The top three favourites for the title – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer – are still alive in the tournament, but it’s early days yet and there has been no shortage in upsets already with several top seeds biting the dust. Can the triplet move into the second week of the French Open or will they succumb to the upset bug.
Review our opening French Open Odds & Predictions
Nadal and Djokovic look to book third round spots
Novak Djokovic was tested in his opening match against David Goffin but in the end advanced safely in straight sets. Now, he looks ahead to a relative unknown in Guido Pella in the second round. Although Djokovic wasn’t up to his high standards, few would bet against him in this round. Nor is it worth it really. He’s installed an off-the-charts favourite at -10000 at William Hill. Pella is trading at a tempting +1600 for the upset but given that he’s flush off a five-set marathon against Ivan Dodig that ended 12-10 in the fifth, surely he hasn’t anything left in the tank for the World No.1? That and he’s never managed to mastermind such an upset before.
Rafael Nadal dropped a set in his first round match against Daniel Brands, something that has caused a bit of a stir in the tennis world. But he should be forgiven such an oversight. Nerves and jitters were bound to factor in his first Grand Slam appearance since last year’s Wimbledon. That and Brands plays the kind of tennis that can throw Nadal off his game a bit. Next up for Nadal is Martin Klizan of Slovakia, a decent clay-courter but nowhere near Nadal’s lofty standards. Expect a straightforward win by Nadal. Odds are identical to the Djokovic vs. Pella affair so give those a skip. Instead, take a look at the other tennis betting markets at William Hill: such as a straight set win, which is going for -900 on Nadal.
Other interesting second round matches with better value include: Wawrinka vs. Zeballos and Verdasco vs. Tipsarevic, to name a few.
Wawrinka is the solid tennis odds favourite at -1200 to win outright. Underscoring his odds is good form on the season, which includes a title in Portugal and a runner-up finish in Madrid. Zeballos, however, is a clay-court specialist who made headlines earlier this year when he beat Nadal in the final of his first tournament back. An upset by Zeballos therefore is not exactly out of the question now is it? It’s trading at a tempting +600; that is, if you are so inclined.
Tipsarevic and Verdasco will battle for a third round spot and if the pair lives up to the billing they should deliver a five-set marathon, tipped at betting odds of +250 at William Hill. Verdasco is installed as the favourite at -150 while Tipsarevic is tipped as the mere +110 underdog. As the odds would suggest, it’s a tossup. Neither has been particularly convincing of late nor playing with any consistency and confidence. Verdasco however does have the surface edge over Tipsarevic so he should be the better play. A five-set win by Verdasco is an attractive choice for your sports picks at +450.
Roger Federer looks to book a spot in the R16
Roger Federer takes on Julien Benneteau of France for a spot in the R16. Although Federer is a solid -2000 favourite with William Hill bookies, Benneteau is a player that has had some success against Federer in the past and, as recently as Rotterdam (earlier this year) where he beat Federer 6-3, 7-5 in the quarterfinals. Admittedly, more than a few punters are being tempted by his underdog odds, particularly because Benneteau will have home ground advantage over Federer as well as his confidence from previous wins.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Jeremy Chardy have set an all-French affair in the third round. Tsonga is naturally the hot favourite at -600 at William Hill given his lofty ranking and consistency of play this year. Chardy however is a dangerous floater at +350 that should be considered because a) home ground advantaged is cancelled out and be) Chardy has a 1-1 record against Tsonga, owning the more recent win. It could be a case when all bets are off! Chardy for the upset isn’t unthinkable.
Gael Monfils, who upset Tomas Berdych in the first round, is looking to extend his run of form against Tommy Robredo, a wily veteran and clay court specialist. Undoubtedly, Monfils should accomplish the feat. On paper, he’s the better play. Problem is one never knows which Monfils will show up to court: the one that plays out-of-this-world-tennis or the one that fails to show up sometimes?
Finally, David Ferrer, tipped at -2000, is set to take on compatriot Feliciano Lopez (+800) in the third round. The market is clearly lopsided on this matchup but it might interest you to know that the pair is locked on a 6-6 head-to-head record ahead of their date on Friday. Granted, Ferrer won the last three in a row and has never lost to Lopez on clay. Still, there is a first time for everything.