Favored at French Open, Nadal chases Federer’s slam mark

Rafa Nadal is favored to win his 13th French Open title despite failing to reach the semifinals of the lone tournament he has entered since February.

Nadal, 34, skipped the U.S. Open out of concern about traveling to the United States during the coronavirus pandemic. He entered the Internazionali BNL d’Italia and cruised through his opening two matches before losing in straight sets against Diego Schwartzman of Argentina last week.

Nadal had dropped only two of 24 career sets in beating Schwartzman in each of their previous nine meetings, and now has only three matches under his belt leading into the French Open.

The Spaniard is still favored at +110 by DraftKings and +100 by FanDuel.

Nadal has 12 titles at Roland Garros, including each of the past three years, and will enter as the No. 2 seed in the men’s draw.

Top-seeded Novak Djokovic is coming off his record-breaking 36th Masters 1000 title in Rome and is the second betting favorite at +188 and +210 by the two sportsbooks. The Serbian has 17 career grand slam titles, but only one (2016) has come at the French Open.

Austrian Dominic Thiem, who beat Nadal in the quarterfinals of this year’s Australian Open and captured his first major at the U.S. Open, is being offered at +375 by DraftKings and +440 by FanDuel. Thiem took Nadal to four sets in last year’s French Open final.

Russian Daniil Medvedev is the fourth seed but enters the tournament at +3800 at FanDuel – longer odds than U.S. Open finalist Alexander Zverev and Greece’s Stefanos Tsitsipas, who are both listed at +3000.

Nadal has won eight of the past 10 French Opens. The lone exceptions were in 2016, when he withdrew before the third round due to a wrist injury, and a quarterfinal loss to Djokovic the year before. Djokovic went on to lose to Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland in that year’s final.

Wawrinka enters this year’s French Open as the No. 16 seed and facing a first-round matchup against former grand slam champion Andy Murray. Wawrinka is being offered at +3800 by FanDuel, but brings far longer odds at +7500 by DraftKings.

Nadal will also be seeking to tie Roger Federer’s mark of 20 career grand slam titles. Federer remains sidelined by a knee injury that will keep him out of action until 2021.

“For me is not an obsession at all,” Nadal said in Rome. “I can’t be all the time thinking about what Roger had or what Novak or what the other…

“I gonna keep fighting to produce chances, and then when I finish my career, let’s see, no? I just want to keep enjoying tennis. And that’s it. If I am playing well, I know I normally have my chances. If not, gonna be impossible. That’s it.”

-Field Level Media

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