Rafael Nadal had started off the 2020 French Open as a standalone favourite to go the distance and clinch his 13th title but that’s no longer the case with all bookmakers any more.
Nadal hasn’t put a foot wrong so far in the tournament and progressed to the fourth round without any trouble. In fact in his last two matches, his clinical self is back and the Spaniard world number two has dropped a sum total of nine games across six sets.
After bit of hard work against Egor Gerasimov, Nadal crushed Mackenzie McDonald in the second round and routed Stefano Travaglia in the third to set up a fourth round meeting with youngster Sebastian Korda.
And yet, it’s Novak Djokovic’s performance that has caught attention. So much so that despite Djokovic still to play his third round match (he plays it later tonight against Daniel Elahi Galan), some of the bookmakers have the Serb pipping Nadal as a very slight favourite for now.
As things stand at the moment, bet365 have Djokovic going at 13/10 (2.30) to win the title while Nadal is slightly behind at 11/8 (2.38) to win the 2020 French Open title. Compare this with about a week ago when Nadal was 11/10 to lift the title and Djokovic considerably behind at 21/10.
This is bound to change based on his showing in round three but by the looks of things, Djokovic has taken on some scary levels of perfection this year. But for his default at the US Open, he has won everything but to do that at the Rome Masters and to then up the ante in the two matches he has played at the French Open makes for compelling viewing.
To be fair to the 12-time champion Nadal, there’s not much wrong he has done between the start of the French Open and his third round win yesterday. All his wins have been in straight sets and as mentioned earlier, the last two rounds were as comprehensive as Nadal would have at his best.
And yet, Nadal’s still to show that side against a tougher opponent in the post-pandemic world, unlike Djokovic who defeated a few at Rome. That, coupled with Djokovic’s strong hunger to undo the US Open debacle has probably forced the bookmakers to revisit their odds here.
Dominic Thiem (10/3) is a fair distance behind Djokovic and Nadal but he has been on bit of a roll as well, having won the US Open last month, and been a two-time French Open finalist.
The rest are trailing behind; the Hamburg Open finalist Stefanos Tsitsipas is 28/1, Rome Masters runnerup Diego Schwartzman is currently 33/1, along with Alexander Zverev (33/1) who hasn’t played too much on clay this season.
Get the latest match by match French Open 2020 predictions here.