The second Grand Slam of the tennis season is upon us as Roland Garros 2023 begins on Sunday in Paris. After a gruelling clay court season after the Sunshine Double, the ATP and WTA head to France. Conditions will be a lot different than they were in Australia to begin the season. However, there are a lot of interesting storylines on both the men’s and women’s side of things.
The defending and 14-time Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal will miss his favourite tournament of the year. The King of Clay continues to deal with an injury that has sidelined him after the Australian Open. It is unclear when Nadal will return, but he did make headlines when he stated that next year will be his last if his body allows it. Nadal’s presence will certainly be missed at this tournament. Will not be the same.
The era of the “Big 3” is coming to an end, but there is a new crop of youngsters coming up. And there could be a new King of Clay and a new King of Spain with Carlos Alcaraz. Though he was defeated early at the Italian Open, Alcaraz had a great clay court season. With Roland Garros set to begin on Alcaraz is a +125 favourite to win the tournament. Carlitos will be looking to win the second major of his career. He is the reigning US Open champion in New York. However, his road to number will not be easy with some formidable foes that have some good odds to win this tournament.
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First-round action is set to begin Sunday as Roland Garros continues its tradition of a three-day first round. Roland Garros runs from May 28th through June 11th.
Roland Garros Odds (via Covers)
Everyone wants to see a Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic final at Roland Garros 2023. And it may happen. But for the first time since 2004, this tournament is wide open. There is a lot of good talent on the men’s side of the draw.
Alcaraz is having a heck of a clay court season winning in Barcelona and Madrid. He did not play in Monte Carlo and lost surprisingly in Italy. But he had to grind out some matches against guys like Jannik Sinner and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Alcaraz already has a major title and multiple Masters 1000 titles to his name. The 20-year-old will look to add another one to his belt. He lost last year in the quarterfinals to Alexander Zverev in a tough five-set match. But he is the tournament favorite and is playing really well on the dirt.
Look we have seen Djokovic not have great Masters 1000 lead-ins and win a tournament. However, the question for Djokovic will be his elbow. He missed Madrid because of that injury. He lost in Monte Carlo and Italy early. Now those were the best two out of three sets. Roland Garros is the best three of five sets. It is tough to beat him in three sets as the tournament goes on. But again there is a lot of talent this year in the 2023 Roland Garros tournament.
Sneaky Good Plays
If you go down the list of tournament favourites you see a who’s who of names from Rune to Sinner to Tsitsipas. Stefanos Tsitsipas is always a danger on the clay. It is his best surface. He reached the quarterfinals or better in every Masters 1000 event. He reached the final of Barcelona losing to Alcaraz. Tsitsipas has yet to get over that five-set loss to Djokovic in the Roland Garros Final in 2021. But he has a great shot and is a great play at +800.
Holger Rune at +700 is really good too. The youngster is coming on. He wants to win a major and on the clay he has a real good shot this year. Rune reached the final of Monte Carlo losing to Andrey Rublev and the Italian Open losing to Daniil Medvedev. However, Rune shocked the world in Italy taking out Djokovic. So he has the game to hang with the big boys of men’s tennis.
While Medvedev is a long shot at +2000 there is value there. Odds makers are not giving him love because of his dislike for the clay. However, if you look at his results he is not just a “hard court specialist” anymore. He got his first title on the clay at the Italian Open. While Madrid was not the greatest, he reached quarters in Monte Carlo. However, he has reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros before. With the title and his confidence on the surface, he has a chance to win this thing.
What is interesting is that Alexander Zverev has better odds to win the tournament than Medvedev. Zverev is coming off that gruelling injury at this tournament last year. He is playing well, but not at the level to win. But if he can get it going look out. Of course, there are always those first-round upsets nobody sees coming. Watch out for the Italians on this surface. And can the American men finally go deep at this tournament once again?
On the women’s side of things, Iga Swiatek is the odds-on favorite to repeat at Roland Garros at -140. However, Aryna Sabalenka (+300) and Elena Rybakina (+1200) have a good chance to win as well. Both have beaten Swiatek on the clay this season. If Jelena Ostapenko continues her stellar play, the former Roland Garros could win this title again. She is streaky, but at +2000 odds is a good value play.
All it takes is seven wins to be crowned champion at the 2023 Roland Garros.
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