Early Look at the 2021 French Open Odds and Likely Winners
After the messy season last year, it looks like tennis is almost back to normal in 2021. The Australian Open was mostly a success, and the other Grand Slams are expected to proceed without much hassle.
The next major on the schedule is the Roland-Garros, and the online sportsbooks have already published their early French Open 2021 odds.
That’s a good reason to take a look at the top favorites for the competition and see if there’s good value in betting on the French Open winner.
In this early Roland-Garros 2021 betting preview, I explore the latest odds for both the women’s and men’s singles that are available at the best French Open betting sites and share my predictions on how the top players will perform.
Men’s Singles French Open 2021 Betting Odds
Is anyone surprised to see Rafael Nadal on top of the list at gambling apps and sportsbooks online? The early French Open betting odds for 2021 suggest that the King of Clay will once again rule the courts in Paris, and that’s the most natural thing in the world.
Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem are seen as the only other realistic contenders for the trophy, but can someone else rise to the challenge and surprise the tennis world with a strong run? Let’s take a look at the likely favorites to find out.
2021 French Open Men’s Singles Likely Winners
The harsh reality is that the French Open has been one of the least competitive tournaments in men’s tennis ever since the rise of Rafael Nadal.
The Spaniard is the best ever on clay courts, and he won the Roland-Garros almost every single time he was fit enough to play in the past 15 years.
And yet, I believe the upcoming edition might be one of the toughest for him to dominate. Let’s take a look at Rafa and his opponents to find out why.
There’s only one true favorite when it comes to the French Open, and that’s Rafael Nadal. The Spaniard had some back problems during the Australian Open earlier in the year but still reached the quarterfinals before blowing a 2-0 lead against Stefanos Tsitsipas.
I think it was a good performance, all things considered, and I’m sure that Rafa’s preparation will be focused on healing until the French Open. He already skipped the tournaments in Acapulco and Rotterdam to recover.
Dealing with injuries is nothing new for Nadal, who recently stated that he has no plans to retire as long as he remains competitive.
Nadal had one of his most dominant wins in Paris last season and didn’t lose a set. I think the circumstances worked in his favor, though. The Spaniard missed the US Open in order to prepare for his favorite tournament, and many of his opponents that played in New York carried some fatigue.
That won’t be the case in the 2021 French Open, which is why I expect a more competitive event. I think that the French Open gambling sites have got the price for him about right, so the +110 you could get is fair value.
The Serbian icon Novak Djokovic was phenomenal in the 2021 Australian Open, and he’s closing down on Nadal and Federer in the all-time Grand Slams standings.
A bond that will never be broken ?@DjokerNole x @RodLaverArena #AO2021 | #AusOpenFebruary 21, 2021
When Djokovic is playing like that, it’s hard to stop him. There is one exception, though, and it’s the French Open. The Serbian was demolished by Rafa Nadal in last year’s final, and there’s little evidence to suggest that he can beat his big rival on clay in 2021.
In fact, I believe that Dominic Thiem is also better, and several other specialists on clay would cause Nole a lot of trouble.
It would be extremely hard for Djokovic to win the tournament, so the early French Open odds for him are simply not high enough for my taste.
I expected more from Dominic Thiem after he won his first Grand Slam title at the 2020 US Open. The Austrian has been below his best in majors since.
One could argue that the 2020 French Open was too close after his big triumph, and he didn’t have enough to recover and prepare properly. I think that’s fair, but his loss against Grigor Dimitrov at the Australian Open 2021 was surprising.
It looks like Thiem hit a bit of a slump, but I expect more from him during the Roland-Garros. Let’s not forget that the guy has two finals in Paris and would’ve likely won at least one title already if he didn’t have to face the best player on clay in history.
Thiem is a strong contender that is the most likely player to upset Rafa Nadal, in my opinion. The price of +400 is most certainly worth a shot, and I don’t believe it will stay that high by the start of the competition.
The Rest of the Field
I don’t think that the other big names will be too dangerous during the 2021 French Open. Federer has been out for a while, and the likes of Zverev, Rublev, and Medvedev have yet to show the required consistency on clay.
Stefanos Tsitsipas looked strong last year and reached the semis, but I don’t think he can improve enough to beat Nadal or Thiem even at his best.
There are some interesting options in the rest of the field, though. Diego Schwartzman was probably the man that troubled Rafa the most last year, while youngsters like Jannik Sinner and Matteo Berrettini should be dangerous too.
I will be watching them closely, but I don’t think any of them are close enough to the top contenders. And still, if you are looking to back anyone outside Nadal or Thiem, I would suggest putting real money on them instead of picking the more established names.
French Open 2021 Odds for the Women’s Singles
As you can see by the early French Open 2021 betting odds, picking the winner in the women’s singles event is much harder. There is no clear-cut favorite, and at least 10 players have a shot at the title, according to the leading tennis betting sites online.
On the bright side, that means that you could comfortably back two, three, or even more players and still have a decent return if one of them wins the competition.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the potential champions and my French Open predictions.
We thought that last year’s Roland-Garros was going to be competitive, but Iga Swiatek destroyed everyone on the road to the trophy.
The teenager lifted the title without losing a set, and the demolition job against Simona Halep in the fourth round was almost unreal, as you can see from the highlights below.
Defending the title should be much harder, and some of the top players that missed last year’s edition should be back. And yet, Swiatek has the arsenal required to go all the way, and her confidence should be high.
I like the price of +500 you can get for her, and that’s probably one of the best French Open 2021 bets available early on.
I’m sure that Simona Halep will be eager to return after her embarrassing defeat at the hands of Swiatek last year. The Romanian loves clay courts, and I believe she will be dangerous at the Roland-Garros for another year or two.
There will be less pressure to perform this time around, but the field should be stronger as well. I expect a solid run from Halep, but I don’t think I can trust her when the price is +500.
She might be lagging a step behind the younger generation of stars in female tennis, so I wouldn’t recommend backing Halep when the French Open odds are that low, at least compared to other players.
The last time Ashleigh Barty lost a match in Paris came in 2018. She won the competition in 2019 but failed to defend her title last season after deciding to focus on her safety.
It was an understandable decision, and I’m sure that Barty would be even hungrier as a result, especially if you consider her disappointing return in the 2021 Australian Open.
The current world number one looked strong early on, before a complete meltdown in the quarterfinals. I believe that the pressure to perform on home soil was part of the reason, and her failure in Melbourne would only push her to perform stronger in Paris.
I’m on the fence when it comes to backing Barty in the French Open 2021. The price of +1000 is tempting, and I expect a deep run from her, so it’s certainly not the worst wager you could place. At the same time, I don’t think it represents excellent value either.
Another former Roland-Garros champion that could win another title is Garbine Muguruza. I firmly believe that the Spanish star was the second-best player in the opening Grand Slam in Melbourne this year, by a very small margin.
She was eliminated by future champion Naomi Osaka after squandering a match point in the fourth round, and that was by far the toughest clash for the Japanese on the road to the title.
If Muguruza can show up in Paris and play at a similar level, there aren’t many opponents that will be able to stop her. The problem with the Spaniard is that she lacks consistency, and you never know what to expect.
That’s why betting on Muguruza at +1000 is not a good idea before we know more about her form during the tournament.
You would normally look at the previous results of a player, and Naomi Osaka’s record in Paris is far from spectacular. She’s never been further than the third round, but there’s a good explanation for that.
She was still too young and far too raw up to 2018. Then came 2019, when Osaka hit a huge slump after the Australian Open after all sorts of problems on and off the court.
In 2020, the Japanese decided to skip the tournament and focus on the US Open instead, winning her home competition.
As you can see, there are different reasons why Osaka failed to find success at the Roland-Garros so far, and they should be all gone in 2021.
The Japanese looked phenomenal in Melbourne in the first tennis major of the year, and she certainly has the potential to perform well on clay too.
Osaka is not my number one favorite, but backing her looks like excellent value at +1000.
The Rest of the Field
There are plenty of other players that could go on to win the French Open 2021, and I’m sure that a new star could rise, just like Iga Swiatek did last year.
And yet, I believe that the champion will likely be one of the athletes I already highlighted here. The rest of the field would find it hard to go all the way, and I wouldn’t recommend backing any of the other players right now.
Naturally, that could change before the start of the 2021 Roland-Garros, so keep your eyes open and follow the odds.
Wrapping It Up
I believe that going for Thiem in the men’s singles and either (or both) of Swiatek and Osaka in the women’s singles are the best early French Open 2021 bets at this point.
I will keep watching the odds and the performance of all likely winners, so expect more posts when the tournament draws closer.
In the meantime, feel free to add your own early French Open predictions in the comments below.