World No.1 Novak Djokovic received a timely boost for the French Open (also known as Roland Garros), as his odds to win the upcoming grand slam event improved exponentially this week following his title-winning run in Rome. The Serbian star is now the player to beat, according to the men’s French Open outright odds markets.
Djokovic tops the betting board, leapfrogging ahead of World No. 4 Rafael Nadal and World No.6 Carlos Alcaraz. World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas rounds out the top four best bets. If you want the best shot at winning the most money, then you don’t want to miss the rest of this French Open betting preview.
Thus, with the landscape set, the ATP Tour poised to descend on Paris, we look at the potential contenders closely, and examine their respective odds in finer detail below. This will be helpful for those that keen to betting on tennis in the coming weeks.
French Open Outright Odds
Djokovic leads the charge as the +150 bet to win the French Open. Spain’s rising star, Alcaraz, comes in as a close second-best bet at +165 while his compatriot Nadal, 13-time French Open champion, is the third overall best-bet at +220.
Tsitsipas is the last player to be tipped in triple digits by the bookmakers, albeit at a distance with odds tipped at +550. That’s double the odds of the aforementioned trio.
After Tsitsipas, World No.3 Alexander Zverev rings in at +1400. Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who is still trying to find form, is priced at +1600 while World No. 2 Daniil Medvedev is tipped at +1800 and World No.10 Casper Ruud is tipped at +2000.
A couple of ATP 250 events are scheduled this week in Geneva and Lyon, but those are unlikely to impact the overriding market because none of the top contenders that are earmarked on the French Open outright odds, will be in contention. The main clay-court warm-up tournaments that have helped cultivate these odds are already in the books, namely the three ATP Masters 1000 events (Monte-Carlo, Madrid and Rome).
Djokovic Is Back!
Novak Djokovic defeated Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets in the Italian Open final on Sunday to clinch his first title of the 2022 ATP season and his first since the Paris Masters last November.
It was his sixth Italian Open title and a record-extending 38th Masters 1000 title. The Serbian starlet also managed to retain his World No.1 ranking during the week, ensuring that he will go into the French Open as the top seed.
Djokovic missed most of the first three months of the season because of his decision to not take the Covid-19 vaccine. Things came to a head in Australia when the unvaccinated star attempted to circumvent the country’s rules in order to participate in the year’s first grand slam, however, his attempt failed and he was unceremoniously deported.
A lot has changed since that high profile battle Down Under. Mainly, the widespread relaxation of Covid-19 rules in Europe, last month. This means the unvaccinated tennis star can return to full time play.
As luck would have it, that coincided with the start of the clay-court season. Thus, giving the 34-year-old ample time to prepare his game for the second major of the year.
Djokovic is the defending French Open champion and he’ll be gunning for his third career French Open title and 21st overall Grand Slam title in Paris later this month.
The controversial Serbian’s return to form has been a slow build and not until this week in Rome did everything come together for him.
In Monte-Carlo, Djokovic was ousted in his opener, losing to Alejandro Davidovich-Fokina in three sets. He reached the final in Serbia a week later, but ran out of gas in the third set (l. to Rublev). Then, in Madrid, he reached the semi-finals but lost to Alcaraz in an epic three-setter.
The Rome draw was kind to Djokovic. In the early rounds, he took out, on and off-form, Aslan Karatsev and then the struggling veteran Stanislas Wawrinka.
In the quarterfinals, he faced his first Top 10 challenger in Felix Auger-Aliassime, but he dispatched the Canadian without dropping a set. Similarly, he took care of No.10 Casper Ruud in the semis before defeating Tsitsipas in a straight-set final.
At the start of the clay-court season, Djokovic was tipped as high as +250 on the men’s French Open betting odds board. The then-French Open market had Nadal as the top +120 favorite while Alcaraz was the second-best bet at +220.
Winning the title in Rome is a signal that Djokovic is peaking at the right time. He was convincing, too, as he won the title without dropping a set. That has prompted oddsmakers to reassess the French Open market with the Serbian at the top at +150. Stay with us for the best tennis betting tips.
There are still question marks that hang over Djokovic. For example, how will he hold up in the best-of-five scenario? Can he better players such as Nadal and Alcaraz on this surface in a best-of-five showdown? It’s impossible to answer these questions now. For the time being though, his fans have plenty to rejoice about.
Alcaraz on The Rise
The last player to beat Djokovic was teen phenom Carlos Alcaraz. The 18-year-old Spaniard pulled off the biggest victory of his fledgling career when he defeated the World No.1 in a three-set marathon in Madrid on the way to clinching the title (d. Zverev).
The Madrid semi-final between Alcaraz and Djokovic was arguably the best match of the tournament, if not the year. The only way it could be topped is if their paths cross in Paris later this month.
Alcaraz skipped Rome to rest and prepare for the French Open. He’s had a stellar season up to this point, picking up four ATP titles, including two Masters (Miami and Madrid). He’s gunning for his maiden grand slam title and many believe that the French Open might be his best chance. Certainly, the oddsmakers think so as he’s nipping at Djokovic’s heels as the second-best bet in the men’s French Open outright odds market.
Nadal Injury Woes
Nadal started the season brightly. He won three titles in a row, including the Australian Open which marked a record-setting 21st grand slam title. But since mid-March, the 35-year-old Spaniard has been struggling with injuries and those have forced him to miss a good chunk of the European clay-court awning.
It’s no secret that this is Nadal’s favorite and best-time of the year. After all, he has a record 26 Masters 1000 titles on clay, and a record 13 French Open titles to his credit!
Nadal returned to action in Madrid a couple of weeks ago where he lost to Alcaraz in the quarterfinals. It was his first tournament since Indian Wells and only his third match on clay since last year’s French Open.
In Rome, however, things went from bad to worse. Not only did Nadal lose to Denis Shapovalov in the R16, but he also appeared to pick up a foot injury. Last year, Nadal was forced to miss the second half of the season due to a foot injury.
Thus, Nadal’s French Open bid is in question. Although Nadal remains a top contender, his lack of competitive play, doubtful match fitness, and potential injury concerns are legitimate stumbling blocks. These will be especially defining in the face of greater meetings against noteworthy contenders deeper in the tournament.
Tsitsipas might be overlooked somewhat as the fourth overall best-bet, but he’s been one of the more consistent clay-courters on the ATP Tour in recent years. He was the runner-up to Djokovic at the French Open last year.
During the European clay-court swing, the 23-year-old Greek has picked up one title (Monte-Carlo) and a runner-up finish in Rome. He was also a quarterfinalist in Barcelona (l. to Alcaraz) and a semifinalist in Madrid (l. to Zverev).
Tsitsipas has lost only to Top 10 players on clay this season, the very same players that are among the top favorites to win the French Open. That fact makes Tsitsipas a potential sleeper pick.
A lot hinges on the draw, which will be made on Friday, May 20. Where Tsitsipas falls and which top players could fall in his path, will go a long way towards determining his true value.Follow us on Twitter