Nadal Favored to Win French Open After Defeating Djokovic
There were injury and stamina concerns, inconsistent play and the five-set test from Felix Auger-Aliassime that Rafael Nadal had to work through just to get to the quarterfinals of the French Open. Despite Nadal being the 13-time champion of the event, Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz entered as the favorites this year.
Sportsbooks also didn’t like Nadal’s chances against Djokovic in Thursday’s quarterfinal, with DraftKings Sportsbook slotting him as a +195 underdog. But for all the doubts there may have been around Nadal, the King of Clay added another impressive win to his resume, beating Djokovic in four sets (6-2, 4-6, 6-2, 7-6).
“It was a super classic match in a big scenario,” Nadal said in his media conference. “Between Novak, Roger (Federer) and myself, we have a major story together facing each other in the most important matches for such a long time. That makes things more special.”
Nadal will face Alexander Zverev in the semifinals after Zverev knocked out Alcaraz, the other pre-tourney favorite, in four sets (6-4, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6). At FanDuel Sportsbook, Nadal is a –335 moneyline favorite with Zverev +265.
Nadal was +400 to win the tournament before it started, higher than in years past. Alcaraz (+220) and Djokovic (+225) had the shortest odds, but with them both gone, Nadal is now the favorite at –200 at BetMGM Sportsbook. Zverev is the next favorite at +400.
If Nadal holds on to win two more matches, it could mark the end of one of the most dominant careers at a grand slam. He has been open that this could be his last French Open with questions about his health going forward.
“I am very clear about that,” Nadal said. “I am old enough to not hide things and come here and say something I don’t believe. I don’t know what could happen. Like I said before, I will play this tournament because we are doing things to play this tournament, but I don’t know what’s going to happen after here.
“I have what I have with the foot, so if we are not able to find an improvement or small solution on that, it’s becoming super difficult for me. So, I’m enjoying every day I get to be here. “
Swiatek Continues to Roll
For a few moments on Monday, Iga Swiatek appeared vulnerable. She dropped her first set of the tournament to Qin Zheng, losing 6-7. But a combination of Zheng being hampered by a leg injury and Swiatek regaining her form allowed Swiatek to win 12 of the next 14 games to advance to the quarterfinals.
Swiatek then defeated Jessica Pegula (6-3, 6-2) today to earn her spot in the semifinals against Daria Kasaktina. With the victory, the 2020 French Open champion extended her winning streak to 32 matches, putting her two shy of Serena Williams’ record 34 straight wins she recorded in 2013.
Swiatek is –320 at FanDuel Sportsbook to win her second French Open.
In the other women’s semifinal, American teenager Coco Gauff will take on Martina Trevisan. Gauff earned her first grand slam singles semifinal after defeating Sloane Stephens (7-5, 6-2) and is a –320 favorite at FanDuel for her matchup against Trevisan.
Gauff has the second-best odds to win the French Open behind Swiatek at +400 at BetMGM.
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