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Men's French Open: Prediction, Tips and Odds

The French Open, the second of four Grand Slams in the season, kickstarts in Paris on Sunday and Racing Post's Aaron Ashley has picked out his best bets for the men’s competition, opting for two players bidding to make their major breakthrough.

For a long time this tournament was turned into a formality by Rafael Nadal, who claimed the title on 14 occasions between 2005 and 2022, and the King of Clay is preparing for what is expected to be his final ever French Open.

With Nadal’s powers on the wane, all eyes will be on Novak Djokovic as he attempts to defend his title, but the Serbian has a point to prove following some underwhelming results this season.

Rising stars Carlos Alcaraz and Jannik Sinner carry the biggest threat to Djokovic according to the betting, but they have had injury-affected preparations, which means a new Grand Slam champion could be crowned.

That suggests it may be an open renewal of the clay-court major and Alexander Zverev, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud and Andrey Rublev are four names who fit the profile as they chase a maiden Grand Slam title.

Men's French Open betting tips and predictions

Alexander Zverev to win the French Open - 7/1

There are legitimate reasons to oppose the big three in the betting and Zverev looks the most likely to capitalise, despite the fact that he has been dealt a horror first-round draw against 14-time champion Nadal.

Djokovic will be hoping that he can claim silverware in the Geneva Open in his final preparation event, but he made little impact in clay-court events in Monte Carlo and Rome prior to that.

The Serb had lost to Ruud, who he eased past in straight sets in last season’s French Open final, in Monte Carlo and then was stunned by Alejandro Tabilo in the second round in Rome.

That means Djokovic, prior to Geneva, had failed to win a tournament this season and only three of his 24 Grand Slam titles have come on the Parisian dirt, so this is evidently his most vulnerable Grand Slam venue.

With Alcaraz opting for only one preparation event in Madrid, where he lost in the quarter-final to Rublev over three weeks ago, and Sinner withdrawing prior to his quarter-final in the Spanish capital and not been seen since, that pair can be taken on at the prices.

It can often pay to side with a player coming into a Grand Slam in form and nobody looks in better shape than Zverev, who prepared with a Masters 1000 success in Rome.

The German dropped only one set across his six matches and he has been a model of consistency in Paris, making three straight semi-final appearances.

The stumbling block is an opening-round duel with Nadal, who is sure to get a hero's welcome, but the Spaniard hasn’t offered enough in his three clay-court appearances to suggest that he is capable of landing the upset.

Nadal lost in straight sets to Alex De Minaur in the second round in Barcelona, was beaten by Jiri Lehecka in the last-16 in Madrid and then was brushed aside 6-1 6-3 by Hubert Hurkacz in round two in Rome.

None of that trio would be up to winning a Grand Slam, but that is not the case with Zverev who, ever since finishing runner-up at the 2020 US Open, has threatened to do so.

From then on, the draw could open up for the German and his first-round encounter is arguably his toughest test prior to a potential semi-final with Djokovic or Ruud.

Stefanos Tsitsipas to win the French Open - 8/1

A compelling case can also be made in the bottom half of the draw for Tsitsipas, who has Alcaraz and Sinner to contend with before he can dream of a place in the final.

But the Greek star has less to prove than that pair and, following a return to form which has seen him win on the clay of Monte Carlo before a runners-up effort in Barcelona, he has to be taken seriously.

Tsitsipas was runner-up to Djokovic at the French Open in 2021 - he had led by two sets - while he has also made a semi-final and a quarter-final in the last four years, showing that these are his optimum conditions.

The 25-year-old is a real clay-court specialist - five of his 11 career titles have come on clay - and he shouldn’t have too many early concerns before a fourth-round showdown with Rublev.

Tsitsipas has lost only three of his 16 clay-court matches this season and, although he may meet Alcaraz in the quarter-finals and Sinner in the semis, they have their conditioning to prove.

Read more tennis betting tips and predictions on site

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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