French Open 2024

Am I geared up for the 2024 French Open drama? Absolutely! I hope you are to. 

This year looks like it could be a standout one, with veterans fighting to find their form and new talents stepping up. It's anyone's game.

2024 French Open Winner Odds

French Open Winner Best Odds Worst Odds
Carlos Alcaraz 11/4 7/4
Novak Djokovic 13/4 5/2
Jannik Sinner 5/1 7/2
Alexander Zverev 7/1 11/2
Stefanos Tsitsipas 9/1 6/1

 

2024 French Open Preview

I take a close look at each of the 32 seeds to see if there is any value to be found. And for those feeling a bit daring, I've tossed in a 200/1 betting tip. Let’s get stuck in.

1. Novak Djokovic 

It's been somewhat of a circus around Djokovic in 2024. For those who don't know, Djokovic was hit in the head by a metallic bottle after his win against Moutet in Rome.

Apparently, the bottle slipped out of a fan's backpack and struck him quite badly when he was signing autographs. The next day, Djokovic showed up wearing a bicycle helmet and joked around a bit when he met the press. The gathered media, of course, loved it. Shortly thereafter Djokovic was knocked out of the tournament headfirst.

Anyway, 2024 has been the worst start ever for the Serb. He lost to Jannik Sinner in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, to Alessandro Nardi in the third round of Indian Wells, to Casper Ruud in the semi-finals of Monte Carlo, and to Alejandro Tabilo in the third round in Rome.

Hardly confidence-inspiring, but the only loss I put any weight on is the one against Jannik Sinner at the Australian Open. Something wasn't right with Djokovic that day “down under”.

Besides that, Djokovic has cleaned house among his coaching staff this spring, firing both his head coach and physio. His former coach, Goran Ivanišević, mentioned in an interview that their collaboration had run its course and that they were perhaps a little tired of each other. 

What it tells me is that Djokovic is having a bit of trouble with his motivation and is looking elsewhere for some new energy.

On top of that, Djokovic is playing in Geneva this week. That should give you a hint. 

There's a reason why the tennis tournaments played the week before a Grand Slam are called "Loser's Week." It's when all the mediocrities scramble to gather valuable ATP points while the best players rest and recharge their energy reserves.

So, are we to lump Djokovic in with the rest of the riff-raff playing this week? Unclear, but it's definitely not a good sign that he took a wildcard to Geneva. He feels that he is missing something.

It's no secret that Djokovic de-prioritises all tournaments that aren't Grand Slams. He no longer burns energy or risks anything physically in Masters and other tournaments. Hence, I put no value on his losses to nobodies like Nardi and Tabilo.

I see it more as Djokovic being there to get a feel for the pace. He gets the matches he needs and then he's satisfied. His body can't handle winning a tough Masters just a month before the French Open, and he knows that.

What I see in him is that he is relatively healthy without significant injuries and has a body that's ready to perform.

So is there any value in his odds? It's possible. I'm not going to bang the drum and say it's a fantastic bet, but there’s definitely a scenario where Djokovic glides through an easy draw and then I wonder how I missed it when he has Hurkacz in the semi-finals and Ruud in the final. I´ve been there before.

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2. Jannik Sinner 

Jannik Sinner threw his participation in the French Open into doubt when he pulled out mid-way through the Madrid Open with a hip injury.

But let’s pretend everything is business as usual for now.

I like Sinner. He's had a fantastic year and has shown that his victory at the Australian Open wasn't just a unique peak in form.

There are a couple of things both for and against Sinner here. The first thing I think of is that he withdrew from Madrid due to hip issues. 

That's obviously concerning, but at the same time, he's one of the most well-conditioned players on the tour right now, and I think he was just feeling worn out after an intense spring schedule.

Another thing against him is that the French Open is always the slowest of all the clay tournaments. The ball slows down in Paris in a way it doesn't anywhere else, and that doesn't suit Sinner's aggressive and somewhat flat playing style.

On the positive side, he has been the best player by far in 2024, and my sense is that he prioritises the French Open in a way many of the other top players don't. He has his eye on the prize, hungry for more

I'm very torn about these odds, but I lean more towards passing than recommending. After all, even though he's Italian, Jannik Sinner doesn’t have a natural affinity for clay.

3. Carlos Alcaraz 

The first thing I do when I see Carlos's odds is ask myself, "Do I understand this?" The answer is that I don't. Sure, he's a clear contender for the win, but there are too many question marks around him for me to feel that the odds have value.

He felt pain in his forearm in Madrid, and after examinations, it was revealed that he has muscle swelling in his forearm. Because of this, he skipped Rome and is now trying to rest and recover.

How has his form been this spring? Very mixed. Quarter finals at the Australian Open. He then performed well in the USA swing, winning Indian Wells and reaching the quarter finals in Miami. Maybe he burned too much energy there?

After that, he only played in Madrid, where it ended against Rublev after another quarter-final. Sure, he's had a few good matches, but nothing that makes me confident he'll perform well 

For me, he's the most obvious one to dismiss from the list. There are too many question marks, and giving him such a high percentage chance of winning is actually ridiculous. There's no value in these odds at all.

4. Daniil Medvedev 

The same goes for Medvedev. He has performed decently in the Masters tournaments before the French Open, but when he gets to France, he hits a wall. A quarter final, a round of 16, and five first-round losses speak for themselves.

Medvedev's flat backhand has no effect at all when he plays in Paris, and the ball bounces up perfectly for his opponents to go on the offensive. Don't be surprised if Medvedev exits early again this year.

5. Alexander Zverev 

Speaking of dry powder, Zverev's should be close to self-ignition soon. At least that was the case before he won in Rome a couple of days ago. Before that things haven't been working out for him at all so far this year and he's only won a few matches on clay.

However, it's worth noting that his losses have come against relatively good players. Tsitsipas, Garin, and Cerundolo are excellent clay court players and losing to them is nothing to be ashamed of. Still, we're used to him not losing very often to this type of player.

Given that he smoothly sailed through and won in Rome without being tested, I don't really know where his level is at. But a win is still a win, and I know what he is capable of.

I'm not worried at all about him expending too much energy just a week before the French Open starts. Zverev looked like he was barely breaking a sweat when he kissed the trophy in Rome.

And anyone who knows me, knows how much I like the fact that a player enters a Grand Slam injury-free and with plenty of energy in reserve.

I think there’s some value here and he is worth a shot.

6. Andrey Rublev

When it comes to clay tennis, I think Rublev has a bit of a love-hate relationship with the surface. He has undoubtedly performed on clay, but in Paris, the surface works against him a bit more. He always tries to take time away from his opponents, and at Roland Garros, defensive players have time in abundance.

Rublev's best results are two quarter finals, and he has been knocked out in the first round several times here in Paris. Too many things need to align for him to be the last man standing. I don't see how it will happen, and these odds don't seem appealing at all.

7. Casper Ruud 

A few months ago, when I was talking to an odds compiler at a betting company who is also my friend, we discussed if there were any early odds worth considering for this tournament. The name that came up was actually Ruud, who was at 16/1 then.

The scenario we outlined is exactly what has happened. The top players are either injured, too old, or completely out of form.

Ruud's odds have therefore dropped quite significantly.

What confuses me is that Ruud is playing in Geneva this week. He surely has his reasons for playing, but whether it's because he feels in poor form or is greedy for money and cheap ATP points, playing this week is a bad decision. 

It's actually baffling that he's playing in Geneva. He has been a finalist at the French Open for the past two years and should realise that this is a great opportunity for him to complete his career. But apparently not.

I've been tempted to take his odds a few times over the past months, but right now, I'm very far from placing a bet. The main reasons are precisely because he's playing this week, and that makes me think his focus is elsewhere.

8. Hubert Hurkacz 

Should we label Hubert with a Ruud stamp too, perhaps? What works in his favor is his mentality to go far and win matches, but there are many factors against him.

He's big, heavy, and usually relies on his serve, which doesn't yield much in Paris. 

9. Stefanos Tsitsipas 

Should I mention it or not? I suppose I should. It is highly relevant after all. Recently, it has been reported that his relationship with the Spaniard Paula Badosa is over. 

I have followed tennis for over 30 years and can say with certainty that breakups in one's love life can be very positive for the career. There are numerous examples of players who have become significantly better when that kind of distraction is no longer present.

But let's leave that be for now.

Since reaching the final against Djokovic at the French Open a few years ago, Tsitsipas has been underwhelming on clay. I thought he would become a clay court specialist who would always perform well in the spring, but that hasn't been the case.

Greece's best tennis player has probably had other focuses besides just tennis in recent years. At Least he has said so himself. His mentality on the court is excellent, but maybe he's not as obsessed with winning as many others at the top. This holds him back a bit.

He won Monte Carlo this year, and he has actually looked relatively good so far on clay. He also reached the final in Barcelona the following week. I can definitely see him going far, and he's not without a chance against anyone. He’s also free from injuries and should be fresh.

The fact that he suffered a round-robin loss in Madrid is almost a positive sign. He probably burned too much energy by reaching back-to-back finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

Also, the slow clay works in his favour. Roland Garros might be one of the few courts where Tsitsipas doesn't have tempo issues on his backhand side. 

On the contrary, his huge backhand swing becomes somewhat of an asset. I like the odds on Tsitsipas and I recommend you place your trust in him this year.

10. Grigor Dimitrov 

This year's most improved player, without a doubt. Quite unexpected considering he’s 32 years old. What worries me a bit is that he’s already played over 30 matches this year. He has a history of being somewhat fragile physically, and I expect the burnout to hit him any moment now.

Looking at his performance in the French Open, it’s not a pleasant read. He has consistently exited in the first, second, and third rounds. It took him nine attempts before he finally reached the fourth round in 2020. He repeated that performance last year.

Considering his peak form and assuming his body holds up, his odds might be pretty good. Not enough for a recommendation, but not far off.

11. Alex de Minaur

The flattest game on tour on the slowest clay surface? It's going to be tough.

12. Taylor Fritz

Fritz is as far from a clay court player as you can get, but he still handles the surface well. Plus, he’s in excellent form right now. If I were getting 250/1 odds or thereabouts, I might take a chance, but given where he is right now, I'll pass.

13. Holger Rune

Is Holger one of those players who will always be injured at some point during the year? That's how it feels about him, even though he's only 21 years old.

Sure, there's a lot of potential here, but his price with some bookmakers is too close to players like Zverev and Tsitsipas.

Everything is too uncertain, and I don't think he's mentally ready to win a Grand Slam. At least not this time.

14. Tommy Paul 

Tommy Paul on clay is like a fish on land - it's a struggle.

15. Ben Shelton

This kid got something. I don't know what it is yet, but he's got something. If I were to pick anyone on this nosebleed odds level, it would be this one.

What I'm thinking is that he has an impressive physique, and his big swing forehand is really effective on clay. Sometimes young players have breakthrough tournaments that really define them, and this could be Shelton's.

16. Nicolas Jarry

At his best, this guy is actually pretty good. He has proven that repeatedly in smaller clay court tournaments. And since last Sunday, he has shown that he can hold his own against the top players. 

His appearance in the Rome final is the high point of his career so far. I can't bring myself to bet on him, but if you feel good about his chances, go for it.

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17. Ugo Humbert 

Ugo is a home player known for his hyper-aggressive style. This strategy works splendidly indoors, but not on clay.

18. Karen Khachanov

There's absolutely nothing to suggest Khachanov will win a tournament like this. It's a misjudgment to give him around 1% chance of winning this.

19. Alexander Bublik

A big outsider in the betting at 500/1 with one bookmaker through oddschecker.

20. Sebastian Baez

Small time clay court specialist.

21. Felix Auger-Aliassime

This is a player I see on the rise. He doesn't stand a chance when it comes to this type of clay court tennis, but if you're looking for a long-term bet, you might want to look towards the US Open already. 

A few years ago, he was just one point away from taking down Medvedev in the semi-finals at Flushing Meadows.

Given the state of the top players with injuries and various uncertainties, there might be some value there. But here, at Roland Garros? No.

22. Adrian Mannarino

Given just a 0.1% chance of winning the tournament at best odds through oddschecker.

23. Francisco Cerundolo

A solid clay worker. He's like a lesser version of Ruud. He has the overall game but lacks the edge.

24. Jiri Lehecka

66/1 on one of the spread betting firms but a general 200/1 elsewhere.

25. Alejandro Tabilo

Passed over, certainly at 50/1 on bet365.

26. Frances Tiafoe

Not happening.

27. Talon Griekspoor

Very unlikely to get anywhere at a biggest price 500/1.

28. Sebastian Korda 

The tour's worst physicality to win the French Open? I guess that's going to be difficult. Not even if I got 1000/1 odds.

29. Tomas Martin Etcheverry

We know he thrives at the French Open. Last year's quarter-final was promising, and if he finds his form, I see a lot of potential in him. He also has the right mentality to go far and win. That so important killer instinct is not to be underestimated.

However, this year has been a bit shaky for him, which is why we're getting these kinds of odds. If you're looking for a high-odds pick, he's actually a viable option.

30. Arthur Fils 

I like him. He has real power in his game and might cause a few upsets, but winning the whole tournament seems unlikely. I could see him rallying behind the home crowd and playing some really inspiring tennis.

31. Lorenzo Musetti 

Good potential. Many of us thought he would be a bit better than what he's achieved so far. He plays a bit too complex to fully put it together. I can't see him coming close.

32. Mariano Navone

The last of the seeds is 80/1 on William Hill but a biggest 300/1.

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Rafael Nadal French Open Odds

What surprises me a bit is that the odds have barely moved at all after his performance in Rome. I think that was the tournament that made many think, “Oh no, it won't get any better than this”.

His odds reflect just under a 10% chance of winning. And I have to ask myself, how is this miracle supposed to happen?

Despite many victories, Nadal has always been a bit more vulnerable in tournaments like Madrid and Rome. It's been a bit faster there, and a few players have broken through his defence over the years.

But when the same players have faced him in Paris, it has always ended the same way; they haven't come close. The surface is much slower in Paris.

The problem now is that Nadal doesn't have the physical condition needed to chase down what comes at him, and there's nothing left to fall back on. The magic is gone, and the correct odds here are probably closer to triple digits.

The prediction is a third or fourth round exit.