French Open Guide: Best Places to Stay, How to Get Tickets, Watch on TV, & More!

The French Open is one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the world.

If you are a tennis fan, this guide will answer any questions you have about the French Open. Below, you’ll see information on the venue, previous champions, how to get tickets, where to stay, and more!

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Table of Contents

About the French Open
How to Get Tickets to the French Open Tournament
Where to Stay in Paris for the French Open
Getting Around Paris During Roland Garros
How to Make Your French Open Experience Great
How to Watch the French Open Tournament on TV

French Open court Suzanne Lenglen
Court Suzanne Lenglen is one of the three stadiums at Roland Garros. (photo credit: Brain Game Tennis)

About the French Open

Also called Roland Garros, the French Open started in 1891 and is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments held each year in the world of tennis.

Where is the French Open?

The French Open is played in Paris, France at the Stade Roland Garros. The grounds have 20 tennis courts covering 21 acres.

When is the French Open?    

Typically, the French Open tennis tournament starts in late May and ends in early June. The French Open is the second Grand Slam of the year, held after the Australian Open and before Wimbledon.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the 2020 dates were different. The tournament was held from September 21 – October 11, only a few weeks after the US Open.

The dates for the 2021 French Open are set for May 23 – June 6.

Who is the Current French Open Champion?

Here is the list of champions for the 2020 French Open.

  • Men’s singles: Rafael Nadal (Spain) won his 13th French Open title
  • Women’s singles: Iga Świątek (Poland)
  • Men’s doubles: Andreas Mies (Germany) and Kevin Krawietz (Germany)
  • Women’s doubles: Kristina Mladenovic (France) and Tímea Babos (Hungary)

What Surface is the French Open Played On?

The French Open is played on red clay. Typically, the conclusion of the French Open in June represents the end of the clay-court season on the pro tennis tour.

Philippe-Chatrier Stadium at Roland Garros
The French Open is the only Grand Slam tennis tournament played on red clay. (photo credit: Brain Game Tennis)

French Open Prize Money & Ranking Points

The total prize money for the 2020 French Open was €38 million (euros), down 10.93% from 2019, which is about $44,521,560 USD. The farther a player or team advances, the more money they win.

  • The men’s and women’s singles champions won €1,600,000 (about $1,894,332 USD), while the runners-up received €800,000 ($947,166 USD).
  • The men and women winners in doubles won €319,652 per team (about $378,454 USD), and the runners-up received €188,030 ($222,620 USD).

The winner of the French Open receives 2000 ATP or WTA ranking points. Here are the ranking points by round for both the singles and doubles draws of the French Open.

Men’s ATP PointsWomen’s WTA Points
Champion20002000
Finals12001300
Semifinals720780
Quarterfinals360430
Rd. of 16180240
Rd. of 3290130
Rd. of 6445 singles | 0 doubles70 singles | 10 doubles
Rd. of 12810 singles | no doubles10 singles | no doubles

How to Get Tickets to the French Open Tournament

Getting tickets to the French Open is usually simple, especially compared to tennis tournaments like Wimbledon. You have several choices to purchase tickets to Roland Garros.

Rafael Nadal hits a forehand at the French Open
Rafael Nadal is considered the greatest clay-court tennis player of all time. He has 13 French Open titles.

Purchase from the Roland Garros Website

Generally, tickets can be purchased directly through the tournament’s website beginning about two months before the start of the French Open. Since tickets are available first come first serve, they generally sell out extremely quickly.

You have four ticket options.

  • Purchase tickets at one of the 3 stadiums, and get access to the outside courts.
  • Purchase tickets to the outside courts only.

The second option is a better value, but you will likely miss the big-name matches like Nadal, Federer, or Serena Williams.

The stadiums are Phillippe Chatrier, Suzanne Lenglen, and Simonne-Mathieu. They each offer reserved seating.

Ticket prices vary depending on the level of access, the number of tickets purchased and the round being played on the day of the ticket.

Use Online Resellers

In addition to purchasing directly through Roland Garros, online resellers like StubHub and Viagogo represent other options for attending the French Open. Keep in mind that you’ll pay a premium for tickets purchased from a third party, but given how quickly face-value tickets sell, this may be your only option. 

When buying third party tickets, be mindful that there are counterfeits manufactured and you’ll want to purchase from verified sellers that have a strong feedback history and that isn’t offering a price that seems too good to be true. The websites above are secure and reliable.


Where to Stay in Paris for the French Open

Regardless of whether you opt for a hotel or Airbnb, being close to public transit is critically important. With the French Open attracting thousands of visitors each year flocking to Roland Garros, it is best to find a hotel close to the tennis courts so you don’t miss the action. 

Try to look for a hotel or Airbnb that is on either Line 9 or Line 10 of the Paris Metro for easy access to the stadium. It is recommended that fans purchase their return public transit tickets ahead of time so that they do not have to wait in an endless line once the day’s matches are complete.

High-End Hotel Options

  • Hotel Marignan: This is a great option if you want to see the city. Located in the famous Champs-Elysees, the Hotel Marignan is minutes from Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower. It is about a 30-minute metro ride from Roland Garros.
  • Hotel Molitor Paris – MGallery: This hotel is right next to the Roland Garros grounds, making it easy to walk.

Budget-Friendly Options

  • Holiday Inn Paris Auteuil: Just a mile away from Roland Garros, this Holiday Inn is a great choice. It’s only a 20-minute walk from the stadium. Opt for a balcony room for views of the Paris skyline.
  • Best Western Select Hotel: For the budget-conscious traveler, the Best Western Select Hotel is just minutes from the metro for easy access to Roland Garros. It’s also about a 30-minute walk.

Airbnb

Airbnb is an excellent alternative to hotels and is ideal for a traveler that truly wants to immerse themselves in the French culture whether it be by renting a home, apartment, or a room.


Getting Around Paris During Roland Garros

The easiest way to get around Paris is via the Metro. Lines 9 and 10 offer the most direct access to Roland Garros and are about a 10-minute walk away from the stadium. However, given how large the complex is, the walk may be further depending on what court you are watching from. 

Paris is divided into two sectors, the Right Bank and the Left Bank, both referring to their orientation to the Seine River. From there, Paris is divided into twenty districts with Roland Garros in the 16th arrondissement, or neighborhood. The lower the arrondissement that you are in or want to visit, the more central to the city center it is and the more touristy attractions that will be nearby.

Two of the most famous neighborhoods in the city are Marais in the 4th district and Saint Germain in the 6th.


How to Make Your French Open Experience Great

With 20 courts including three stadiums, you have endless options to make sure you get the most out of your French Open trip.

The three stadium courts are where the highest-ranked players and the biggest matches of the tournament are played, Phillippe Chatrier, Suzanne Lenglen, and the newest- Simonne-Mathieu, that was completed in 2019.

If available, opt for tickets that are on the South and West sides of the court to avoid issues with sun glare. Helpful tips for French Open visitors include:

  • Download the Roland Garros app to see maps, updates, and even pre-order food.
  • Do not bring more than one bag to the stadium.
  • Bring sunscreen and dress for seasonable weather.
  • Be sure to bring a light sweater and a jacket or umbrella in case of rain.
  • The food options inside are not great, so plan to eat outside the tournament before and after if you can.
  • They do offer drinks inside.

How to Watch the French Open Tournament on TV

The French Open Tournament is broadcast on both the Tennis Channel and NBC.

  • Early round coverage is on the Tennis Channel.
  • Later round coverage, including the men’s and women’s finals, are on NBC.

Additionally, fans can live stream the French Open on both the Tennis Channel’s and NBC’s websites. Viewers will need to log in with their cable TV provider to gain access or purchase a Tennis Channel subscription.

For fans without access to either of these options, there are several live TV streaming services that may provide access to these channels such as Hulu, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.

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About the Author

Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played tennis for over two decades, including in college. Will has worked with ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He currently lives in Austin TX where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments, writes about tennis, and teaches doubles workshops.