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The French Open Structure Explained

What is the French Open?

The French Open is the second Grand Slam event in the tennis season. Played at the Stade Roland-Garros, it is one of the most watched tennis competitions, alongside the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open Grand Slam events. Players who win in any of the tournaments in the French Open are usually propelled up through the world rankings, or if they are already at the number one position, they can usually expect to keep it until the next Grand Slam.

Tennis Scoring System

Games, Sets and Matches

In tennis, each match is played in a best of five sets or best of three sets format. To win a set, players must win at least 6 games and be at least 2 games in front of their opponent. If the score stands at 5-5, then the only way to win is if one player wins two more games to make the score 7-5. Though it is seldom, players do sometimes need to play the "advantage set" to extend to a 2-game lead over their opponent. In some associations, players do not need to play advantage sets, such as in the rules set by the United States Tennis Association or in the Australian Open.

Wimbledon has a unique exception to the rule, where advantage sets have to be played until players reach 12-12, and after they will have to play in a 7-point tie breaker. If the tie breaker score is tied at 6-6, players will keep playing until one player has a two point advantage over the other. These rules are to make sure that matches do not last too long, as there have been some instances where evenly matched tennis players keep tying.

On 16 March 2022, the ATP, WTA and ITF announced that the final set tiebreaker in all Grand Slams will have a 10-point tie break when it reaches 6–6, the rule is set to be in place starting from the 2022 French Open.

In games, one player provides service and the other returns, with the roles alternating after each game. Players need to reach three points in each game, traditionally these are called

Love (0 points)

15 (first point)

30 (second point)

40 (three points)

Once a player reaches 40, the umpire will call out “Game”, meaning the player has won the game. If the score is tied, for example at 15-15, the umpire calls out 15 All. This is a shorter version of saying 15-15.

Players need to have an advantage here, just the same as in the sets. This means if the score stands at 30-40, the players will have to continue. The umpire calls out Advantage when the scores stand at 30-40, and if the player who is behind scores, it is a Deuce. On the following serve, one of the players will win the point and gain Advantage, and if they can win the next ball after that, they win the game.

French Open Competitions

The French Open comprises a number of competitions for tennis players. There are the men’s and women’s singles and the men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles.

Singles Competitions

Each match in the men's singles competition is played in a best of five sets format, whilst the women's singles competition uses the traditional best of three sets format. Apart from the match format, the two tournaments are identical in structure, both have four qualifying rounds, followed by the competition proper.

In the qualifying rounds, there are 32 seeds in a total of 128 tennis players who are trying to secure one of the 16 qualifying places in the competition proper. The seeded players, along with the others, are put into 16 different qualifier knockout tournaments that are played by 8 players in three rounds. The 32 seeds are paired and put into one of the 16 different qualifying playoffs, starting on the other ends of the playoffs, meaning they will have a chance to meet in the qualifier group finals if they win the first two rounds.

The 16 winners of the different qualifying groups will proceed to the tournament, with the two best runners up receiving the Lucky Loser qualifications.

Competition Proper

In the first four rounds of the competition, the 128 players are split into 8 sections, depending on seed and rank. The players who secured places from winning the qualifying rounds are spread out and put in each section, with the top players being put directly into the first section. The lucky losers are also placed into the sections, with the first lucky loser placed in a lower ranking section and the second lucky loser placed into a higher ranking section. There are also a total of 8 wild cards, who receive places in the main draw. The wild cards are local French players who have not qualified but are specially selected to participate in the competition.

All players in each section are drawn and then they have to face another player in the same section. Of the 128 players in the first round, the winning 64 will advance to the following round.

The second, third and fourth rounds follow the same structure, with players drawn against other players in the same section and the winner advancing to the subsequent round. Once the fourth round has finished, only 8 players will remain.

The 8 players go into the quarterfinals, followed by the semi-finals and finals.

Doubles Competitions

In both the men's and women's doubles competitions, there are no qualifying rounds, and doubles partners will start the competition proper with the first round of the tournament comprising 64 doubles partners. There are wild cards in the doubles events, in the same way as in the singles.

All matches in both doubles competitions are played with a best of three sets match format. The 64 doubles partners are split into four sections comprising 16 teams each. They are drawn and play against other teams in the section, and after elimination rounds, the winners of each section advance to the quarterfinals.

Following the quarterfinals, the winners proceed to the semi-finals and then finals.

The mixed doubles follows the same procedures and rules as the men's and women's doubles tournaments, only the tournament is limited to just 16 doubles partners. There are two wild card doubles partners in the mixed doubles tournament.

Prizes and Ranking Points Distribution

Each player participating in the prestigious French Open will receive prize money as well as points depending on how well they perform in the competition. As the French Open is one of the Grand Slam events, it has a massive cash prize pool and it awards a huge number of points to the players who win or make the finals.

Men’s events:

1st Qualification round - 0 points and €10,000

2nd Qualification round - 8 points and €16,000

3rd Qualification round - 16 points and €25,600

Qualification round winner - 25 points

Round of 128 - 10 points and €60,000

Round of 64 - 45 points and €84,000 (0 points and €11,500 for doubles)

Round of 32 - 90 points and €113,000 (and €17,500 for doubles)

Round of 16 - 180 points and €170,000 (and €29,325 for doubles)

Quarterfinals - 360 points and €255,000 (and €49,853 for doubles)

Semi-finals - 720 points and €375,000 (and €114,074 for doubles)

Finals - 1,200 points and €750,000 (and €244,295 for doubles)

Women’s events:

Men’s events:

1st Qualification round - 2 points and €10,000

2nd Qualification round -20 points and €16,000

3rd Qualification round - 30 points and €25,600

Qualification round winner - 40 points

Round of 128 - 10 points and €60,000

Round of 64 - 70 points and €84,000 (10 points and €11,500 for doubles)

Round of 32 - 130 points and €113,000 (and €17,250 for doubles)

Round of 16 - 240 points and €170,000 (and €29,325 for doubles)

Quarterfinals - 430 points and €255,000 (and €49,853 for doubles)

Semi-finals - 780 points and €375,000 (and €84,749 for doubles)

Finals - 1,300 points and €750,000 (and €114,074 for doubles)

In both men's and women's events, the winners are given 2,000 points. In singles events, the winners of the finals receive €1,400,000 and in doubles, the winners receive €244,295.


While betting on tennis can add huge excitement to the matches, it is important to bet responsibly. Tennis betting is a form of gambling, and therefore you should make sure you play with a budget and do not spend more than you can spare to lose. Should you, or anyone you know have any problems or need guidance on the subject, there are organisations such as that can provide a great deal of help.

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