French Open Tennis: Men’s Outright Betting 2018
We’re less than a month away until the second tennis Grand Slam of 2018 and, as many of the world’s top players now start to focus on the French Open, it’s a good time to look at the available betting.
Injury continues to play a part in the men’s side of the sport but that could potentially make it a more open set of prices for the men’s singles and despite some high-profile absentees, there could be some value as we work through the market.
The 2018 edition of the French Open is the 122nd running of this prestigious event and will take place, as usual, at the historic Roland Garros. The action starts on May 27 this year and will run all the way to the final on June 10 when we crown the winners of the second Grand Slam on the circuit.
The big news concerns the absence of Roger Federer who has decided once again to skip the clay court season in preference for another tilt at the Wimbledon title later in the year. In many ways it’s an understandable decision by the Swiss star who has surged back to form in the latter stages of his career. While Federer has won the French Open back in 2009, this isn’t his preferred surface and at the age of 36, it’s understandable that he wants to manage his involvement in the sport.
Question marks also exist over the possible participation of Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka as they manage their respective returns from injury. They are both available in the outright result market but it would be brave to back either man at this early stage.
Those are the definite and potential absentees but what about the men who will definitely be at Roland Garros at the end of May?
Rafael Nadal starts 2018 as the defending men’s singles champion but that accolade doesn’t come close to underlining just how dominant the Spaniard has been in this event. The 31 year old first claimed the French Open title back in 2005 and that win led to a run of four straight victories which was briefly broken in 2009 before Nadal went on an even hotter streak of five straight titles between 2010 and 2014.
Victory in 2017 made it ten men’s singles titles at Roland Garros so it’s no huge surprise to see him start as favourite this year at best odds of 4/7 with Betway. Nadal would surely be favourite anyway but the absence of certain players will have shortened those numbers so, is there anyone blocking his way to win number eleven?
The Chasing Pack
To underline the bookies’ assessment of Rafael Nadal, we have a very distant chasing pack for the men’s singles betting at the French Open and we therefore move some way back to joint second favourites Dominic Thiem at best odds of 10/1 with Unibet and 888Sport and Novak Djokovic at that same 10/1 with BetFred.
The name of Djokovic is obviously going to stand out for some people as a multiple Grand Slam winner but he is also working his way back to fitness after a long term injury. The Serb was a winner in France in 2016 and he is at a more advanced stage of return than Murray or Wawrinka but a punt on Djokovic would still represent a significant gamble.
As for Dominic Thiem, the Austrian has won nine singles titles on the ATP Tour to date and while he has a modest record in three of the four Grand Slams, the French Open is something of an anomaly. While Thiem has only gone as far as the fourth round at Wimbledon and in the Australian and US Opens, he has made the semi final in France in 2016 and 2017 so he clearly likes the surface and surroundings at Roland Garros.
Behind those players we have Alexander Zverev at 20/1 and Juan Martin Del Potro at 22/1 with both of those best industry prices coming from Betfred. Del Potro also reached the semis here and although that was back in 2009, he will also be one of the few Grand Slam winners in attendance, having taken out the US Open in the same year.
As for Zverev, the 21 year old is at the opposite end of his career to Del Potro and is showing some promise but it may be early to expect a Grand Slam win for the German in what remains a strong field.
Now we come to the players currently nursing injuries: Most bookmakers aren’t publishing odds for Andy Murray as they don’t expect him to be fit in time for France but you can get a price of around 25/1 from those prepared to commit. Meanwhile, Stan Wawrinka is further back at a top price of 40/1 with BetFred and until we get any confirmed updates on either man, they are best avoided.
Also worthy of mention here are Marin Cilic at best odds of 40/1 with Sun Bets and Betway, Kei Nishikori at a top price of 50/1 with Unibet and 888Sport and the dangerous Tomas Berdych at 100/1 with Sky Bet.
Other Betting Options
With around a month left to go until the first game in 2018’s French Open, we only have the outright winner betting for the men’s singles but there should be some additional long-term markets opening in the days leading up to the event.
Options to name the finalists plus a To Reach the Final market should appear and, of course, there will be the option to take an Each Way bet if you are struggling to pick a winner.
Match betting will also be active when the tournament starts and along with the straight result, all the usual side markets will appear including Correct Score so there will be plenty to look forward to once again.
There is plenty of tennis still to be played before the first ball is hit in anger at Roland Garros at the end of May. That will give us all the opportunity to check on current form and to see if there are any clearer indicators in terms of picking a winner.
From the current set of markets, one man who could shorten in the weeks ahead is Novak Djokovic and some good results between now and the French Open would see the Serb close the gap in the market between him and Rafael Nadal. If he can get somewhere back to his best following that long lay off, the former world number one could provide the only tangible challenge to the reigning champion so supporters of Djokovic should consider backing him now at that 10/1 price.
However, while we’ve talked up the chances of other players, it’s all down to one man. If Rafael Nadal is fit and on top of his game then no one can live with him so, while there isn’t a great deal of value in this tip, it seems the only logical outcome with the only possible threat coming from a fully fit and firing Djokovic – a scenario that seems unlikely.
Best Bets for French Open Men’s Singles 2018:
- Rafael Nadal to win at 4/7 with Betway