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Djokovic Closing Gap in 2019 French Open Odds with Nadal; Is There Value in Either?

Ryan Metivier

by Ryan Metivier in Tennis

Updated Mar 27, 2020 · 3:30 PM PDT

Novak Djokovic is one of fhe favorites at the French Open
Can Novak Djokovic win his second Grand Slam of 2019 at the French Open? Photo by Yann Caradec (flickr) [CC License].
  • Should Rafael Nadal be such a large favorite to win his 12th French Open title?
  • Is now the time to make a bet on Djokovic?
  • Which players could offer some early betting value at longer odds?

The French Open represents the next Grand Slam tennis event on the 2019 calendar. With 11 wins at Roland-Garros, Rafael Nadal is the clear favorite with average odds of -110. Not far behind is this year’s Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic with average odds of +210.

Follow the odds for the top contenders in this year’s tournament with our 2019 French Open Odds Tracker.

 2019 French Open Men’s Singles Odds

Player 2019 French Open Men’s Singles Odds
Rafael Nadal -115
Novak Djokovic +200
Dominc Thiem +800
Alexander Zverev +900
Juan Martin del Potro +2000
Marin Cilic +2000
Nick Kyrgios +2500
Stefanos Tsitsipas +2500
Andy Murray +3300
David Goffin +3300
Denis Shapovalov +3300
Kei Nishikori +3300
Milos Raonic +3300
Roger Federer +3300
Stan Wawrinka +3300

*Odds taken 03/05/19. Click on the link in the table above to see all options.

Nadal’s had a light schedule thus far in 2019. Though he started the year with a run all the way to the Australian Open finals where he was defeated handily by Djokovic. Despite winning every set in the lead up to the finals, it was Djokovic who earned a 6-3 6-2 6-3 win.

Nadal was recently upset in the round of 16 to Nick Kyrgios in the Mexican Open and will be playing in this week’s BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

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Nadal is once again the defending champion at Roland-Garros, having defeated Dominic Thiem in last year’s final. Thiem has to be considered a worthy contender with a career record of 115-40 on clay.

Is it the Year of the The Joker?

The last player not named Nadal to win the French Open was none other than Djokovic in 2016.

Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in the final. However, it was a tournament played without Nadal, as the Spaniard withdrew prior to the event with a wrist injury.

The Joker has also played a light 2019 schedule, reaching the semis of the Qatar Open, before winning in Australia. He’ll also be playing at Indian Wells this week.

After winning the first Grand Slam of 2019, bookies have the Serbian star favored to win at least one more major this year.

Surprisingly, these two have never gone head-to-head at Roland-Garros over their careers. While Djokovic has now defeated Nadal in their past two matches, neither were played on clay.

On clay, Nadal came out on top in each of their past two matches, both semi-finals wins in 2017 and 2018.

Nadal and Djokovic’s overall record on clay heavily favors Nadal at 16-7, however nine of Nadal’s wins came as far back as 2009 and earlier.

Their overall record on clay heavily favors Nadal at 16-7, however nine of Nadal’s wins came as far back as 2009 and earlier. From 2014 forward, Novak has actually posted a better head-to-head record on clay at 4-3.

Good Value in Backing the Swiss

Though he’s skipped clay tournaments the past two seasons, Roger Federer did win the French Open in 2009. He hasn’t played at Roland-Garros since a quarter-finals loss in 2015, and was injured in 2016.

His three titles on clay at the Madrid Open are second to only Nadal’s five. Though it’s definitely not one of his most successful events, how can you not take a piece of his +3300 odds?

Another Swiss player also offering juicy odds of +3300 is Stan Wawrinka.

Wawrinka won the French Open in 2015 and lost to Nadal in the finals in 2017. He has a career record 174-86 on clay and recently reached the finals at Rotterdam.

Djokovic’s odds have been slowly shortening as the season moves on and are now at their shortest point. While Nadal’s even shorter odds have remained pretty steady.

With the French Open still being so far away, and form and injuries likely to fluctuate or occur in the coming months, I can in no way lay juice this far out.

Regardless of the surface, Djokovic has been getting the better of Nadal of late, having won 13 of their past 16 encounters. If you had to bet a heavy favorite, Djokovic would be the way to go.

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