Carlos Alcaraz vs Novak Djokovic | Best Bets For Blockbuster French Open Semifinal
Christian Liewig/Getty. Pictured: Carlos Alcaraz.
Carlos Alcaraz will take on Novak Djokovic in a blockbuster French Open semifinal on Friday morning, marking one of the most anticipated tennis matches in recent years.
The greatest player of the newest generation, Alcaraz, is taking on the most decorated men's tennis player of all time in Djokovic.
While clay is not Djokovic's best surface – in fact it is statistically his worst – the Serbian has only lost to Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros since 2020. Nonetheless, he comes in as an underdog against Alcaraz.
In a battle that will determine who is the heavy favorite for the French Open title, and who will be No. 1 in the world, our experts deliver their best bets below.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Novak Djokovic Best Bets
Kenny Ducey: Alcaraz -1.5 sets (-125 via DraftKings)
When Alcaraz defeated Djokovic in Madrid last year, it still seemed as though the 22-time Grand Slam champion was the better of the two players. Djokovic had just come off a long layoff and was still finding his form on the clay, and it seemed as though an in-form version would be enough to overcome Alcaraz.
When Alcaraz defeated Casper Ruud in the US Open final last fall, it once again seemed as if a stronger challenger would have been able to knock him off with the teenager still trying to condition himself to play two weeks of best-of-five tennis.
It no longer seems as though Alcaraz can be stopped by Djokovic, nor will he struggle to maintain his level across two weeks of Grand Slam tennis. The Spaniard has looked other-worldly at these championships, and while he’s experienced a slight level drop in each of his matches I don’t see that as reason enough to take Djokovic here.
The Serb is renowned for his defense and his ability to extract errors from his opponent’s racquet, but his lack of aggression will cost him dearly in this match. Alcaraz is making few mistakes out there and playing a hyper-aggressive style of tennis, taking it to even some of the strongest clay-court players in the world and making them look hopeless. With wins over Lorenzo Musetti and Stefanos Tsitsipas in recent rounds, he’s clearly had the tougher of the two roads here, and I think that should be more than enough to get him across the finish line quite easily.
With all of Djokovic’s dominance in recent years, it’s easy to forget he was railroaded by Rafael Nadal in the 2020 final, getting bageled in the opening set. It’s been a similar story the majority of the times those two have stepped on a clay court, with Nadal’s aggression and precision preventing Djokovic from really getting into the match. I think Alcaraz will take the racquet of Djokovic’s hand in similar fashion.
Luke Holmberg: Over 37.5 games (-110 via FanDuel)
The matchup all tennis fans were waiting for is here at Roland Garros. The future of tennis takes on the youngest of the big three in a massive match.
We saw this matchup once before in Madrid last year and Alcaraz prevailed in a thriller. However, things are much different today. Last year, Djokovic was still settling into the tour after his struggles to play in various countries and Alcaraz has only grown into a more skilled and accomplished opponent.
Alcaraz has never shied away from the big stage and Djokovic has more experience here than anyone. He will likely find ways to extract errors from Alcaraz, but the Spaniard is relentless and will surely have periods where he blows Djokovic off the court. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this go five sets and I think four is all but a guarantee.
I’ll take the over and some popcorn to enjoy this one.