2019 French Open Semifinals Betting Odds, Preview: Novak Djokovic vs. Dominic Thiem

2019 French Open Semifinals Betting Odds, Preview: Novak Djokovic vs. Dominic Thiem article feature image

Susan Mullane, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Dominic Thiem

  • Novak Djokovic is a -210 favorite over Dominic Thiem in the 2019 French Open semifinals.
  • Sean Zerillo analyzes the match and wonders if the betting market is overrating the World's top-ranked player.

French Open Semifinal Betting Odds: Dominic Thiem vs. Novak Djokovic

  • Djokovic odds: -210
  • Thiem odds: +175
  • Time: 8:50 a.m. ET
  • TV: Tennis Channel

After some early-round upsets and exciting matches, the top four seeds have reached the semi-finals of the French Open. Pretty anti-climactic, but also very typical in the “Big Four” era of men’s tennis.

Novak Djokovic hasn’t made it to this stage at the French Open since beating Andy Murray for his only title in 2016. Last year, unseeded Italian Marco Cecchinato defeated Djokovic in the quarterfinals, the same round that Dominic Thiem upset Djokovic in straight sets in 2017; their only meeting at Roland-Garros.

The two have played eight times with Djokovic leading the head-to-head series 6-2. He won their most recent meeting in the semi-finals at the Madrid Masters, but Thiem took the two meetings on clay before that including the French Open win and a three-set Round of 16 victory at the 2018 Monte Carlo Masters.

At that May 11 meeting in Madrid Djokovic converted all three of his break points while Thiem only converted three out of ten. The Austrian was probably a bit unlucky to lose that match, especially in straight sets.

Thiem has been locked in over his last two matches in Paris, saving the only break point against him while generating 20 in straight-set wins over two very tough players in Gael Monfils and Karen Khachanov.

Thiem made those wins look easy, landing his first serve 60% of the time against Monfils and 63% of the time against Khachanov, winning 80% of those points (72/90).

Djokovic hasn’t dropped a set in this tournament but also wasn’t quite as dominant in the quarterfinals vs. Alexander Zverev, fighting off seven of eight break-points and serving only one ace. Djokovic was in danger of losing the first set, down 5-4 with Zverev on serve.

Thiem (82.6%) and Djokovic (82.4%) rank 11th and 12th respectively on tour in winning service games on clay over the past year. Thiem ranks 8th at winning return games (32.6%), while Djokovic ranks 10th (31.6%).

Djokovic has the edge in tiebreaks, winning those 64.6% of the time on clay throughout his career. Thiem has only won 57.4% of his tiebreaks on clay and dropped both to Djokovic in Madrid.

I don’t see this match finishing in straight sets for either player, and Over 3.5 sets (-195) looks to be the safest bet on the board.

I have an outright on Thiem, but I’m not looking to hedge at all here. Instead, I think that this is the spot to double down. If anything, Thiem has the statistical edge on the paper – and that Madrid win was a bit dressed up for Djokovic.

Thiem loves playing on this surface, making his fourth straight semi-final, and he’ll be looking to make his second consecutive final after losing to Nadal in straight sets in 2018.

I split a unit between Thiem on the moneyline (+175) and -1.5 sets (+325), whose odds imply win probabilities of 36% and 23.5%. I think the fair odds on each of those are probably 5% higher, about +140 and +250.

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