Men's French Open Betting Preview: Who is Favored Without Nadal?

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Men's French Open Betting Preview: Who is Favored Without Nadal?
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Persevering through injuries to dominate the French Open was just one signature trait of Rafael Nadal’s historic run at the clay grand slam tournament. Last year, he won his 14th French Open while playing with a foot numbed by an anesthetic. These types of heroics have led to a Nadal statue built on the Roland Garros grounds. 

But that statue will be the only physical presence of Nadal at this year’s French Open after the 22-time Grand Slam champion announced he would not be able to compete because of a hip injury that has sidelined him since January. 

How do the tennis betting sites view this news?

French Open Odds
Best Odds
Teams Best Odds
Carlos Alcaraz
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Nadal's Treatment Not Enough for Him to Return

“I was working as much as possible for the last four months,” Nadal said. “It has been very difficult because we have not been able to find the solution to the problem I had in Australia, so I’m still in the position that I’m not able to feel ready to compete at the standards I need to be to play Roland Garros. 

Nadal’s latest injury is an ailment to his psoas muscle during the Australian Open. Initially, he thought he would be out for six to eight weeks. But the treatment hasn’t progressed and now, four months later, cannot train without pain. He now remains uncertain when he will resume tennis training. 

“My position is to stop,” he said. “I don’t know when I’m going to be able to come back to the practice court. Maybe two months, maybe one month and a half, maybe three months, maybe four months.”

With Nadal out, the men’s French Open now becomes wide open. For just the fifth time in 19 years, someone besides Nadal will win the event.

Carlos Alcaraz Assumes Role of Favorite

With Nadal out, world No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz enters as the betting favorite. Alcaraz is +150 at FanDuel Sportsbook to win the French Open and achieved nearly everything in tennis by 20, with only a grand slam still eluding him. Just this year, Alcaraz has already won three clay titles, including an ATP Masters 1000 in Madrid, with other clay championships coming at Barcelona and Buenos Aires. Alcaraz also added another ATP Masters 1000 win at Indian Wells. 

Over his past two years, Alcaraz is 46-6 and is 30-3 this year with a 20-2 record on clay. He is coming off a surprising loss to No. 116 Fabian Marozsan in Italy, but the early exit could result in a fresher Alcaraz at Roland Garros. 

Daniil Medvedev Finding Form on Clay

Clay had been Daniil Medvedev’s kryptonite for much of his career. He proclaimed he hated the surface, never felt good on it and couldn’t get anything to work. His record backed up his claims, entering 2023 with just an 18-23 record on clay. However, he seems to be enjoying it much more. 

Medvedev has gone 10-2 on the surface this year, culminating in an ATP Masters 1000 title in Rome last week. It was his tour-leading fifth title this season and the first time he enters the French Open in any semblance of form on clay. 

Medvedev is as high as +1500 on DraftKings Sportsbook to win at Roland Garros. 

Novak Djokovic’s Struggles At the French Open

Over the past seven years, only one person has won the French Open other than Nadal: Novak Djokovic. In 2016 and 2021, Djokovic added two French Opens to his grand slam tally and if he were able to add another this year, he would sit alone with 23 grand slams to break the tie with Nadal.

Djokovic started 2023 in form with a 15-match winning streak, including an Australian Open title. But he then missed a month before returning to Dubai and took another month before coming back to play in Monte Carlo. 

From there, the results have been disappointing. He lost to Lorenzo Musetti in the second round before falling to Dusan Lajovic in the quarterfinals at the Srpska Open. Djokovic also lost to Holger Rune in the quarterfinals of the Rome event he typically excels at. Overall, it’s been a disappointing clay season with Djokovic losing five of eight matches on the surface. 

Djokovic is second on the odds board at +200 on FanDuel. 

Betting Pick: Alcaraz 

It’s only a matter of time before Alcaraz breaks through a grand slam at Roland Garros, and it could come in 2023. He’s already won two of the biggest clay-court tournaments this year at Barcelona and Madrid. 

Health-wise, he comes in with added rest after an early exit in Rome and won’t have to face Nadal this year while getting a bonus of Djokovic entering this year’s French Open out of form.