PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 20: Rafael Nadal of Spain talks during the press conference during the 2022 French Open Press Conference at Roland Garros on May 20, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Antonio Borga/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)
Tennis

French Open Stunner – Could Youngster End Rafa Nadal’s Dominance?

The second Grand Slam tournament of the year is underway at the famous courts of Roland Garros as the elite tennis players in the world battle it out to become the male and female French Open Champion.

There has been polar opposites in terms of winners in this tournament in the men’s and women’s events, with the men’s tournament dominated for almost two decades by the brilliant Spaniard Rafa Nadal.

In sharp contrast, the women’s event has seen a different winner every year since 2014,and furthermore those eight different winners have all come from eight different countries too.

Yet unusually, it may well be the men’s event that is the more open tournament this time around, with one female player in particular dominating the betting for the tournament so far.

As a Slam event, interest in the tournament will be bigger than for most standard Tour events, so let’s take a look at some of the good betting odds available with BetMGM Sportsbook and players to back for what should be a very interesting singles competition for both male and female players.

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French Open – Men’s Tournament

Outright Winner – Current Odds With BetMGM

Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz celebrates after winning against Argentine’s Juan Ignacio Londero at the end of their men’s singles match on day one of the Roland-Garros Open tennis tournament at the Court Philippe-Chatrier in Paris on May 22, 2022. (Photo by Anne-Christine POUJOULAT / AFP) (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT/AFP via Getty Images)
  • 2/1 – Novak Djokovic

  • 9/4 – Carlos Alcaraz

  • 4/1 – Rafa Nadal

  • 9/2 – Stefanos Tsitsipas

  • 20/1 bar

The way the draw has worked out in the men’s tournament sees three of the tournament’s favorites Djokovic, Alacaraz and Nadal all drawn together in one half.

That explains why Stefanos Tsitsipas has relatively good odds as he is in the other side of the draw and must fancy his chances of making the final.

Who he plays there is more interesting. Novak Djokovic returned to form with a win at the Italian Open last weekend and the Serbian seems to have put his hangover from the debacle at the Australian Open behind him finally.

Of course, Rafa Nadal is always going ti be in the discussion or a French Open win. His 13 victories in this event is a record for any Slam event and Roland Garros is his second home. However, worries over his injury status, advancing age and the fact he lost in the Italian Open last week have seen him move to third favorite.

The player to watch here is Carlos Alcaraz. The young Spaniard is coached by Juan Carlos Ferrero, himself a former French Open Champion. The youngster has won the Rio Open, Miami Open, Barcelona Open and Madrid Open this year, in the latter he beat Nadal, Djovkovic and Alexander Zverev in successive rounds to clinch the title – on clay.

He has now risen to sixth in the world and is rated as one of the most exciting and talented next generation of tennis superstars.

It seems only a matter of time before Alcaraz claims his first Grand Slam title and it is most likely to be on clay, which is why I’d back him at 9/4 to land the crown here.

French Open Women’s Tournament

Outright Winner – Current Odds With BetMGM

  • 4/5 – Iga Swiatek

  • 14/1 – Simona Halep

  • 16/1 – Maria Sakkari

  • 22/1 – Paula Badosa, Amanda Anisomova

  • 25/1 bar

As you can see, 20-year-old Polish star Iga Swiatek, the current World Number 1, is the

PARIS, FRANCE – MAY 23: Iga Swiatek of Poland shakes hands following victory against Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine during the Women’s Singles First Round match on Day 2 of The 2022 French Open at Roland Garros on May 23, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)

odds-on favorite with BetMGM to clinch a second French Open title, adding to the one she won back in 2020 defeating Sofia Kenin in the final.

It’s little wonder that Swiatek is the favorite. She has won all her first five WTA Tour events of the season so far, including a victory at the Italian Open last week, which has seen her extend her winning streak on tour to 28 matches.

Her wins have been on hard and clay courts which shows she has the game to do well in France and it is very difficult to see anybody challenging her dominance this week given that a number of the top female players are struggling a little for form or will be absent due to injury.

Swiatek’s level is so high at the moment that she is dominating the game in women’s tennis in a way that we have not seen since Serena Williams in her heyday, and those very short odds of 4/5 are well deserved.

She would be my obvious tip to win the French Open over the next fortnight.

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