The French Open is nearly here, and the competition is fierce. In the men's, champion Rafal Nadal is aiming for a record 14th title, but Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer stand in his way. In the women's draw it's anyone's guess, so it would be smart to keep an eye on defending champion Iga Swiatek - especially now that Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the competition.

Though The French Open is hosting an audience, it's a lot more limited and strict than usual due to the pandemic - though that won't matter if you're tuning in from home anyway.

Here’s how to watch the tournament live and for free on just about any device, anywhere in the world - including how to watch the event in 4K HDR.

When is the French Open?

The tournament is back to its usual slot in the season after a late start last year, and began on Sunday 30 May and will conclude with the men's singles final on 13 June.

Watch the French Open in the UK

In the UK, ITV is broadcasting coverage, so you can can tune into ITV 4 on your TV and see the tournament's key matches totally for free.

If you'd rather watch on a smart device, you'll also be able to watch full coverage and catch-up on ITV Hub, either in a web browser or via the ITV Hub app on iOS or Android. You can even watch ITV Hub from outside the UK if you use a VPN like SurfShark - we go into more detail below.

Remember that you need a TV Licence to watch live on TV or online, or even on catch-up.

Unfortunately ITV 4 isn’t available in HD on Freeview (it’s in standard definition on channel 24), so you can only watch in HD (and higher) if you have a premium TV package with Eurosport included. 

You can watch the French Open in HD on Eurosport on Virgin (channels 521 and 522), Sky (channels 521 and 411) and BT (channels 435 and 436).

Roland-Garros will also be shown on Eurosport Player. But access is not free: you need to subscribe directly to watch on Eurosport Player, which costs £6.99 per month on a rolling plan (or £4.99 for an annual plan), or have the Eurosport 1 and 2 channels included in your TV package with Sky, Virgin or BT.

How to watch the French Open in 4K HDR

UK Virgin customers with a V6 box will also have the option to watch the entire tournament in crisp and clear 4K UHD. To do this, you can tune into Eurosport as usual (channels 521 and 522) and press the red button on your remote. Alternatively you can simply go straight to Virgin TV Ultra HD (channels 205 and 999).

You can find out if Eurosport/Virgin TV Ultra HD is included in your package on Virgin's website.

How to watch the French Open in the US

In the States, NBC will broadcast full coverage of this year's tournament. You'll need a cable subscription to NBC Sports, which also lets you stream the tennis on the NBC Sports app. 

If you don't have cable the easiest way to watch will be via NBC's Peacock streaming service, which has plans starting from just $4.99 per month and gets you access to loads of other TV, movies, and live sport. It's also possible to watch Peacock outside the US if you're based elsewhere.

US fans can also subscribe to Tennis Channel Plus, though it's not cheap at $110 per year. On the other hand this will let you watch over 100 ATP & WTA events, so it might be worth it if you're a tennis devotee.

Watch the French Open anywhere in the world

It’s still possible to watch Roland-Garros if you're in a country without a broadcaster, or simply if you'll be travelling while the tournament is on.

The easiest way is to watch the ITV Hub coverage. However, because the website and app will block access outside the UK you’ll need to use a VPN service and connect to a UK server.

VPNs (virtual private networks) reroute your IP address so you can browse the internet securely and as if you're from another country. You’ll find a selection of recommendations in our best VPN roundup, but to save you time, two good bets are NordVPN and SurfShark.

ITV requires you to have an account to watch content, so sign up with a valid UK postcode before things kick off on Sunday to make it quicker and easier when you’re away. You can find more detailed instructions in our guide to watching ITV abroad.

Official Roland-Garros app

There is an official app for Android and iOS but don’t expect much from it.

It doesn’t allow you to watch live: it lets you see scores and stats in real-time, and seems to be designed for people who are at the tournament wanting to manage tickets on their phone and even order food.