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2024 French Open Preview and Predictions

May 26, 2024


The 2024 French Open at Roland Garros is shaping up to be a thrilling tournament, with the draw promising intense competition and unexpected twists. This year's event might be the most unpredictable since 2005, when a 19-year-old Rafael Nadal captured his first of 14 titles here. Nadal himself faces a daunting challenge right from the start, as he squares off against the recent Italian Open champion, Alexander Zverev, in the first round. It's a surprising and tough match-up for the tennis legend.

 

Defending champion Novak Djokovic hasn't been at his usual best throughout the season and has yet to secure a tournament victory this year. Furthermore, there are significant fitness concerns surrounding rising stars Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. Meanwhile, the in-form "Now-Gen" players like Stefanos Tsitsipas, Alexander Zverev, and Casper Ruud are poised to make strong runs, setting the stage for a perfect storm of competition.

 

As the second Grand Slam of the year is played on the slow clay courts of Paris, the atmosphere promises grueling rallies and captivating matches. The passionate Parisian crowd and the elite level of competition make this the marquee event of the clay court season. With 2000 ranking points on the line for the winner, it's a golden opportunity for players to achieve Grand Slam glory and etch their names in tennis history.

 

The tournament has yet to begin, but it has already bid farewell to two-time finalist Dominic Thiem and former top-10 Argentine Diego Schwartzman, both of whom were defeated in qualifying.

 

Meanwhile, three-time major champions Stan Wawrinka and Andy Murray are navigating the twilight of their illustrious careers.

 

Who are the Favorites at Roland Garros in 2024?

 

Rafael Nadal is also considered to be on his final lap, with an anticipated Olympic farewell at Roland Garros in doubles alongside Carlos Alcaraz later this year possibly marking the end of his remarkable career.

 

However, age and injury have rendered the legend mortal on clay this season. Not only has Nadal relinquished his status as the tournament favorite, but bookmakers now rate him as a long shot to claim a 15th Roland Garros title.

 

The Spaniard has won seven of the 11 matches he has played this year, but his days of dominating on clay appear to be behind him, based on his recent results across Europe.

 

Alex de Minaur defeated him in Barcelona, Jiri Lehecka overwhelmed him in Madrid, and Hubert Hurkacz routed him in Rome. While all three opponents are undeniably tough and talented, Nadal, in his prime, would have likely handled them with ease on clay, thanks to his prodigious forehand and remarkable mental strength.

 

Let's delve into the men's draw and make some predictions for the 2024 French Open, where every match promises high stakes and unforgettable moments.

 

2024 Men's French Open Betting Odds - To Win Outright

 

 

            Carlos Alcaraz +250

            Novak Djokovic +330

            Jannik Sinner +450

            Alexander Zverev +650

            Stefanos Tsitsipas +700

            Casper Ruud +1100

            Rafael Nadal +1800

            Andrey Rublev +2200

            Daniil Medvedev +2800

            Holger Rune +3300

            Grigor Dimitrov +8000

            Taylor Harry Fritz +8000

            Hubert Hurkacz +8000

            Nicolas Jarry +8000

            Alejandro Tabilo +8000

            Karen Khachanov +10000

            Alex De Minaur +10000

            Felix Auger Aliassime +10000

            Jan-Lennard Struff +10000

            Tommy Paul +10000

All odds are available at EveryGame

 

Rafael Nadal

Do we really need to say anything? Well, alright, let's go! It feels strange to consider a 14-time French Open absolute champion an underdog, but it makes sense given the circumstances. The Spanish veteran has struggled in his comeback, and expectations were already tempered even before the draw for what is very likely his final Roland Garros participation.

 

When the draw revealed a first-round match against Alexander Zverev, Nadal fans and the tennis world were stunned. Facing Zverev right out of the gate is arguably a daunting task. Probably all tennis lovers hoped for a Nadal vs. Djokovic clash, yearning to see these two legends battle at least once more before retirement looms closer, but that seems increasingly unlikely.

 

So, what are Rafael Nadal's chances? Facing The King of Clay on Philippe Chatrier at Roland Garros is considered the ultimate challenge in men's tennis. With a 97% win rate and only three losses ever at Stade Roland Garros, Nadal's dominance is unquestionable. Despite being a significant underdog against the recent Rome Masters champion Sascha Zverev, there's always hope. Nadal's level often elevates at Roland Garros, and he even won the 2022 title despite a serious foot injury. Furthermore, Zverev's tendency for slow starts in the early rounds of Grand Slams could possibly play in Nadal's favor.

 

Could we witness Nadal pull off a win and make a fairytale run, potentially facing Djokovic in a semi-final? Well, our heart says yes, but our pragmatic mind says no. Nonetheless, with Nadal, magic at Roland Garros is always a possibility.

 

Alexander Zverev

The big German has truly found his stride this clay season. He recently clinched his second title in Rome, seven years after his first in 2017, solidifying his upward trajectory in both form and ranking. Seeded 4th at Roland Garros, Zverev is positioned to avoid facing Alcaraz, Sinner, or Djokovic until at least the semi-finals. Although 2024 has been steady for Sascha, he is undoubtedly setting his sights on capturing major titles. With the French Open wide open this year, he knows the opportunity is ripe. However, there's a significant hurdle in his path-Rafael Nadal. Nadal, unseeded, was drawn to face Zverev in the first round.

 

Despite Nadal's legendary status as a 14-time Roland Garros champion, Zverev is the favorite for this match, given Nadal's underwhelming comeback. However, Zverev has a history of slow starts in Grand Slams, often needing four or five sets to grind out early-round victories. He will need to be sharp from the outset to overcome Nadal. If he can secure the win, the draw becomes more favorable, but Zverev will not look past this crucial first-round challenge.

 

Looking ahead, Zverev has a potential quarter-final against Daniil Medvedev, a match in which he would likely be favored. This could set up a projected semi-final clash with Djokovic. This Grand Slam represents a significant opportunity for Zverev, who enters the tournament in top form. While he might have hoped for an easier draw, a victory over Nadal would not only send a powerful message but also boost his confidence for a deep run in Paris.

 

Stefanos Tsitsipas

The 2021 Roland Garros finalist has managed to rekindle some of his best form in recent weeks. The Greek began the year with a string of underwhelming results, but he turned things around in Monaco, where he captured his third Monte Carlo Masters title. He also reached the final in Barcelona (losing to Casper Ruud) and the quarter-finals in Rome (falling to Nicolás Jarry). Despite a surprising opening-round loss to Thiago Monteiro in Madrid, this setback shouldn't overshadow his overall clay-court prowess. Madrid's unique conditions, with its high altitude and quicker play, don't necessarily reflect a player's suitability for Roland Garros.

 

Tsitsipas' level has been consistently high recently, giving him a significant confidence boost as he heads into the clay-court Slam. His forehand has been formidable, and his serve has returned to top form. The slow clay courts at Roland Garros allow him to run around his weaker backhand more effectively and provide him the extra time needed to set up his one-handed backhand in rallies and on returns.

 

Seeded 9th, Tsitsipas faces a challenging draw. He has a tricky first-round opponent in Marton Fucsovics and a potential quarter-final clash with Carlos Alcaraz. His half of the draw also includes tricky players like Jannik Sinner as well as the in-form Chileans Jarry and Alejandro Tabilo. Tsitsipas may need to overcome significant challenges to triumph in Paris, but he knows this year's tournament is wide open. The question remains: can he step up and seize the opportunity?

 

Novak Djokovic

The Serbian great played out a sensational 2023, winning three out of the four Grand Slams and firmly establishing himself at the pinnacle of men's tennis. However, 2024 has been a different story. Djokovic has struggled to recapture the dominant form of last year and is yet to earn a title. This dip in performance has coincided with a major reshuffle of his team, including parting ways with coach Goran Ivanisevic, who worked with the Djoker for almost five years. Could this have had an impact? Perhaps, but there are also questions about his motivation, now that he leads the Grand Slam race.

 

Despite his recent struggles, Djokovic's tally of 24 Grand Slam titles doesn't seem to be under immediate threat. At 37, there are also questions about whether age is finally catching up to the world number one. While it's fair to scrutinize his current form, it's crucial to remember that Djokovic is a different beast in best-of-five-set matches. He lost to a formidable Jannik Sinner in the Australian Open semi-finals (Sinner went on to win the title), and it will likely take another exceptional performance from a top player to stop him at Roland Garros.

 

Djokovic reached the semi-finals in Monte Carlo (losing to Casper Ruud in three sets) and was knocked out in the second round in Rome (losing to Alejandro Tabilo in straight sets). This hasn't been the ideal lead-up to Roland Garros. However, his decision to play in Geneva (an ATP 250 event) the week before Roland Garros proved beneficial, as he made it to the semi-finals. Djokovic looked to be in better form and spirits, and the extra match time could provide the confidence boost he needs to enhance his chances of defending his French Open crown.

 

In the opening round, Novak Djokovic faces wildcard Pierre-Hugues Herbert and has a favorable draw, avoiding both Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner in his half. A potential quarter-final clash with Casper Ruud awaits, but we don't foresee any significant challenges for Djokovic until at least that stage. The draw has indeed fallen quite favorably for the Serbian ace.

 

It would be more encouraging if Djokovic were entering Roland Garros with a strong record on clay this season, but that's not the case. Earlier this month at the Italian Open, Djokovic lost in the third round in straight sets to Alejandro Tabilo, the Chilean who was ranked No. 32 in the world. Then, in his final event before the French Open, the Serb was defeated on clay by No. 44 Tomas Machac at the Geneva Open. Given the much tougher competition he is expected to face at Roland Garros, it's no surprise that we from Spooky Express don't foresee Djokovic repeating as champion.

 

Carlos Alcaraz

The top young players with a strong chance of winning are Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner. However, both have been battling injuries over the past month. While they may be nearing full health, they are also likely to be rusty. If there ever was a year for a player who is neither an all-time great nor an emerging star to win at Roland Garros, 2024 could be the year.

 

The talented Spaniard is eager to avenge his semifinal performance from last year against Novak Djokovic, where visible cramps undermined his efforts against the eventual tournament winner. However, Alcaraz isn't entering the French Open with a considerable momentum. He has just one title to his name in 2024 (Indian Wells Masters) and has yet to advance past the quarterfinals of a clay-court competition.

 

Jannik Sinner

Sinner's best performance at the French Open was reaching the quarterfinals in 2020. However, the bookmakers rank him as one of the favorites for a variety of reasons.

 

Jannik Sinner has produced the best 2024 on the ATP tour so far, highlighted by his maiden Grand Slam success at the Australian Open and two other titles. Yet, the Italian arrives in the French capital surrounded by uncertainty.

 

The 22-year-old hasn't played since the Madrid Open quarterfinals last month due to a hip injury, and we should also bear in mind that clay hasn't been his strongest surface historically.

 

Casper Ruud

Casper Ruud believes his physically taxing victory at the Geneva Open on Saturday could work in his favor as he has little time to recuperate for his French Open campaign. The Norwegian faces Brazilian Felipe Alves in the first round on Monday. Due to rain delays on Friday, Ruud had to play both the semi-final and final on Saturday. He overcame Flavio Cobolli 1-6, 6-1, 7-6(4) in a tough semi-final before returning to the court hours later to defeat Tomas Machac 7-5, 6-3 in the final.

 

Ruud hopes for a breakthrough at Roland Garros after losing the last two finals to Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. However, the Norwegian is not looking too far ahead.

 

The 25-year-old Norwegian aims to secure his first major victory. Having reached three Grand Slam finals, including the last two years at Roland Garros, he is at his best on clay. While he may struggle to succeed at another major, he is poised to claim the 2024 French Open title.

 

Spooky Express Betting Predictions

Spooky Express Pick 1: Mens French Open 2024 Winner - Carlos Alcaraz +250 at Everygame for 5/10 Units

Spooky Express Pick 2: 1st Quarter Winner - Casper Ruud +275 at Everygame for 3/10 Units