Serena Withdraws From French Open, What Happens To Betting Slips?

  • Serena Williams (+800 to win French Open) pulled out of the tournament.
  • Tickets on futures bets are graded as a loss while match bets will be refunded.

PARIS – In the early rounds of the 2020 French Open, the women’s side of the bracket hit headlines when Serena Williams announced her withdrawal on Wednesday.

Due to a nagging Achilles injury, Williams noted she was “struggling to walk” in which she let Tsvetana Pironkova win by a walkover.

Her decision came during warmups and Williams has announced that the French Open is likely the last tournament she will play in 2020.

While the news of Williams leaving early brings support from her beloved fans, those who bet on the three-time French Open champion are feeling different emotions.

Williams is commonly a popular tennis betting favorite in the eyes of casuals and American sports bettors and came into the tournament as the second-favorite (+800) behind Simona Halep (+500). While data for the 2020 French Open has yet to be released, sports betting data provided by FanDuel regarding the 2020 US Open saw Williams as the largest liability.

Assuming a similar path was set for Williams (especially since Naomi Osaka failed to enter the tournament), this is excellent news for the books but terrible for bettors who took a futures bet on Williams.

Williams took in roughly 30% of the handle during the US Open (Osaka, 18%), showing her favored status among locals.

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What Happens To Tennis Betting Slips From A Walkover?

Unfortunately for those who were hoping for Williams to tie Margaret Court with 24 WTA Grand Slam titles, both Williams and her bettors will be at a loss.

Unless the online sportsbook decides to refund all of the action, bettors will be graded as a loss just as if she played and lost the match. This is the case for those who took a futures bet on Williams to win the French Open; however, any action on the match itself will be refunded.

The main difference to note is that betting on the champion means action no matter what happens. Betting on a specific game will see bettors refunded since the players never took the court.

While this is a general case, each online sportsbook is different and could make a decision based on their own merits. For example, PointsBet uses a “Karma Kommittee” that has seen bettors receive futures bets back on New York Yankees followers after the Houston Astros series last year.

However, due to the fact that the liability on Williams is likely over a third of the entire handle, this will likely not be the case.