French Open Favorites
The French Open has tended to be more predictable than the Australian Open, and the title has been retained by the previous year’s winner on sixteen occasions. The near-complete domination of Rafael Nadal at this event between 2005 and 2014 contributed to a strong recent record for favourites. The run was broken by Stan Wawrinka in 2014, but the eclipse of Nadal did not lead to wide open event and last year’s tournament was again won by the favourite, Novak Djokovic, who was picking up his first ever French Open.
French Open Prize Money
The organizers of the French Open were able to increase their total prize money pool to $36 million in 2016, making it the third wealthiest of the four Grand Slam events, although the money was distributed more evenly than in the other tournaments. For lifting the trophy after a stirring final performance against Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic earned $2.39 million, while Murray took home a runners-up prize of $1.14 million. Losing semi-finalists picked up $568,000 and those who departed Roland Garros in the first round won $28,500.
French Open Betting
The success of Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray in reaching the final of the French Open last year may lead some bettors into the trap of overlooking the importance of clay court form. It is true that neither player had historically been at their best on the surface, but they are both potentially all-time greats and an exception can be made for them, as indeed it could for Roger Federer. For everyone else, the normal rules apply: if a player hasn’t shown the ability to handle the high bouncing returns and stamina-sapping rallies of clay court tennis, then they aren’t worth putting your money on.
French Open Odds
The decline of Rafael Nadal has made it harder for bookmakers to price up the French Open men’s tournament, and if Novak Djokovic continues in 2017 in the same form with which he has finished 2016, it may be harder still for them to find a strong favorite. Bookmakers do have a handle on clay-court regulars such as David Ferrer, but they can sometimes be slow to catch up with the chance of younger players who are improving on the surface, and this can sometimes lead to opportunities for clued-up bettors.