Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal French Open Odds, Preview, Prediction (May 31)

Novak Djokovic vs. Rafael Nadal French Open Odds, Preview, Prediction (May 31) article feature image

TPN/Getty. Pictured: Novak Djokovic.

  • Novak Djokovic is a solid favorite to beat Rafael Nadal in the French Open quarterfinals.
  • Kenny Ducey breaks down the match and explains where he's putting his money.
  • Read on to see his analysis and best bet for the blockbuster matchup.

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Djokovic vs. Nadal Odds

Djokovic Odds-223
Nadal Odds+175
Total29.5 (-115 / -105)
Time2:45 p.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will meet again on the clay of the French Open for a second straight year.

After the Serb took him out in a contentious semifinal in 2021, he'll look to reach that stage again with a win over the Spaniard in the quarters.

We've seen these two play so many times, so what sets this encounter apart? How do we bet it? Let's take a closer look at the matchup.

Djokovic Comfortable At Roland Garros

Novak Djokovic has been unbothered here at Roland Garros up to this point.

He's yet to drop a set despite facing some difficult competition, most recently breezing through Diego Schwartzman in the fourth round.

Despite the fact that Schwartzman took Djokovic five sets at the 2017 French Open and has always played him close on the clay, the World No. 1 was all business on Sunday morning. He dropped just seven games during the proceedings.

Djokovic served at 69% in the match and won 74% of the points behind his first serve, two very impressive numbers against a world-class returner like Schwartzman.

These two have met 58 times between all competitions, with Djokovic holding a slight 30-28 edge over the Spaniard.

Nadal owns a decisive 17-8 edge on the clay though, and he has ousted Djokovic at the French Open eight times if you count their very first meeting in 2008, which ended in a Djokovic retirement.

There's something to be said here, though, for the fact that Djokovic is one of only two people to beat Nadal at Roland Garros.

The Spaniard has only lost three matches here — one of which was against Djokovic last year in the semis and one was in the 2015 quarters, when Djokovic won in straight sets.

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Nadal Limited By Injury Concerns

By now, you know the history. If you didn't, I just gave it to you.

Nadal simply does not lose on the clay of Roland Garros, and he has entered almost every French Open as a deserving favorite.

This year's a little different, though. Nadal had a rib injury which contributed to a loss to Taylor Fritz in the finals of Indian Wells, and he later hurt his foot in Rome during a three-set loss to Denis Shapovalov.

The injury concerns, coupled with the fact that Nadal's foot has given him issues in the past — namely against Djokovic last year — caused oddsmakers to make a dramatic move and reinstall Nadal as the third-likeliest player to win the tournament before it began.

Everything seemed to be moving along smoothly up until Sunday, when young Felix Auger-Aliassime pushed Nadal to a fifth set and made the Spaniard work incredibly hard for a victory.

While the foot held up for Nadal, who moved well enough on the court, it does seem like there's a limit to how much tennis he can play before it acts up again.

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Betting Value

Boy, this is tough.

On the one hand, you never want to fade Nadal at Roland Garros, considering the man has played here for almost two decades and has lost just three times.

On the other hand, Father Time does come for us all, and the signs stemming from Nadal leading up to this tournament were simply not great.

Nadal made an inordinate number of unforced errors in his match against Auger-Aliassime, looking terrible to start and again looking shaky in the fourth set. While he was eventually able to wiggle out of trouble with a timely break, it's unlikely that Djokovic is as forgiving as Auger-Aliassime.

After all, he's arguably the greatest player of all time at drawing errors out of your racquet, or just the best player of all time.

Djokovic deserves to be the favorite here, and as much as I'd like to take advantage of this rare opportunity to back Nadal as an underdog, I can't see him winning this match or even pushing it five.

I think there are some serious concerns physically, and even if he's able to take one of the first two sets he should fade.

A fresh Djokovic, who's in top form and is fresh as ever, should outlast the 13-time French Open champion.

Pick: Djokovic -1.5 Sets (-115)

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