French Open 2020 Betting Preview: Can Anyone Stop Rafa?

STARNBERG, September 17, 2020 (Guest post)

With the US Open only just behind us, the stars of the ATP and WTA tours will head to Paris for the next Grand Slam tennis tournament at Roland Garros.

It is, of course, unusual for the French Open to be the final major of the year, and given the current circumstances, it will also be strange to see fans in attendance – which is the current plan, much to the chagrin of players like Nick Kyrgios, who has hinted that he may not play.

On the men’s side, it is no surprise to see Rafael Nadal installed as the odds-on favourite at 10/11 with most sportsbooks and even as short as 7/10 with others. The Spaniard skipped the US hard court swing but returned to action with a 6-1 6-1 drubbing of US Open semi-finalist Pablo Carreno-Busta at the Italian Open on Wednesday.

The 12-time champion at Roland Garros can equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles, and the Swiss will not be present in Paris to try and extend the gap between the pair.

Nadal’s biggest threats are likely to be the usual suspects according to online betting sites. Dominic Thiem has lost to Rafa in the final of the last two French Open tournaments, but having just won his maiden Grand Slam in New York, the Austrian will be full of confidence and as such is priced at 3/1.

Also at 3/1 is Novak Djokovic, whose 100% record in 2020 was brought to an end in dramatic fashion as he was defaulted against Pablo Carreno-Busta in the last eight at the US Open. Victory in Paris would be the perfect way to bounce back, and it would also bring him to within one Grand Slam title of Nadal, and just two off of Federer.

Alexander Zverev is at 20/1, but he will have to figure out the issues with his serve if he is to go deep, while Stefanos Tsitsipas can be backed anywhere between 14/1 and 18/1 depending on where you bet. It is recommended that you shop for the best odds and betting offers before locking in your wagers.

Other notable outsiders include 2015 champion Stanislas Wawrinka at 33/1 and hometown hero Gael Monfils at 66/1.

As far as the ladies are concerned, Simona Halep leads the way at 7/2. She won the Prague Open on clay in August, and has an excellent record at Roland Garros having lifted the title in 2018 after two previous final appearances.

Naomi Osaka won her second US Open last week, bringing her Grand Slam total to three, but she has never made it past the third round at the French Open, hence her odds of between 8/1 and 12/1.

Kiki Bertens is generally priced at 9/1, and given the 28-year-old’s outstanding record on clay which includes a 2019 Madrid Open win, it is surely only a matter of time before she improves on her career-best semi-final appearance at Roland Garros in 2016.

The French Open is the only Grand Slam that Serena Wiliams has not won at least half a dozen times. Her three triumphs in Paris came in 2002, 2013, and 2015, and she can be backed at 15/1 to win her first major since becoming a mother.

Bianca Andreescu may attract some bets at 15/1 also, while Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina are also nicely placed in that range. Meanwhile, underlining the importance of looking around for the best odds, US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka is 14/1 with some sportsbooks and a massive 40/1 with others.