Alcaraz, Defending Champ Djokovic Favored in French Open

Injuries Among Top Contenders Could Impact 2024 Roland Garros Men's Preview

Will 14-Time Champion Rafael Nadal Be Ready to Make A Run At Roland Garros?

If the results at the final tune-up for the French Open are any indication, things could be a little unpredictable when the world’s best players converge on Roland Garros.

Alexander Zverev is the only one of the top five seeds to get through to the quarterfinals in Rome with Novak Djokovic and Danill Medvedev among those eliminated before the quarterfinals.

Will that factor into the 2024 Roland Garros men’s preview?

Carlos Alcaraz, who has only played in two tennis tournaments since winning at Indian Wells in March, is listed by the tennis odds as the favorite at +175 to win the French Open followed by Djokovic at +225.

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Richard Gasquet, a former top-10 player, was among the players to receive wild cards into the main draw. This will be his 15th straight appearance in the French Open.

Since reaching the quarterfinals in 2016, Gasquet hasn’t advanced past the third round at the French Open.

There are two ATP 250 events on next week’s schedule but many of the top contenders will be resting up for the French Open as the second Grand Slam tournament of 2024 begins on May 26.

Djokovic Eyeing Title No. 4

Defending champion Novak Djokovic can enter some select company if he is the last man standing in the French Open. He currently has three French Open titles and he is trying to tie for fifth on the list of French Open men’s singles titles.

During the Open Era, the only players with more men’s singles titles at Roland Garros are Rafael Nadal with 14 and Bjorn Borg with six. Keep that in mind when looking at the 2024 Roland Garros men’s preview.

Djokovic is still looking for his first title of 2024. The only time he has advanced past the quarterfinals was at the Australian Open when he lost in four sets to eventual champion Jannik Sinner and at Monte Carlo when Casper Ruud took him out in three sets in the semifinals.

The Serbian has won at least two Grand Slam singles titles in six of the last nine calendar years. He is priced at +350 to win at least two Grand Slam singles titles in 2024.

When looking at some previous French Open results and some tennis scores, the last time that a French Open men’s singles final didn’t have Djokovic, Nadal, or Roger Federer was in 2004 when Gaston Gaudio topped Guillermo Coria in five sets.

Plenty of Injury Concerns to Watch

Sinner, who is No. 2 in the tennis rankings, and third-ranked Carlos Alcaraz skipped the Italian Open due to injuries. When Rafael Nadal, the best clay-court player in men’s professional tennis history, lost in straight sets to Hubert Hurkacz, he expressed concerns about his French Open status.

“The decision, as you can imagine, is not clear in my mind today,” Nadal told the media after his loss to Hurkacz. “If I have to say what’s my feeling and if my mind is closer one way or the other way, I’m going to say, ‘Be in Roland Garros and try my best’. Physically I have some issues, but not probably enough to say [I’m] not playing in the most important event of my tennis career.”

It isn’t merely a case of whether Sinner, Alcaraz, and Nadal will be in the French Open field but how long they will be around if they are in the main draw. It will be one of the storylines to watch when it comes to the 2024 Roland Garros men’s preview.

Sinner is third at +300 and Nadal has the fourth-shortest tennis odds of +600 to win at Roland Garros.

Are the Americans Ready to Make Some Noise?

Roland Garros has been a house of horrors for quite some time for American men’s tennis players.

No U.S.-born player has reached the French Open final since 1999 champion Andre Agassi. The last time an American made it into the quarterfinals at the French Open was in 2004 when Agassi fell in four sets to Coria in the quarterfinals.

Seven Americans are in the top 50 in the latest ATP rankings and they have a combined singles record of 24-30 at the French Open. Sebastian Korda and Marcos Giron are the only ones with a winning record at Roland Garros while Taylor Fritz leads the way with seven wins.

There is a silver lining when looking at recent tennis scores. Fritz is coming off a win over Grigor Dimitrov to reach the quarterfinals in Rome while Tommy Paul rolled to a 6-1, 6-4 upset over second-seeded Daniil Medvedev to reach the Italian Open quarterfinals.

Fritz leads the Americans at +5000 in the French Open men’s singles outrights.

A Quick Look Back

Eight seeded players lost in the first round of the 2023 French Open and none were more surprising than No. 2 seed Medvedev falling to qualifier Thiago Seyboth Wild in five sets.

Five of the top six seeds advanced to the quarterfinals with top-seeded Alcaraz dropping No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets. No. 4 seed Casper Ruud edged sixth-seeded Holger Rune.

In the semifinals, Djokovic dropped two tennis games in sets 3 and 4 to knock out Alcaraz with Ruud losing just seven games in the semifinals against Alexander Zverev.

Ruud was competitive in all three sets with Djokovic but Djokovic emerged with the 7-6, 6-3, 7-5 win.

For tennis news, odds analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.


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