Djokovic headlines the star-studded cast at the Internazionale BNL d'Italia in Rome, the ATP Tour's last major tune up event before the French Open. Can he underscore his favorable tennis odds to win his first-ever French?
The Lead Up To Roland Garros
Another week, another ATP Masters 1000 event is on the tennis odds board. The third clay-court ATP Masters 1000 event in the lead up to the French Open (also known as Roland Garros) is upon us this week in Rome, and it's a star studded cast that has assembled in the Eternal City. Tennis bettors will be avidly watching the entire field and how well they perform. Doing their due diligence, if you will before honing their tennis picks.
Most of the attention is probably going to be focused on just two players: Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. The overriding question begging an answer: is this the year the Serbian finally wins the elusive French Open crown?
That's a heady question indeed. Made even more sensational by the conspicuous struggles of nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal this season.
The Spaniard is not exactly in top form, to put it mildly, which thrusts his bid to clinch a remarkable tenth title in Paris into serious doubt amongst tennis bettors and experts, alike. In tennis betting markets the upshot is that Djokovic has usurped Nadal as the odds-on-favorite to win it all. A move that adds fuel to these speculations. However, this has happened before only for Nadal to put paid on it emphatically.
Djokovic is currently trading as the prohibitive -125 tennis odds favorite to win the French Open title. He also entered this week's Masters in Rome as the firm favorite at -110 favorite on the tennis odds board, a good distance ahead of Rafael Nadal at +250 to win outright. It remains to be seen which player will emerge triumphant because you can bet it will have an impact on not only the French Open futures market but also the narrative going into the second major of the season.
Djokovic came into the clay-court swing riding the momentum of a strong start to the season that harks back to his standout 2011 account when he practically won almost everything of note and emerged as the ATP Tour's player of the year. He won the Australian Open earlier this year and then backed it up by winning back-to-back titles in Indian Wells and Miami. The double marked the third time in his career he accomplished the feat, setting a new-record that puts him into an exclusive category amongst the tennis greats. Nobody has done it three times. Twice, yes.
Djokovic underscored his brilliant start to the season further when he got his clay-court campaign off to a fine start, winning the Monte Carlo Masters in April, all while beating Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals 6-4, 6-4. In so doing, he threw down the gauntlet emphatically and, in turn, gave tennis bettors further evidence for why he's the chosen one across sports betting markets.
The Serbian's intentions to win the French Open, the only major to elude him over his career, are not a secret. He's been open and frank about it, just as one would expect a top player and proven champion to be. Yet, Nadal's domination of clay for the better part of the decade loomed large and nigh insurmountable. As evinced by their many battles on the red dirt of Court Philippe Chatrier, the most recent of which was last year's final.
No matter how well Djokovic is playing, it seems he's unable to overcome Nadal in a best-of-five on clay. In the last three years, Djokovic's stumbling block at the French Open has only been the Spaniard. They met twice in the final and once in the semis (2013) and each time the Serbian simply ran out of answers.
To date, the semi-final clash of two years ago was the closest contest between the pair. Nadal, eventually, eked out the victory in the fifth set 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7(3), 9-7 to claim his (then) eighth French Open title.
Last year, Djokovic was deemed to have a great shot at winning the French Open title. He'd just beaten Nadal at the Rome Masters final, coming from behind to pull off the feat no less (4-6, 6-3, 6-3). Experts saw that as a signature win right before the French Open and quickly jumped on his bandwagon. Tale told, when the dust settled on Court Philippe Chatrier it was the King of Clay standing tall and proud after having quelled his doubters with a four-set win over Djokovic, coming from behind to win 3-6, 7-5, 6-2, 6-4.
Tennis Betting Verdict
It is true that Djokovic does appear to have a great shot to win the French Open. He's also justifiably the favorite if we're basing his tennis odds on his form this season and a great tennis pick for the French Open. But, let's face it, nobody will be shocked if Nadal does in the end overcome Djokovic again.