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Who to Back at Roland Garros?

by Steve Ashfield | by Steve Ashfield

image Who to Back at Roland Garros?
May 21 sees the start of the start of the 2023 French Open. There's no Rafael Nadal this year so who should we be backing for clay court glory this year?

New Men's Singles Champion to Be Crowned


Roland Garros will have a very different feel to it this year. Defending champion Rafael Nadal has pulled out of the tournament with a hip injury. A new King of Clay will be crowned this year but who will it be?  In the women's singles, Iga Swiatek attempts to retain her title but will face some stiff opposition. It promises to be an unforgettable fortnight at Roland Garros. Don't forget you can follow all the matches on our Sportyrader Livescore tennis page.

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Another Spanish King of Clay?

roland-garros-betting-tips-4The top seed in this year's Roland Garros men's singles will be a Spaniard. Carlos Alcaraz is top of the world rankings and hoping to win his first Roland Garros title. 2023 will be his third time in this tournament and last year he reached the last eight. Alcaraz has only won one Grand Slam (the 2022 US Open) but he has an excellent chance of success at Roland Garros.

Alcaraz has already won three clay court tournaments this year. He won in Buenos Aires, Barcelona and Madrid. He comes into this Grand Slam having won 20 of his 22 matches played on clay this year. His only losses have been to Cameron Norrie in the Rio final and to qualifier Fabian Marozsan in Rome. The latter was probably down to fatigue after winning 12 matches in a row. That might be a blessing in disguise as it's given him a chance to recharge his batteries. Alcaraz is defintiely the man to beat at Roland Garros.You will be able to see the latest Roland Garros betting odds on our site.

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Djokovic Needs to Improve


You have to go back to 2009 for the last time that Novak Djokovic last failed to reach the last eight at Roland Garros. He exited at that stage last year and isn't in the best of form at present. The year began weill with an Australian Open triumph but he hasn't won another title since then.

Djokovic has played three clay court tournaments this year and is yet to reach a semi-final. There have been some poor losses to Lorenzo Musetti and Dusan Lajovic. Not once in 2023 has he beaten a top ten ranked player on clay. Maybe a return to Roland Garros will inspire him. A win will be a record 23rd Grand Slam title. This is also a tournament played over the best-of-five sets and that has to be an advantage for him.

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Players to Watch Out For


There are several players that may challenge Alcaraz and Djokovic at Roland Garros. Holger Rune (above) has reached the finals in both Monte Carlo and Rome and won the Munich title. This is only his second Roland Garros tournament but he got to the last eight in 2022.te

Stefanos Tsitsipas is a former Roland Garros finalist and has been consistent on clay this year. He's yet to win a Grand Slam but perhaps this might be the year? Casper Ruud lost to Rafael Nadal in last year's final and is expected to again go well this year.

Could Daniil Medvedev win the French Open? His first four attempts all saw him lose in the first round. He has since reached the last eight and this month won the Rome Masters. That was his first ever ATP clay court title. He's top of the ATP Race after winning five titles this year and will be seeded second for this tournament. Could it be a case of you wait years for one to come along and then win two in a row? Probably not but his chances are better than in the past. Andrrey Rublev and Jannik Sinner are other outsiders who could go deep this year.

Men's Singles Latest Odds

  • Carlos Alcaraz: 2.25 
  • Novak Djokovic: 2.87
  • Holger Rune: 8.00
  • Stefanos Tsitsipas: 9.00

Odds from

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Can Sabalenka Win Another Grand Slam?


This year saw Aryna Sabalenka finally win a Grand Slam title. That's one of three title wins for her in 2023, the others in Adelaide and on clay in Madrid. Two other finals have also been reached and Sabalenka has earned more ranking points than anyone else on the WTA Tour. A recent win over Iga Swiatek in Madrid bodes well for her chances in Paris where she's never got past the third round.

Not since 2007 has a player successfully retained the women's singles title at Roland Garros. Can the world number one follow in the footsteps of Justin Henin?  Swiatek hasn't been as dominant as as she was in 2022. Only two titles have been won with one on clay in Stuttgart. Injury caused her to retire in the Italian Open but she's expected to be fit for Roland Garros.

Others to consider are Elena Rybakina who recently won the Italian Open. A strange win as three of her opponents retired injured, including in the last eight and the final. Barbora Krejcikova won this title in 2021 and is back in form ths year. Maria Sakkari, Ons Jabeur, Caroline Garcia and Jelena Ostapenko are others to keep a close eye on.

Women's Singles Latest Odds

  • Iga Swiatek: 1.72
  • Aryna Sabalenka: 4.50
  • Elena Rybakina: 9.00
  • Barbora Krejcikova: 15.00

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