Spring is slowly turning to summer, May is preparing to depart, and the blue skies are clearing – all of which means one thing: it’s time for the French Open once again. Yes, the Grand Slam season is heading back to Roland Garros for another fortnight of smashing clay court action.
In 2019, Rafael Nadal will be looking to extend his two-year winning streak and bag his 12th victory overall, but he’s facing stiff competition from Novak Djokovic – looking to be the first man to hold all four Grand Slams on two separate occasions – and Roger Federer, who has struggled for form as he fends off anyone else reaching his 20-major haul. Watch out in particular for Dominic Thiem and Stefanos Tsitsipas – and don’t watch out for Nick Kyrgios, who was due to play Cameron Norrie in the opening round, but has pulled out of the tournament will illness.
In the Women’s tournament, Simona Halep will be looking to defend her title, but will have to get through a semi-final that could include Naomi Osaka or Petra Kvitova, while others in her draw include Serena Williams, Ashleigh Barty and Bianca Andreescu. The final, meanwhile, could hold last year’s runner-up Sloane Stephens, to mention fierce challenges from Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Belinda Bencic and Kiki Bertens. And there’s the small matter of Angelique Kerber, Caroline Wozniacki and Karolina Pliskova to worry about.
With the tournament starts on Sunday 26th May – and running through to Sunday 9th June – the biggest question on our lips isn’t whether Rafa will reign once more, but how to watch the tennis online in the UK.
Here are your options:
ITV 4 (Free)
ITV once again has the exclusive free-to-view TV rights for live coverage of the French Open, with John Inverdale leading a team that includes 2013 Wimbledon winner Marion Bartoli, Fabrice Santoro and Andy Murray’s former coach, Mark Petchey. ITV’s coverage will offer live broadcasts of each day’s play throughout the tournament, broadcast on ITV 4, kicking off at 9.30am on Sunday 26th May, and 10am every other day, and ending at 8.30pm.
Nick Mullins provides the commentary and Celina Hinchcliffe is the reporter at Roland Garros.
You can live stream ITV 4’s coverage on ITV Hub, including highlights and pre-tournament and post-tournament analysis.
Eurosport Player (From £9.99)
Eurosport has the premium telly rights to the French Open, and will also be offering live coverage of the whole tournament. Unlike ITV, though, Eurosport spans its coverage across 16 bonus channels, which means you can follow up to 16 courts live and on-demand.
Eurosport is available on Sky, Virgin Media and BT TV. Don’t have pay-TV? You can also stream Eurosport’s comprehensive coverage with the contract-free Eurosport Player, which hosts all the live streams with multiple camera angles, alongside match stats and an immersive video player allows you to keep up with the action on all the other courts while watching the match of your choice.
A Month Pass costs £6.99 per month, which gives access to all Eurosport Player content for 30 days. An Annual Pass costs £39.99 (a one-off, annual, upfront fee), which includes both French Open and Australian Open tennis tournaments, alongside access to all Eurosport Player content.
TV Player PLUS (From £5.99)
You can also access Eurosport through TV Player PLUS, a streaming service that offers premium TV without a contract for £5.99 a month. Channels included are Syfy, Comedy Central, History HD, Discovery Channel, Crime + Investigation, Eurosport 1 and 2 and National Geographic, and more.
Amazon Prime Video Channels (From £6.99)
You can also access Eurosport through Amazon Prime Video Channels, as an additional subscription to your Amazon Prime membership. While Amazon Prime costs £79.99 a year, or £7.99 a month, Eurosport Player through Prime Video Channels costs £6.99 a month, with a seven-day free trial. You can then stream it through your Amazon Prime Video app.