Rafael Nada’s strong showing in his quarterfinal win over the world number one and defending champion Novak Djokovic has made him a whopping 5/9 favourite to clinch his 22nd Grand Slam title.
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Nadal’s astonishing win over Djokovic left many a fans stunned as he tamed the Serb in a match that saw him play some of his best tennis in recent times.
The Spaniard won in four sets, but it could easily have ended up in straight sets had Nadal not conceded his advantage of being two breaks up in the second set, as he went on to lose it 6-4.
Djokovic, who was a whopping 9/20 favourite against the 13-time French Open champion to complete the win, fell behind quickly and at a set and 0-3 down, the writing seemed to be on the wall for him.
He showed signs of his famous fighting spirit but all he could manage to do was to level the match at a set apiece. From there on, Nadal first wrapped up the third set easily and then overcame a break of serve to push the fourth set into a tie-breaker.
And while Nadal frittered away three of the five match-points he had at 6-1 in that tie-breaker, he had enough left in his tank to complete the victory.
What that means is Nadal has gone from being 17/9 to win his quarterfinal to becoming 5/9 (use bet365 to open your account here) favourite to win the title at Roland Garros for the 14th time in his career. A whopping 14th if one might add and there’s not much left by way of stopping him by the looks of things.
Sure, there’s a small matter of Nadal’s semifinal against Alexander Zverev to get out of his way, but in a best of five encounter on clay, the Spaniard should not have too many problems.
Especially not after his solid performance against Djokovic.
This is not to take anything away from Zverev, who has made it all the way through to the semifinal despite starting out as a whopping 3/1 second-best against Carlos Alcaraz in his quarterfinal.
Zverev had needed four sets to get past his teenage opponent, avenging his defeat at the Madrid Masters final last month. Nadal, however, will be a different kettle of fish and one can expect the king of clay, more so of the Roland-Garros variety, to have the final laugh.
And with one of Marin Cilic, Casper Ruud, Holger Rune and Andrey Rublev in the other half of the draw expected to make the final, it’s much of a surprise to see Nadal at 5/9 to win the title at this stage. Backing him to go the distance too.