Novak Djokovic vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas Odds, Picks, Betting Predictions: Can Joker Win Second French Open Title?
Pictured: Stefanos Tsitsipas (left) and Novak Djokovic.
- Novak Djokovic faces Stefanos Tsitsipas on Sunday for the men's French Open title, with Joker looking for his second title at Roland Garros after finally getting past Rafa Nadal again.
- Djokovic and Tsitsipas faced off last year at the French Open; Djokovic won in five sets before getting swept by Nadal in the final.
- Kenny Ducey and Gill Gross break down their best bets below for Djokovic vs. Tsitsipas in the French Open final.
2021 French Open Final Odds
|Over/Under||38.5 (-108 / -117)|
|Time||Sunday | 8 a.m. ET|
|Odds as of Saturday evening and via BetMGM.|
The level produced by Novak Djokovic to beat Rafael Nadal in Friday’s French Open semifinal was simply sensational. His play objectively was some of the best seen in tennis history, relentlessly rallying with the “King of Clay” and handing him just his third loss at Roland Garros in 108 matches.
The matchup in Sunday’s final with Stefanos Tsitsipas couldn’t be any different, though, and the context couldn’t be either.
Djokovic failed to win Roland Garros in 2020 due in large part to fatigue, coming from a set down against Pablo Carreno-Busta in a strange quarterfinal match before outlasting the aforementioned Tsitsipas in a five-set match. His grueling fall schedule finally caught him in the final, when he came out incredibly flat.
Like 2020, Djokovic will once again be feeling it here. Though he toppled Nadal in just four sets, the match went 4 hours and 11 minutes because over 56% of the rallies lasted more than four shots. The exchanges were exhausting to even watch at points, and Djokovic had to pour everything he had into the match to accomplish one of the most impossible feats in sports.
Even then, Djokovic was afforded some help with 55 unforced errors off the racquet of Nadal, and looked like he wasn’t quite himself at net, winning just 66% of points there. I think Tsitsipas, a player who just pushed Djokovic to five sets after losing the first two sets last year in Paris, can get him here.
Though he did just play a five-setter, his semifinal match went just 3 hours and 37 minutes — much shorter than Djokovic’s four-set triumph — and in a stark contrast to the other semifinal, Tsitsipas and Alex Zverev played 53.9% of their rallies in four or fewer shots.
He’s also spent considerably less time on court than Djokovic, who was in a dogfight with the dangerous Matteo Berrettini in the semifinal, and the match before that went five with young Italian Lorenzo Musetti.
There’s no question that Djokovic has brought his level up significantly since a sluggish start to clay season, but I don’t agree with the pricing here. Tsitsipas has had the best clay-court season on tour, now standing 22-3 with losses to Djokovic, Nadal and one of the best clay-courters in the world in Casper Ruud.
That match with Djokovic wound up going 12 games in a deciding third set in Rome, and he served for the Barcelona title against Nadal before eventually losing the match a few games later.
Simply put, this guy is on the precipice of greatness, and the 22-year-old will inevitably win a Grand Slam in the next year or two.
Tsitsipas has served better than Djokovic in this tournament, and he’s got the hands at the net to win that battle as well. Djokovic showed a desire to bring so many points to the net against Nadal, but failed to win those exchanges. Tsitsipas has been playing at the net all tournament and I think he should get him for some crucial points there.
To reiterate, too, Djokvoic landed just 64% of his first serves against Nadal, and won 65% of those points, while Tsitsipas was exceptional against Zverev, landing 70% and winning 75% of his first serve points. Despite the massive win for Djokovic, I’d rate Tsitsipas’ play just a little bit better at this tournament, and therefore think he’s got a puncher’s chance here. I’ll be exposed to the moneyline, but love the game spread.
Best Bet: Tsitsipas +5.5 Games | Tsitsipas +275
Djokovic comes off the greatest performance anyone has ever put together against Nadal at Roland Garros. He surgically executed his gameplan to keep the ball on Nadal’s backhand. It was a physically and emotionally intense four-set match with Nadal at a pretty high level himself until the fourth set. Djokovic will be looking to keep his eyes on the prize after pulling off the hardest task in all of tennis.
He can’t afford a letup in the final, or his opponent will make him pay. Tsitsipas has picked up more clay court wins than anyone on tour. He’s been to three consecutive major semifinals, but this is his first second Sunday.
Last year these two met in the semis. Tsitsipas came out extremely nervous, but got his footing and rattled off two sets to force a decisive fifth. In the final set, Tsitsipas’s legs gave out on him and Djokovic cruised. They met once again in this year’s Italian Championships and it was even more competitive. Tsitsipas served for the match in the third set, but was broken twice from there to lose 4-6, 7-5, 7-5.
Considering Tsitsipas has shown very clearly that he has the game to stay on par with Djokovic on this surface, the Greek’s price is a surprising bargain. I could see this going five sets a lot easier than I could see it going three.
With that being said, Tsitsipas is likely to be affected by the magnitude of the occasion. This is common for players in their first slam final and Tsitsipas has not been immune to nerve management issues throughout his career.
“I went through a lot of phases of emotional breakdowns,” Tsitsipas said after his semifinal victory. In a way, there should be less pressure on Tsitsipas as the underdog in this final, but there’s no doubt in my mind that if he puts himself in a position to sniff the finish line, he might have trouble crossing it.
This is Djokovic’s 29th time at this stage of a major, and he has been beyond clutch over the last decade of his career. I’d still like to back Tsitsipas to keep it close, but not necessarily to win.
Best Bet: Tsitsipas +1.5 sets (+125)