You have to go back to Wimbledon 2016 for the last time that the top seeds in the men’s and women’s events won the title, but that’s the likely outcome of this weekend’s matches at Roland Garros.
Rafael Nadal is bidding for a record 11th title, while world number one Simona Halep can finally win a Grand Slam with a victory in Paris.
Here’s your complete betting guide to the 2018 French Open finals.
Halep bids to finally win first Grand Slam title
Despite rising to become world number one, a Grand Slam title still eludes Simona Halep. The Romanian has reached the main draw of a major on 32 occasions and can finally end her wait this weekend.
The top seed is too good a player to never win a Grand Slam. She’s been beaten in a final on three occasions – including twice at Roland Garros – but has shown this year that she has the talent and mental strength to win on the biggest stage.
After a shaky start in her opening match against Alison Riske, Halep has only lost one set in the tournament, and that was a close tiebreak in the last eight. It was an unexpectedly easy win for the Romanian in the semi-final, with many expecting her to be obliterated by the in-form Garbine Muguruza, although the Spaniard failed to turn up and Halep breezed through in straight sets.
After reaching her fourth Grand Slam final the top seed said: ““So, I lost three times until now and no one died so it will be OK. But I will be, I think, more confident because I have a lot of experience. I don’t know what I will change. Probably nothing, because I will keep my routine. In tennis, you never know so I will stay chill.”
Halep’s opponent in the final is Sloane Stephens who beat her compatriot Madison Keys in straight sets in the second semi-final.
Stephens came into this tournament with a record of four wins and four defeats during the European clay-court season and so her progress to the final has come as something of a surprise. However, her record in finals is terrific and the number 10 seed has won each of the six WTA finals in which she has featured.
Having won her maiden Grand Slam title in New York last September she promptly lost her next eight matches, but she’s a keen competitor and remains relaxed on court. However, she doesn’t have a good record against her opponent – she has lost their last four meetings and never taken a set off Halep on clay. Halep is the overwhelming 4/11 favourite with Stephens available at 15/8.
Nadal faces the only man to have beaten him on clay in last two years
There were no surprises in the men’s semi-finals and so it will be top seed Rafael Nadal and clay court specialist Dominic Thiem who will meet in Sunday’s final.
After dropping a set in Paris for the first time in three years, normal service was resumed in the last four as Nadal beat Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets. The Spaniard became only the second man to reach 11 finals at the same Grand Slam and he is bidding for a record-extending 11th title having disposed of the number 5 seed in a little over two hours.
“I am very happy to be back in the final here at Roland Garros. For me it’s incredible,” said Nadal. “It’s impossible without hard work and going through tough moments. You have to be focused and keep your passion for the game. I never dreamed in 2005 when I played my first final here that I would be in another one.”
Thiem ended the fairytale run of unseeded Italian Marco Cecchinato, also in straight sets, to reach his first ever French Open final.
Having lost at the semi-final stage in each of the last two years, the number 7 seed will compete for his first Grand Slam title and there are plenty of reasons to believe he can cause a major upset.
The Austrian is the only player to have beaten Nadal on clay in the last two years, winning in the quarter-finals in Rome a year ago and Madrid earlier this year. However, those were three-set matches and winning over five sets in a Major final is a different proposition altogether.
Nadal won their meeting at Roland Garros a year ago for the loss of just seven games and it’s hard to look past the world number one again this weekend. He is just 1/5 to win, with Thiem available at 3/1.