2021 French Open Tennis Predictions with Odds and Betting Picks
We are just a few days away from the start of the 2021 French Open tournament, and I for one could not be more excited about it. Originally this tournament was slated to start on May 24 but it was pushed back a week due to COVID issues. Nonetheless, the tournament will go off as planned, and we will be with you every step of the way to help you sort through the chaos that Roland Garros has to offer. There are plenty of storylines to cover, so let’s get right into it.
If you want to get in on the action but are just unsure of how to wager on tennis, you can click here to get a complete breakdown of how to do so. If you want to sit back and enjoy the action while making some money, I recommend getting signed up with Doc’s for a tournament long package.
Without further ado, let’s get into breaking down both the men’s and women’s favorites, contenders and dark horses.
Rafael Nadal (-120) & Iga Swiatek (+250)
Let’s start by talking about the man that needs no introduction. You might know him simply as “Rafa” or the “King of Clay”. Rafael Nadal is back at Roland Garros for what seems like the millionth time in his career, and he’s vying for his fifth straight French Open title and an incredible 14th French Open title in his illustrious career. Should he win this tournament and reach the mark of 21 Grand Slam titles, that will put him on a perch of his own as the winningest Grand Slam tennis player of all time, until, of course, a fellow by the name of Roger Federer wins his next Major.
So besides owning the clay court at Roland Garros, why would this year be any different for Nadal? Well, for starters, he got dealt a very tricky draw and will have to go through the likes of the aforementioned Federer and/or Djokovic, and Andrey Rublev – a player who beat Nadal earlier this year at the Monte Carlo Masters. The positives about Nadal’s path to glory is that he’s already taken care of Djokovic with ease in last year’s French Open finals and Federer is returning to action after missing a lengthy period of time due to injury. Nadal is also in good form coming into this tournament, having won both at Barcelona (for the 12th time) and in Rome (def. Djokovic). Perhaps most importantly, Nadal is injury-free and healthy. That is the biggest thing we can ask for as we watch him chase immortality on the clay courts.
As far as the women’s draw, Iga Swiatek is the defending French Open champion. And outside of a few people who wagered on her at long odds last year, she is a relatively unknown player that burst onto the scene in a big way, similar to many former winners we’ve seen on the women’s side. Swiatek is just 20 years old and will be playing in just her seventh Grand Slam tournament. She’s ridden the wave of momentum from last year’s win (her first title) to a fourth-round appearance at the Australian Open. From there, she claimed titles in Adelaide and Rome in impressive fashion. In the Rome finals, she beat former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0, which marked the first time since 2013 that a women’s final was won by a double-bagel scoreline. Swiatek has a favorable draw. And as she’s a year older, stronger, and more experienced, she definitely has the game and form to get herself back to the finals.
Novak Djokovic (+333) & Ashleigh Barty (+450)
Last year’s French Open runner-up is back among the favorites for this year’s tournament, but the draw for Djokovic is similar to Nadal’s in that he’ll have to go through Federer and Nadal just to get to the finals. Djokovic has tasted success at Roland Garros just once before, winning the 2016 edition over Andy Murray. Djokovic has also lost four times in the finals, with three of them coming against Nadal. In the lead-up to this tournament, Djokovic managed to win his third straight Australian Open title to push his record number to nine. After that, he suffered disappointing defeats in both Monte Carlo and Serbia but did go on to reach the finals (and lose) to Nadal in Rome.
As for Barty, she is returning to the scene of her latest Grand Slam triumph. Barty won the French Open in 2019 and decided to opt out of last year’s edition due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. She’s definitely among the major players for the title, and the lead-up to this tournament has been very fruitful. She won the Yarra Valley Classic and then made the quarterfinals at the Australian Open only to lose to Karolina Muchova. From there, she defended her 2019 Miami Open title and claimed her third title of the year in Stuttgart. Barty’s game resonates well on clay, and it would shock me to see her out before the semi-finals.
Dominic Thiem (+800) & Naomi Osaka (+1200)
While the odds are relatively short compared to most “dark hose” picks I cover in other sports like horse racing or MVP odds, these two players are priced well above what they should be. Maybe Thiem is priced appropriately given the fact that he’s got to find a way to beat Nadal and Djokovic at some point in the tournament, but the Austrian is playing some good tennis, and I believe he has the game needed for clay if he’s playing confidently and aggressively.
As for Osaka, the reigning Australian Open Champion comes to Roland Garros hoping for better luck this time around. She’s struggled on clay a bit this season, winning only one match in Madrid. She also lost the opening match in Rome, falling in straight sets to Jessica Pegula. Osaka has all the talent in the world to compete with the best on clay, she just needs to realize it. In a draw that doesn’t feature Serena Williams as the overwhelming favorite, Osaka could go on a deep run and it wouldn’t shock me one bit.
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