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French Open men's betting tips: Best outright bets for Roland Garros 2019

Leye Aduloju 24 May 2019
  • French Open men's betting tips: Best outright bets for Roland Garros 2019
  • French Open is live from Roland Garros from 26 May to 9 June
Rafael Nadal. (Photo Andrea Staccioli / Insidefoto/Sipa USA)

Can Rafael Nadal claim his 12th French Open title, or will Novak Djokovic deny the great Spaniard, and complete the "Nole Slam" for the second time in his career?

For most of the European clay season, there was uncertainty over the form of Rafael Nadal, following successive semi-final defeats in Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid. However, the Spaniard finally ended his trophy-drought in Rome, and with that success, appeared to have cleared all doubts that he will once again be the man to beat in Paris this year.

Beyond the actual title, the manner in which the Nadal decimated the field would have been most encouraging to his fans. The meanness of the previous seasons was back, as the Spaniard barely dropped games in the early rounds; he got his revenge against Stefanos Tsitsipas, who had beaten him in Madrid, in the semi-finals, and finished things off with a dominant victory over Novak Djokovic (baring a nervous little wobble at the end of the second set).

As if Nadal needed any help at Roland Garros, he has been dealt a massive favour at the French Open with a very comfortable draw that has him opening against a couple of qualifiers. David Goffin, who has largely struggled since his terrific end to 2017 is his seeded third round opponent, while Guido Pella and Nikoloz Basilashvili are the most "dangerous" players he could face in the fourth round. Nadal is drawn to face Kei Nishikori in the quarter finals (or Daniil Medvedev, who has played well on clay this year, but has never won a match at Roland Garros).

Nadal is on a seemingly express road to the semi-finals, where he could take on great rival, Roger Federer (33/1 to win Roland Garros @ Betfair)- a man competing at the French Open for the first time since 2015.

While Nadal looks set for the semi-finals, Federer's route is a bit more complicated, as he could face the rising Italian, Matteo Berrettini in the third round, while last year's semi-finalist, Marco Cecchinato or the tenacious Diego Schwartzman are possible fourth round opponents.

Following a three-year break from the surface, it's been a mixed return to clay for Federer.  He could have beaten Dominic Thiem in Madrid in their Madrid quarter final, where he held match points but lost in three, while he pulled out of a scheduled quarter final meeting with Tsitsipas in Rome due to a right leg injury. He could again run into Tsitsipas (20/1 @ Ladbrokes) at Roland Garros, with both players drawn to face off in the quarter finals in what would be a rematch of their Australian Open Round of 16 meeting (which Tsitsipas won in quite stunning fashion).

Over in the top half, Novak Djokovic (5/2 to win the French Open @ William Hill) has got a more testing start to the tournament, relative to Nadal, as he opens against Polish youngster, Hubert Hurkacz, and could play Borna Coric in the fourth round. Djokovic had a brief drop in form after winning the Australian Open in January, but he has picked up the pace in the weeks leading up to Roland Garros, winning the Madrid title and making the final in Rome. His projected quarter-final opponent in Paris is Alexander Zverev (40/1 to win @ Unibet), but given Zverev's Grand Slam struggles and recent poor form, Fabio Fognini, champion in Monte Carlo could well emerge as a French Open quarter finalist.

Either way, Djokovic should be too strong, and should take his place in the semi-finals, possibly against last year's finalist, Dominic Thiem.

Thiem (7/1 @ BetVictor) has made at least the semi-finals in Paris in each of the last three seasons, and he's in good enough form to keep that going this year, having won in Barcelona and made the semi-finals in Madrid. There was a blip in Rome, where he lost his tournament opener against Fernando Verdasco, but overall, the world No. 4, who claimed his maiden Masters 1000 title at Indian Wells, has been in fine form over the last couple of months.

His first real test in Paris should come in the fourth round, where he is projected to meet either home favourite, Gael Monfils or nemesis, Verdasco, while Juan Martin del Potro (66/1 to win the title @ William Hill), who showed some good form on his return to the tour in Rome is a potential quarter final opponent. It's not the easiest of draws for Thiem, considering that he is 0-8 against Verdasco and del Potro combined, but I think he remains the man to back here, given his form and recent Roland Garros history.

If he gets through to the semis, I actually see him beating Djokovic to set up a final with Nadal.

RECOMMENDED BET: Nadal to win the French Open at 10/11 @ bet365

Name the finalists: Rafael Nadal vs Dominic Thiem

I don't see anyone stopping Nadal from making the final- he should cruise through his quarter, and be too strong for either Roger Federer, Stefanos Tsitsipas or Stan Wawrinka in the semi-finals. It's a lot tougher to call in the top half. Nadal vs Djokovic (9/4 @ Betfair) is the dream final, but like I said earlier, I've got a strong feeling about Thiem, who has been arguably the second best player on clay behind Nadal in the last three years, making at least the French Open semis in each of those seasons, and advancing to his maiden final last year. He also defeated Djokovic at Roland Garros in 2017, which should help his psychology if they meet again in 2019.


Stefanos Tsitsipas to win third quarter

Stefanos Tsitsipas is looking to continue a sensational season, which has already seen him reach the semi-finals of the Australian Open, claim titles in Marseille and Estoril, and risen up to No. 6 in the world. He had a slow start to his clay court season, winning just two matches across Monte Carlo and Barcelona, but he has stepped it up in the last few weeks, reaching the final in Madrid and the semis in Rome, losing only to the very best in the business- Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. He won't have to face either Nadal or Djokovic at Roland Garros until the last four, and I’m backing the young Greek to make the most of the chance and reach successive Grand Slam semi-finals. 

He's got a tricky draw, with potential matches against Frances Tiafoe and Stan Wawrinka en route a possible quarter final against Roger Federer (7/2 @ Paddy Power to win the quarter), but Tsitsipas is the form man of the lot, and has got bags of talent to back that up. He's got all sorts of weapons and options, as he possesses an excellent serve, is powerful and aggressive off the ground, especially off the forehand wing, is competent in the forecourt, and is a wonderful athlete who doesn't shirk the physical grind- never a bad quality on clay! He has also got the experience of winning big matches, and going deep in majors; hence, won't be fazed by the challenge. I'm definitely going with the Greek against Wawrinka (9/1 to win the third quarter @ Ladbrokes) or Federer, or whoever he has to play in the third quarter. 


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French Open men's betting tips: Best outright bets for Roland Garros 2019

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