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Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Rafael Nadal French Open Odds, Preview, Prediction (May 29)

Felix Auger-Aliassime vs. Rafael Nadal French Open Odds, Preview, Prediction (May 29) article feature image

NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Rafael Nadal.

Auger-Aliassime vs. Nadal Odds

Auger-Aliassime Odds +500
Nadal Odds -750
Total 32.5 (-115 / -105)
Time 9 a.m. ET
Odds via DraftKings. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.

Rafael Nadal has come through three matches at Roland Garros better than anyone would have expected entering the tournament. Now comes a real test.

Felix Auger-Aliassime has reached the quarters of the past three Grand Slams and currently finds himself ranked ninth in the world. Clay isn’t his best surface, but he’s put together some form here this spring and is sure to pose a threat to the Spaniard.

Let’s get into betting this exciting matchup.

Auger-Aliassime Finding His Form

The Canadian had never won a match at Roland Garros before this year and there really seemed to be no good reason why. He was bounced last year in the first round by an aging Andreas Seppi and the year before that by the uninspiring Yoshi Nishioka.

Auger-Aliassime won a great deal of matches on the dirt when he first rose to the main tour level back in 2017 and 2018, but ever since it’s been a surface that’s troubled him. In the past two years, he was just 5-9 on the dirt.

This season, we’ve seen the rebirth of Clay Court Felix. Though he’s yet to make any semis on the dirt, he did pull off two big wins over Cristian Garin and Jannik Sinner in Madrid and challenged Novak Djokovic in the quarters at Rome. He’s 11-6 during clay season and has managed to win nine consecutive sets in Paris after falling behind two sets to love against Juan Pablo Varillas in the first round.

Nadal Smooth As Ever in Paris

It’s been all business for Nadal at Roland Garros and that’s no surprise. After all, he’s only lost here four times, so the likes of Jordan Thompson and Corentin Moutet weren’t about to stand in his way.

The win in the third round over Botic Van De Zandschulp was the start of a renewed sense of belief that Nadal can win this tournament, though. He had a foot injury which caused him to lose in Rome and prior to that he dealt with a broken rib at Indian Wells. The fitness of Nadal influenced oddsmakers to find a new favorite to win Roland Garros, but they may eat their words in due time.

Van De Zandschulp is a very tough opponent to breeze through with his massive serve and forehand, but Nadal did well to get out of there in three sets. He’ll have to face another power player here in Auger Aliassime, who he beat in straight sets the only time they met.

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Betting Value

It seems rather crazy to fade Nadal at Roland Garros with a guy whose game isn’t built for clay, but the circumstances this year surely warrant it. Not only has Nadal dealt with injury this season, he’s also played a rather complicated clay-court season.

It wasn’t just the loss to Denis Shapovalov in Rome that threw everyone for a loop, it was playing a tight second set with Miomir Kecmanovic in Madrid and dropping a set to David Goffin, too. The Spaniard has had more bad clay-court matches than good ones this season.

While I’ll give Nadal the benefit of the doubt here and write him in as the winner of this match in my bracket, I’m not so certain it will be as easy as he’d like. Auger-Aliassime has cut down on his unforced errors and learned to play a more disciplined brand of tennis on the clay.

With his big serve, I expect these two will play at least one lengthy set. I’ll take the over in that case.

Pick: Over 32.5 (-115)

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