It has been an odd season for Rafael Nadal. Before he won the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, he had struggled during the clay court part of the calendar. He hadn’t been to a single final on the red surface, which is unusual considering he had won multiple clay-court events every year since 2005. He entered the year with just one loss in his previous 36 clay contests but he already has lost three times this season.
Although the King of Clay is coming off a big win, he could be vulnerable at Roland Garros and tennis betting fans should keep an eye out. Here’s a look at three players who could take him down:
1. Stefanos Tsitsipas
The bet: +2000 (20/1) at 888Sport
A year ago, Tsitsipas was just trying to qualify for events as a 19-year-old. Nowadays, he’s the best bet to unseat Nadal in Paris. That’s because he’s one of the players that stunned him on the surface earlier this season. The two met in the semifinals at the Mutua Madrid Open and Tsitsipas outlasted him in three sets.
Tsitsipas has already won two titles this season – the Open 13 Provence and the Millennium Estoril Open – and comes into the French Open having won 12 of his last 14 matches. His only two losses were to Nadal in the semis in Rome and Novak Djokovic in the finals in Madrid.
2. Dominic Thiem
The bet: +600 (6/1) at 888Sport
It’s not a bet I love but Thiem is one player capable of winning the French Open. I don’t love it because Thiem tends to be too inconsistent. Case in point: He won the title in Barcelona without dropping a single set, beating Nadal along the way. Then he lost to Fernando Verdasco in his opening match at Rome. Thiem is a boom-or-bust type of player.
However, clay is his surface and he one of three players to beat Nadal on it over the past three seasons. More important, he has made long runs at Roland Garros in his past three trips, losing in the semis in 2016 and 2017 and in the final in 2018. If there ever was an opening for him to do it, this is his chance.
3. Novak Djokovic
The bet: +225 at 888Sport
Djokovic isn’t worth a bet to win it all because there isn’t much value with him. On top of that, we know that this is his weakest of the three surfaces. He has won the French Open just once in 14 tries; he has claimed the other three majors at least three times each.
Why I like Djokovic here is because he’s on the opposite side of the draw as Nadal and won’t have to face him before the final. If Nadal is ousted for whatever reason, then I’ll take a small flier on Djokovic.
This is a man who has won the last three Grand Slams, showing his world class in each. He’s the No. 1 player in the world and he’ll be looking to accomplish something really special this week: Holding all four Grand Slams at the same time. He has made at least the quarterfinals in nine straight French Opens. If Nadal is somehow taken care of along the way, Djokovic could be our champion in Paris.