The 2020 French Open: When is it, the high-profile absentees, TV channels, betting, prize money
It is time for the final Grand Slam of 2020, the French Open, and we give you all the information you need ahead of the clay-court event at Roland Garros.
When is the 2020 French Open?
The red dirt major was originally scheduled for May 24 to June 7, but then Covid-19 hit and it was swiftly moved to September 20 to October 4.
On the back of several more tweaks to the 2020 calendar, they finally settled on the September 27 to October 11 date for the 124th edition of the French Open.
It will be a full programme with singles, doubles, mixed doubles, juniors and wheelchair tournaments all taking place.
Where does the French Open take place?
Stade Roland Garros in Paris has hosted the French Open since 1928 and it will be no different this time with Court Philippe Chatrier, Court Suzanne Lenglen and Court Simonne Mathieu the big showcourts.
One thing different from last year is Court Philippe Chatrier now has a retractable roof, which means there will be play until late into the night/morning.
About the defending champions…
Rafael Nadal won a record 12th French Open last year when he defeated Dominic Thiem in four sets while Ashleigh Barty beat Marketa Vondrousova in two sets to claim her maiden Grand Slam.
Both Nadal and Barty skipped the recently concluded US Open, but while the former will defend his crown, Barty will not travel to Paris due to the coronavirus.
German pair Kevin Krawietz and Andreas Mies were the surprise men’s doubles winners last year while Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic won the women’s doubles. As for the mixed doubles, Latisha Chan and Ivan Dodig took the honours.
Who else will miss the tournament?
On the women’s side, recently crowned US Open champion Naomi Osaka pulled out due to a hamstring problem while 2019 Flushing Meadows champion Bianca Andreescu remains absent from competitive tennis.
Nick Kyrgios, of course, decided to end his 2020 campaign early due to the Covid-19 while 20-time Grand Slam winner Roger Federer will be missing as he is still recovering from knee surgery.
What about the seeds for this year’s event?
The seeds are set to be announced on September 25 and it will be based on the ATP and WTA Rankings for September 21.
As things stand, Novak Djokovic will be the top seed and he will be followed by Nadal, Thiem, Daniil Medvedev, Stefanos Tistsipas, Alexander Zverev, Matteo Berrettini, Gael Monfils, Denis Shapovalov and Roberto Bautista Agut.
On the women’s side, Simona Halep will start as the No 1 seed followed by Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Sofia Kenin, Kiki Bertens, Serena Williams, Belinda Bencic, Petra Kvitova, Aryna Sabalenka and Johanna Konta.
When does qualifying take place?
The qualifying rounds will be played from September 21-25 and there are 16 qualifier spots available in the men’s main draw and 12 in the women’s main draw.
Speaking of the main draw…
The main draw for the men’s and women’s tournament usually takes place the Thursday before the start of the first round. If they follow tradition then it is set for September 24 at 19:00 (6pm BST).
Which TV channels will broadcast the tournament?
ITV4 once again has exclusive free to air coverage of Roland Garros in the UK while you can also watch on Eurosport. A monthly Eurosport Player subscription will set you back for £6.99. In the US, NBC and the Tennis Channel will provide the coverage.
What is the daily schedule of play?
The order of play for each day are usually released the night before, but play gets underway at 11:00 local time (10:00 BST). Both the ladies’ and men’s finals will start at 15:00 local time (14:00 BST).
Despite his quarter-final exit from the Italian Open, Rafael Nadal is still the favourite with odds as low as 10/11 to win a 13th title at Roland Garros. Novak Djokovic is now 5/2 and Dominic Thiem is sitting at 10/3.
You can get Stefanos Tsitsipas at 20/1 and Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev at 28/1.
Simona Halep is favourite as you can get her at 7/2 at most places while Kiki Bertens and Serena Williams are 10/1. US Open runner-up Victoria Azarenka is 12/1 with Johanna Konta (a semi-finalist last year) at 28/1.
What about the prize money?
Prize money for this year’s tournament is naturally down due to the coronavirus with a 10.93% drop taking the kitty to €38 million (about £35m) compared to 2019.
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