French Open Betting: Can Felix Auger-Aliassime Claim the Title?
For nearly 20 years now, there’s been one constant in men’s tennis: Rafael Nadal winning the French Open. As the world’s premier clay-court specialist, Nadal has been the dominant figure at Roland Garros since 2005, when the Spaniard claimed the first of his incredible 14 French Open titles – including last year’s tournament, where Nadal swept Casper Rudd in straight sets during the final. For over a decade now, Nadal has been top of the French Open betting ahead of every tournament.
The ride had to end sometime. Nadal, who turns 37 next month, won’t be playing at the 2023 French Open (which officially gets underway this Sunday in Paris) because of a hip injury, announcing last week that 2024 will probably be his last appearance at Roland Garros.
Andy Murray has also announced he’ll skip the French Open to concentrate on Wimbledon, and Nick Kyrgios (foot) and Matteo Berrettini (abdomen) are unable to play, so this year’s title is very much up for grabs. Any number of young up-and-comers could win it all – someone like Montreal’s own Felix Auger-Aliassime, for example.
It won’t be easy, even without Nadal in the field. Bodog Sportsbook has current men’s No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz as the +125 favourite at press time for French Open betting, followed by two-time champion and former No. 1 Novak Djokovic at +200.
However, the 20-year-old Alcaraz has yet to win at Roland Garros, and Djokovic missed last year’s event and much of the 2022 season because of his unvaccinated status. That leaves Auger-Aliassime as one of several hopefuls waiting to step up, tied at +6600 with the likes of Dominic Thiem and Stan Wawrinka.
The French Open women’s draw is less wide open with reigning and two-time champion Iga Swiatek (–135) ruling the tennis world for over a year now. With 2018 winner Simona Halep still suspended over a failed doping test, Swiatek’s main challengers at Roland Garros will be World’s No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka (+400) and No. 4 Elena Rybakina (+650).
Victory is anything but assured for Swiatek. She fell to Sabalenka in three sets earlier this month during the final of the Madrid Open, then was forced to retire versus Rybakina during the quarterfinals of the Italian Open with a thigh injury that she says “shouldn’t be anything serious” heading into Roland Garros.
Odds to win the French Open are available right now at Bodog Sportsbook for both the men’s and women’s draws, with opening-round matches soon to follow on the tennis odds board. In the meantime, our French Open betting preview will focus on Canada’s top men’s contender.
Felix Auger-Aliassime: Profile
Canadian tennis, at least on the men’s side, used to be all about doubles – with Daniel Nestor as our standard-bearer. Then Milos Raonic came along in 2008, and the floodgates were opened for a new wave of Canadian talent.
Auger-Aliassime might be the best of the bunch. He only turned pro in 2017, but Auger-Aliassime has already reached as high as No. 6 on the ATP rankings, which he achieved last November. Only Raonic (No. 3 in 2016) has ever done better in Canadian men’s singles.
This is just the beginning, too. Even though he’s already accomplished so much on the tennis circuit, including victory for Canada at the 2022 Davis Cup, Auger-Aliassime is still just 22 years old. He hasn’t even reached his full potential yet.
Performance on Clay
Like Raonic, Auger-Aliassime is an all-court player by nature, and they both have strong serves – but nobody serves as hard as Raonic. That gift makes him better suited for the hard courts; Auger-Aliassime prefers clay, and that’s the surface where he enjoyed the most success earlier in his career, especially as a junior on the ATP Challenger Tour.
That success continued into his early years in the main draw. Auger-Aliassime’s first trips to the final in the 250 Series and 500 Series happened on clay in 2019, at the Lyon Open and Rio Open respectively. Unfortunately, Auger-Aliassime lost both times, and it would take another seven finals losses before he finally earned that first ATP title at the 2022 Rotterdam Open, which happens to be a hard-court event. As Auger-Aliassime has developed his craft and climbed the ranks, he’s generated much better results on his least favourite surfaces:
Grass: 22-10 (69%)
Hard: 119-72 (62%)
Clay: 31-30 (51%)
Those results on clay include a 3-3 record at the French Open, where Auger-Aliassime made it all the way to the fourth round in 2022 after crashing out early in 2020 and 2021. It was Nadal, though, who eliminated Auger-Aliassime last year in five hard-fought sets after dropping the opener. How far can our hero go now that Nadal is out of the picture?
Hopefully further than he has during this year’s clay-court season. Auger-Aliassime was on fire in late 2022, winning three straight events in October – all on hard courts – to end the year with four ATP titles to his name. But 2023 has been disappointing thus far; Auger-Aliassime failed to reach the final in each of his first nine tournaments overall, and is winless on clay after early losses in Madrid (to No. 40 Dusan Lajovic) and Rome (to No. 77 Alexei Popyrin).
Auger-Aliassime had taken some time off before those events to rest his troublesome left knee, so it’s possible he’s still not at full health heading into Roland Garros. Healthy or not, those losses at Madrid and Rome have knocked Auger-Aliassime down to No. 10 in the men’s rankings, the same seed he’s been given for the French Open.
Qualifying matches are taking place right now as we go to press, so we don’t know Auger-Aliassime’s first-round opponent just yet. The draw will be held this Thursday, with the top-seeded Alcaraz in the top half and No. 2 Daniil Medvedev (+1400) anchoring the bottom half. Keep checking the French Open tennis futures at Bodog Sportsbook for the latest odds, and we’ll see you at Roland Garros.