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Rafael Nadal Injury Makes French Open a More Interesting Bet

by Craig Ellenport/ May 24, 2023 at 4:22 p.m.

When Rafael Nadal announced last week that he will not play in the French Open as he continues to nurse a hip injury, one of the surest bets in all of sports went kaput. Since 2005, Nadal has won at Roland Garros 14 times. Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka are the only other men to win a French Open singles title in the past 18 years.

The French Open fortnight begins Sunday. With Nadals withdrawal, the mens singles title is up for grabs. There are a couple of established veterans with good odds, but several other players are in the mix.

On the womens side, world No. 1 Iga Swiatek is the defending champ at Roland Garros and has won two of the last three French Opens.

Heres a quick look at the odds for both the mens and womens draws:

Bernat Armangue/AP Photo

Mens singles: Carlos Alcaraz looks to remain No. 1

With Nadal out, another Spaniard is the favorite to win at the French Open. Carlos Alcaraz held onto his No. 1 ranking despite a shocking upset last week at the Italian Open. Alcaraz lost in straight sets to a qualifier. Still, the 20-year-old phenom has already won four tournaments this year with a match record of 30-3. Alcaraz is the betting favorite at SI Sportsbook with odds of +150.

Djokovic, the French Open champ in 2016 and '21, won the first major of 2023 earlier this year when he won his record 10th Australian Open. Djokovic and Nadal are tied for the most career majors with 22, so the world No. 3 player will be looking to make history in Roland Garros. He checks in right behind Alcaraz with odds of +210.

A week ago, Daniil Medvedevs French Open odds were listed at +2200 – nothing special for the world No. 2 player. Thats because the Russian had never won on clay. Well, that all changed last week when Medvedev won the Italian Open. Thus, his odds have jumped to +1000.

If youre looking for a sleeper, Sports Illustrateds Jon Wertheim suggests 24-year-old Francisco Cerundolo, who is currently ranked 28th in the world and enters Roland Garros with odds of +15000. "The Argentine has gone from a journeyman to a real threat and has won nearly 50 matches in the last calendar year," says Wertheim. "Most of them with Clay underfoot."

French Open Mens Singles Odds

Carlos Alcaraz +150
Novak Djokovic +210
Holger Rune +900
Daniil Medvedev +1000
Stefanos Tsitsipas +1200
Jannik Sinner +1400
Casper Ruud +2000
Alexander Zverev +3500
Andrey Rublev +4000
Dominic Thiem +8000
Lorenzo Musetti +10000
Felix Auger-Aliassime +10000
Taylor Fritz +12500
Francisco Cerundolo +15000
Karen Khachanov +17500
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina +17500
Cameron Norrie +20000
Dusan Lajovic +20000
Maxime Cressy +20000
Borna Coric +22000

Odds via SI Sportsbook

Charles Krupa/AP Photo

Womens singles: No. 1 Iga Swiatek is the heavy favorite

Its hard to go against Swiatek. In her four years competing at Roland Garros, her career record is a stellar 21-2. Of course, odds of -138 are not very rewarding. Second-ranked Aryna Sabalenka, who has won two of her last three meetings vs. Swiatek, checks in at +600. However, the French Open has been Sabalenkas toughest major – shes never advanced past the round of 32.

A pair of former French Open champions are among the top eight favorites: 2021 winner Barbora Krejcikova is +1800. Jelena Ostapenko, who won it in 2017, comes in at +2500.

For those waiting for 19-year-old American Coco Gauff to win her first major, its worth noting that Roland Garros is the sight of her best finish at a major. Gauff reached the final last year before losing in straight sets to Swiatek. Gauff checks in at +2500.

As for a sleeper in the womens bracket, Wertheim targets Marketa Vondrousova, who is currently ranked 57th in the world but has been ranked as high as No. 14, when she reached the French Open final in 2019.

"The Czech lefty has never been in the top 10 but is a confounding player who is at her best on clay -- including at the French Open, where she has reached the final," says Wertheim. "Other players despise seeing her on the other side of the net."

Vondrousova is currently at +3300.

French Open Womens Singles Odds

Iga Swiatek -138
Aryna Sabalenka +600
Elena Rybakina +600
Barbora Krejcikova +1800
Paula Badosa Gilbert +2000
Ons Jabeur +2500
Jelena Ostapenko +2500
Coco Gauff +2500
Jessica Pegula +3300
Marketa Vondrousova +3300
Maria Sakkari +3500
Veronika Kudermetova +4500
Linda Fruhvirtova +5000
Bianca Andreescu +5000
Carolina Garcia +5500
Karolina Muchova +6600
Beatriz Haddad Maia +6600
Belinda Bencic +7500
Daria Kasatkina +9000
Qinwen Zheng +9000

Odds via SI Sportsbook

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