Rafael Nadal has dominated the French Open but his era as king of the clay may be coming to an end and Matteo Berrettini could be a good pick for French Open glory.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Looking ahead to the next Grand Slam of the year, according to the best-rated online sportsbooks there are two contenders who are way ahead of the field. Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz are favored by bettors at around +160, although Alcaraz is available at +200 in some places. There is some uncertainty among bookies over whether Rafael Nadal will be taking part in Paris, but he can be backed at +350 with Stefanos Tsitsipas rated at around +700, clear of the chasing pack.
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Grand Slam 2023 Betting Briefing
Although the ATP Tour schedule is packed with events, running right through to November, the focus of players and tennis fans is all on the Grand Slam tournaments. There are four each year, but in the men’s game, the Grand Slam events have been dominated by a small number of players.
Going into this year’s Australian Open, over the previous ten years, there had been 39 Grand Slam events (Wimbledon 2000 was cancelled due to the global pandemic). Those 39 tournaments have been won by just eight players. Of those eight, three have only won one Grand Slam event. Novak Djokovic (16) Rafael Nadal (11) Roger Federer (3) Andy Murray (3) and Stan Wawrinka (3) have won the rest.
As an indication of how difficult it is to be a champion across four very different tournaments played on three continents in wildly varying conditions, the last male tennis player to achieve the feat of winning all four Grand Slam events in a year was Rod Laver, back in 1969.
Is the Nadal French Open Era Over?
Rafael Nadal has dominated the French Open to an extent that has never been seen by any individual in any sport. He first won it in 2005, and then proceeded to win eight of the next nine French Opens, interrupted only by a Roger Federer victory. Plagued by injury, Nadal didn’t win either of the next two French Opens, but he then reeled off a run of five wins from six to take his total to 14.
This year, however, things could be different. Nadal bowed out of the Australian Open saying that he had never experienced pain as severe. Could the Nadal French Open era be over? Certainly, the bookies seem to think so, making him only third favorite.
Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcarez have been named as co-favorites, but there are reasons to oppose both. Clay is Djokovic’s least favorite surface, while Alcaraz is a short price for a player who still hasn’t shaken off the injury he picked up in November. Casper Ruud and Matteo Berrettini are interesting alternatives with good clay court records, although Ruud is not quite at Grand Slam winning level yet.
Sinner a Possible Wimbledon Winner
Wimbledon’s fast, low bouncing grass courts are the polar opposite to those at the French Open, and the tournament has a similar pattern of being dominated by a tiny number of players.
Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer between them have won the last 11 Wimbledon men’s singles titles, and with Murray no longer playing at that level and Federer retired, Djokovic will once again start as the favorite, but his odds are likely to be prohibitive.
If you’re looking for an alternative in the early futures betting markets for Wimbledon, Jannik Sinner could be a good option. He reached the quarter-finals in three out of four Grand Slam events last year, and while he is an effective all-court player, his Federer-like playing style makes him ideally suited to the courts of Wimbledon.
Jannik Sinner to win Wimbledon at +1800 BetUS
Unpredictable US Open
Of the four Grand Slam events, the US Open has been the most unpredictable in recent years. There have been seven different winners in the last seven seasons, which suggests that if you are looking for a big priced Grand Slam winner, the US Open is your best opportunity.
Carlos Alcaraz won his debut Grand Slam here last season and will obviously have plenty of support, assuming he is fully recovered from his injury, but he will be a relatively short price. Any wager on an event this far in advance will be speculative, but Alexander Zverev is available at a price that offers some compensation. He has yet to win a Grand Slam but he reached the semi-final at Flushing Meadow in 2021 and was in the final the year before that, and should once again mount a strong challenge.