krawietz/Andreas Mies
Current women's doubles championsTimea Babos/Kristina Mladenovic
Current mixed doubles championsLatisha Chan/Ivan Dodig

Former French Open champions

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
2018Rafael Nadal (11)Dominic ThiemSimona HalepSloane Stephens
2019Rafael Nadal (12)Dominic ThiemAshleigh BartyMarketa Vondrousova

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.

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

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