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Rafael Nadal vs. Casper Ruud French Open Odds, Predictions, Preview (June 5)

Rafael Nadal vs. Casper Ruud French Open Odds, Predictions, Preview (June 5) article feature image
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Clive Brunskill/Getty. Pictured: Rafa Nadal.

  • Rafael Nadal and Casper Ruud will play for the French Open Men's Singles title.
  • Kenny Ducey breaks down the match and offers his thoughts on valuable betting angles.
  • Read on to see his preview and best bet for the match.

Nadal vs. Ruud Odds

Nadal Odds -530
Ruud Odds +390
Total 35.5
Time 9 a.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. For tips on watching tennis matches, click here.

Casper Ruud is in his first Grand Slam final, and it’s been somewhat of an improbable run. The road likely ends here, however, with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal standing on the other side of the net.

Is there any hope for the youngster, or will Nadal roll like he’s done so many times on Court Philippe-Chatrier?

Let’s dive into this one.

Nadal Healthy And Rolling Into Final

We stressed out for weeks about Nadal’s foot, but it turns out the Spaniard had what it takes to limit the pain and persevere into the final at Roland Garros.

After cruising into the fourth round with some no-nonsense wins, Nadal was made to play five sets against Felix Auger-Aliassime before taking out rival Novak Djokovic in a thrilling four-set quarterfinal win.

What followed next was an utterly bizarre win on a retirement in the semifinals.

Matching up with world No. 3 Alexander Zverev, Nadal trailed 6-2 in the first-set tiebreak before erasing the gap and taking the set in over an hour.

After trading breaks with the German and eventually breaking him as he served for the set, Nadal managed to force a second tiebreak as Zverev suffered a gruesome ankle injury. Despite completing only one set, Nadal played three hours on Chatrier in what was a very taxing match.

We do have to wonder how Nadal feels at this point, though it’s worth noting he’ll enter Sunday’s final with a full day of rest which should do him wonders. The man has only lost at the French Open three times, and he will know his hardest tests are behind him.

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Ruud Taking Advantage Of Fortunate Draw

The young Norwegian is really lucky to even be here.

Ruud was a Jo-Wilfried Tsonga injury away from going five sets with a 37-year-old who was playing in his final ATP match. Then, he was down two sets to one against Lorenzo Sonego and again in the quarterfinals he blew two break leads against Holger Rune.

Nothing about Ruud’s run here has been convincing, which just about sums up his clay-court season to this point. Despite one of the most devastating clay-court games a year ago, Ruud had failed to produce that level in 2022, perhaps focused too much on improving his ability on a hardcourt, which was lacking early last season.

Ruud won just four matches between the three clay-court Masters 1000 tournaments this year, a thoroughly disappointing showing.

Yet here Ruud is, with a chance at his first Grand Slam on his favorite surface.

He’s a Nadal injury away from being put into the driver’s seat in a major final, and that’s something that could freak the 23-year-old out. He’s had issues holding his nerve over the last couple of years, but perhaps a strong showing in the semifinals against Marin Cilic is what he needed to get his head on straight.

Betting Value

Assuming both men are (mostly) healthy, Ruud can’t hold a candle to Rafael Nadal.

Only a player with superb mental composure and an unstoppable service would be able to even take a set off of the 13-time champion on Chartier in a final, let alone win the match.

So, after a week and a half of thrilling tennis and some shocking upsets, I’m afraid we’re going to end the championships with three days of straightforward results. 

Ruud lacks the focus or firepower on serve to have a shot at a set here. His tournament had been filled with nervous matches up until Friday’s semifinal, donating breaks left and right and giving his opponents an opportunity to get into the match.

He should have gone five with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, probably should have lost to Lorenzo Sonego and nearly fumbled away two leads and dropped two sets to Holger Rune.

The difference here is that against Nadal at Roland Garros, you’re not making it out of a set alive if you take three points off on serve the way Ruud’s made a habit of doing this fortnight.

What’s more, you’re not going to be able to survive a match where you can’t hit a backhand. That shot is a massive weakness for Ruud, and you can expect Nadal to punish that wing all day long. The Nadal forehand into the Ruud backhand is a horrible trade for the Norwegian.

As good as his forehand has been at times, it’s still missing the bite on clay it had last season.

As I said at the top, your only way to influence a match against Nadal at Roland Garros is probably with an unstoppable serve and an incredible will to win.

Ruud’s nerves have gotten the better of him at times this tournament and his serve should be hit back into play at a high rate. When you also consider this will be a match he’s been waiting for his whole life against his idol growing up, it’s hard to see the kid having the guts to make it through this one and hit big shots.

He’ll be shaking in his shoes, and without a good start this match will be over quickly.

Bet: Nadal 3-0 (+115 via FanDuel)

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