Roland Garros Preview
The French Open will take place between May 24th and June 13th. The decision to push the tournament back a week might have made it trickier for the event’s organizers, and possibly frustrated some fans, but it should increase the chance of having that trademark Roland Garros atmosphere.
Roland Garros Prediction and Preview
Looking ahead to the second Grand Slam of the year, our betting preview and predictions cover the men’s and women’s draws.
Is there anything less surprising than Rafael Nadal being the tennis betting favorite at Roland Garros?
Nadal is the most successful player in French Open history, and as ever, it’s going to be hard to bet against him here. Only three other men have won the French Open since 2004.
A win in Marseille and a run to the Australian Open final has seen Daniil Medvedev become the second ranked player in the world, but the Russian is a non-factor in France. He’s not made it out of the first round in four attempts and has been unable to translate his game to clay.
Novak Djokovic is an obvious contender, though he was flattened by Nadal in the 2020 final. The Serbian has not started the clay-court swing well either, losing to Brit Dan Evans in Monte Carlo.
Barring injury, someone needs to be at the absolute top of their game to beat Nadal. Dominic Thiem has shown flashes of that ability. Maybe recent poor results on the hard court are down to the surface rather than form, but at this stage, he doesn’t look to be carrying much confidence into Roland Garros.
Further down the betting, mercurial talent Stefanos Tsitsipas should get some love from bettors. The Greek star won in Monte Carlo, cruising past Andrey Rublev in the final, and he took Djokovic to five sets in the semis at the French Open last year.
Nadal lost to Rublev, perhaps suggesting a chink in his clay court armor. We have been through this before, though, and the Spanish great so often flicks the switch for Roland Garros.
As is often the case, the women’s draw is more open. Iga Swiatek is among the favorites with a lot of bookies on the back of some impressive performances at the Australian Open and a surprise triumph at the Adelaide International.
Swiatek came from nowhere to win the tournament last year. She’s a thrilling player to watch, but with such a knack for aggressive tennis, can come a high degree of variability. Play at her best, and Swiatek could storm through the draw. An off-day or two is more likely for the Pole than it perhaps is for other contenders.
One such contender is world number three Simona Halep. Halep is a three-time finalist and a previous French Open champion. Having fallen to Swiatek last year, neutrals around the world will be hoping for a rematch.
A lot of eyes will be on American Sofia Kenin. Previously a poor clay court player, Kenin made it to the final last year, but she has struggled mightily early in 2021, and lost to Lauren Davis on clay at the Volvo Open.
Kenin needs to prove last year wasn’t a fluke. Naomi Osaka has questions about her clay game to answer, too. Though starring at the Australian Open, and sitting second in the world, Osaka hasn’t got past the third round at Roland Garros. Her talent is undeniable, yet it’s hard to back her to go all the way this year.
Much like Kenin, Ashleigh Barty had a breakthrough on clay when she won the French Open in 2019. Barty has wins at the Adelaide International, Miami Open and Yarra Valley Classic already this year – the Australian could be the best bet to in the women’s draw of Roland Garros 2021.
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