Djokovic vs. Nadal Pick and Prediction for 2022 French Open Quarterfinal (May 31)

| May 30, 2022 7:12 am PDT

On Tuesday, May 31, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal face off for the 59th time in history. Djokovic is leading the series 30-28, with the most recent win over Nadal happening a year ago. It happened at State Roland Garros in the semifinal of the French Open, which Djokovic later went on to win.

Top tennis bookmakers think he’s going to win it again. He’s currently the #1 French Open favorite with the odds of 2.40. No surprise there, really, considering how good he’s been since coming to Paris. So far in the 2022 French Open, Novak’s won every single match in straight sets, spending just 8 hours and 13 minutes on the court in total. In comparison, Nadal’s total playing time is 10 hours and 43 minutes.

What this means is that the current ATP no.1 is probably well-rested and in a very good mood. Actually, it seems that almost everything is going in his favor ahead of Tuesday’s match. I say “almost” because there’s one thing going against him – the Roland Garros crowd doesn’t seem to like him anymore.

Novak’s been getting a lot of boos since day 1. You can be certain that those boos are going to be amplified on Tuesday. It’s because his opponent is an absolute fan favorite. Parisians just love Nadal, the man who’s the record-holder for most wins at the French Open, with 13 trophies in his collection.

With the crowd on his side, the King of Clay is probably feeling good about his chances in the French Open semifinal. Still, oddsmakers think just the opposite. In their eyes, Djokovic is a clear favorite.

Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal Odds

Novak Djokovic to Win1.43
Rafael Nadal to Win2.68
Over 37.5 Games1.83
Under 37.5 Games1.88

The odds you see in the list above are from MyBookie Sportsbook, which is one of the best platforms for tennis betting. If you don’t have a MyBookie account, my advice is to make one ASAP.

By doing it now, you will qualify for a 100% welcome bonus of up to $1000, which you can use to bet on the Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal match. But which player should you back? That’s the question I’ll try to answer in this French Open preview.

Novak Djokovic Looking Unstoppable

It’s been a strange year for the Serbian superstar, to say the least. After getting booted out of the Australian Open for not being vaccinated, he had to skip a few other tournaments for the same reason. Luckily for Djokovic, COVID regulations are a thing of the past in most countries, France included.

Despite missing several big events this year, Djokovic remains at the top of the ATP Rankings. The absence, however, has caused some major problems for the 35-year-old. Most notably, he couldn’t challenge for his 21st Grand Slam title in Australia.

Luckily for him, he has a chance to do so in France. Judging by what we saw from him in the four matches played at Roland Garros, it’s very likely he will be able to do it. The guy’s won every single match by 3-0 in sets.

Sure, he still hasn’t faced such a strong opponent as Nadal, but he did play against a player who’s superb on the clay court. The man in question is ATP no.15 Diego Schwartzman, whom Djokovic had no problems beating 3-0 (6-1, 6-3, 6-3) in just 2:17 hours.

Actually, Novak’s superb run goes beyond the 2022 French Open. Before that, we saw him win the ATP Rome, dropping zero sets along the way. In the Italian capital, we saw him beat three players from the Top 10 – Felix Auger-Aliassime, Casper Ruud, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.

King of Clay Mustn’t Be Underestimated

Priced at 2.68, Rafa is expected to lose on Tuesday. If you’re wondering why the man with most Grand Slam titles in the history of men’s tennis is seen as an underdog, it’s because he might not be in top shape.

The thing is that after going 20-0 at the start of the year, Nadal suffered an injury that kept him sidelined for nearly two months. He made his comeback in ATP Madrid but got knocked out in Round 3. Something similar happened in the following tournament – the ATP Rome – where his journey ended after only two matches.

On the bright side for Nadal’s fans, he’s been playing relatively well since the start of the 2022 French Open. After winning the first three matches in straight sets, he did struggle against Auger-Aliassime.

Even though it was a tiring clash that lasted for 4:23 hours, Nadal should be pleased with his performance. The Spaniard showed the world in that match that he’s a mentally strong player that never gives up. You can expect the same from him in the clash with Djokovic.

Djokovic vs. Nadal Prediction

  • Over 37.5 Games

In my 2022 French Open preview, I predicted Rafael Nadal was going to win his 14th trophy at Roland Garros. Four rounds into the tournament and I’m not so sure about it anymore. It’s not that I don’t have faith in Nadal; it’s that I just can’t ignore Djokovic’s superb form.

Right now, Djokovic looks capable of destroying his foe. Still, history teaches us that you mustn’t ever write off Nadal. Just think of his epic comeback against Daniil Medvedev in the final of the Australian Open, in which he was a 2.70 underdog before the match.

For all those reasons, my Djokovic vs. Nadal prediction isn’t focused on the match-winner. Instead, I’ve decided to go with another betting market. “Over 37.5 Games” is a bet I think is very, very likely to win.

Zarko Naric
Zarko Naric

Zarko Naric – the World's Greatest Sportswriter, according to his grandma.

Zarko started writing for in 2019, covering sports like soccer, tennis, and basketball,  as well as some more niche sports like cycling, for example.

In addition to writing news, picks, and blog pieces focused on sports, Zarko’s also been covering politics, TV/music contests, and so on.

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