We serve up our French Open tennis picks for the much anticipated quarterfinal clash between Djokovic and Nadal, as the dust is settling on the R16.
Day 11: Two Blockbuster Quarterfinals
Wednesday's serving of tennis betting at the French Open is shaping up to be a blockbuster day. Not only does the women's side of the game feature Serena Williams in her pursuit of a third French Open crown and a remarkable 20th overall Grand Slam title but on the men's front we have four of the best players in the men's game today. While most eyes will be trained on the marquee clash between World No.1 Novak Djokovic and nine-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal, the second match of the day is equally scintillating. Ferrer is, arguably, one of the best players in the men's game to never win a Grand Slam, while Andy Murray is a proven Grand Slam champion that has reinvented himself of clay and for the first time in his career is a conceivable contender for the title. It's the hottest ticket in town. So let's get started with our tennis previews and tennis picks.
David Ferrer vs. Andy Murray
Andy Murray goes into the quarterfinal clash with David Ferrer as the firm -200 favourite to win outright, something that would have made absolutely no sense a few years back on this surface. Clay was simply not his best surface and he was beatable on it by the best clay courters in the game, even when he was a legitimate fixture inside the so-called "Big Four." Murray is back inside the Big Four again and over the last two years he's made great strides on the red stuff, which finally culminated in his first ever appearance in a clay court final in Munich, which he won. Then followed up with a signature win over Rafael Nadal in the Madrid Open final, to pick up his first ever Masters title on clay. By virtue of those performances, one has to concede he's justifiably favoured over David Ferrer. That said one can't overlook David Ferrer and his tempting +225 tennis odds to win outright and serve up the upset on the French Open betting floor.
Fact is the Spaniard is a bit of a clay-courts specialist. While he has had success on all surfaces, he has won more than half of his 24 career titles on this surface. Head-to-head, it's a competitive matchup with Murray edging Ferrer 9-6 lifetime. On clay, however, David Ferrer has the overwhelming 4-0 edge over Murray, winning all four encounters including their 2012 French Open quarterfinal clash 6-4, 6-7(3), 6-3, 6-2.
In more ways than one this match could go either way. Ferrer, matched at +163 tennis odds, has yet to meet the reinvented Murray on clay this season, let alone any surface. Murray won the last two meetings between the pair, but they were all hard-fought contests and tight wins, decided by just a few points. Ferrer is going to fancy his chances in this clash, particularly in the best-of-five scenario. Murray leads 2-1 over Ferrer in Grand Slam meetings, but Ferrer has the pivotal French Open win to bank on.
Tennis Picks: David Ferrer + 163; in four or five sets at +550 or +650, respectively
Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic
By all accounts, this is the matchup everybody was gagging after since the draw reveal at the start of the tournament. The clash of the titans in the game and particularly on this surface: Djokovic vs. Nadal.
From the start Djokovic has been dubbed the player to beat at the French Open. His stellar season, unbelievable, out-of-this-world form and his infallibility (he's lost just two matches all season long) on the court are just some of the many things to underscore that outlook. Predictably, he's also the favourite going into this quarterfinal match, a natural extension of the pre-tournament market outlook.
On paper, Djokovic undeniably has the edge over Nadal this season. He has the 1-0 edge in 2015 over the Spaniard after beating him 6-4, 6-4 in the Monte Carlo semis. In addition, he's won five of their last seven meetings since the 2013 US Open Final (that Nadal won), two of which were on clay.
Yet. consider Djokovic has never beaten Nadal at the French Open despite six cracks at it, two of which were in the final and include their most recent 2014 French Open Final clash. Indeed last year the tennis prognosticators predicted Djokovic would overthrow Nadal, only for the Spaniard to put paid on that notion. One has to wonder whether the market outlook is correct.
Nadal is toughest at his beloved French Open, where he's lost but one match in ten years. It's the first time this pair meets so early in the tournament since 2006 when Djokovic retired from their quarterfinal clash. Ironically, that was their first-ever career meeting, which only adds a touch of symbolism to their clash on Wednesday for Djokovic surely.
It's also the first time in a decade that Nadal enters the French Open without a European clay-court title underscoring his tennis odds. Still, form is an elusive quality, an intangible that can be rendered a moot point. Nadal's form coming into the tournament may have been hanging on a question mark, but his form now over the course of the first week in Paris has been encouraging. He has to fancy his chances in a best-of-five scenario against Djokovic having won all previous six encounters.
Djokovic may be the favourite at -275 tennis odds, but with nine-Frenchies to his name can tennis bettors really overlook Nadal. Surely, it's insane to dismiss Nadal so at +225 tennis odds. If the clash is going to be symbolic for Djokovic by conjuring up their first-ever clash, Wednesday marks Nadal's 29th birthday. You can bet the day is going to be even more symbolic to the Spaniard. He's not going to want to mark the occasion with a loss to his archrival, let alone on his most beloved Court Philippe Chatrier. We're backing Nadal with tennis picks because it's simple de rigueur. Call it force of habit on our tennis picks, if you will. But we won't be surprised if Djokovic does pull off the feat.
Tennis Picks: Nadal to win at +240 at BookMaker; in four or five sets at +650 or +700, respectively.