While a recent report suggests that the 2021 French Open could be looking at a postponement, there’s only one real question that needs to be answered when it comes to the second grand slam tournament on the calendar year?
Will the incomparable Rafael Nadal win? Or maybe that should be more like…is there a single player on the planet capable of dethroning the King of Clay?
For me, the answer is crystal clear, but I’ll get into that in a moment. First, let’s take a look at the odds to win the 2021 French Open and the most recent COVID-19 update before making any predictions, no matter how simple they may be. That being said, let’s jump right into action so you can start planning your bets against their French Open odds.
ATP – Really Early Roland Garros Odds – Will Rafael Nadal Win Again?
France entered a third nationwide lockdown this past Saturday to contain the coronavirus spread. The French Open, which last year was postponed by four months and took place in front of limited crowds, is due to start this year on May 23. French Minister for Sport Roxana Maracineanu, a former world swimming champion, said on public radio that the French Open could be postponed in view of the ongoing pandemic situation.
“We’re in talks with them (French Tennis Federation) to see if the dates have to change in order to tune them with a global schedule for sports,” the minister said during the radio interview.
2021 French Open
- Scheduled Start Date: May 17 to June 6
Top Favorites to Win the 2021 French Open
- Rafael Nadal +100
- Novak Djokovic +200
- Dominic Thiem +400
- Daniil Medvedev +1800
- Stefanos Tsitsipas +1800
- Roger Federer +2200
- Alexander Zverev +2000
- Diego Schwartzman +2500
- Andrey Rublev +2500
- Jannik Sinner +4000
- Stan Wawrinka +5000
Will Nadal Win His Fifth Straight at Roland Garros?
Now, third in the ATP World Tour rankings, (like that matters), Rafael Nadal has won four straight and 13 of the last 16 French Open titles in Paris.
While Nadal failed to hoist the French Open hardware in 2009, 2015 and 2016, I wouldn’t encourage anyone to bet against Rafa until the start of the next century. Okay, I’m over exaggerating, but you get the idea.
Nadal is so dominant on clay that it’s almost unfair to every other ATP player in the world. Can Rafa be beaten on clay? Yes, he can, but that is far more likely to occur at any other clay court event than it is at Roland Garros. The 34-year-old Spaniard has gone a mind-boggling 100-2 at the French Open since he made his debut by claiming the title in 2005. Let thank sink in a minute…
Nadal has never lost when he’s reached the final at Roland Garros. More importantly, Nadal so thoroughly dominated world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in last year’s final, 6-0, 6-2, 7-5, that it’s really difficult for me to imagine him being beaten on the red clay.
While it’s true that world No. 4 Dominic Thiem is stupendous on clay and 27-8 at Roland Garros, I’m not seeing it happen for the Austrian. Lest anyone forget, Nadal’s last two sets against Thiem were identical 6-1 shellackings that rushed the 27-year-old in the 2019 French Open finals.
Daniil Medvedev is still lacking the mental fortitude to beat the Big Three, or maybe you missed his implosion against Novak Djokovic in the 2021 Aussie Open finals.
World No. 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas is gifted, but still lacking the focus to win a major. Roger Federer has probably given up on trying to win another French Open after he claimed the title in 2009 (thanks to Robin Soderling). My top two picks to dethrone Nadal, (like that’s gonna’ happen) are world No. 7 Alexander Zverev and world No. 9 Diego Schwartzman.
Zverev is an excellent clay court player that has won more than one Masters 1000 title on the surface. Schwartzman might be diminutive in stature (go short guys everywhere), but the 5’6″ dynamo is tremendous on clay and generally overlooked despite his impressive world ranking.
In the end. Hell-to-the-no. I’m not betting against Rafael Nadal to win the 2021 French Open. Taking another player or two – in addition – to backing Nadal might be a wise move. Not wagering on Rafa to win at Roland Garros is never smart. It’s that simple.