French Open Day 10 preview and best bets: The Djokovic-Nadal blockbuster is here

Rafael Nadal after winning the French Open
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Ricky Dimon

Tennis · 4 weeks ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

Just like that we are into the business end of the French Open. World No. 1 Novak Djokovic has not been tested at all so far this fortnight, but suddenly he has to go up against none other than Rafael Nadal in the quarterfinals. Carlos Alcaraz and Alexander Zverev are also in action in a jam-packed top half of the men’s bracket. On the women’s side, an all-American affair on Tuesday pits Coco Gauff against Sloane Stephens.

Let’s take a look at some of the best bets to be made for Day 10.

Carlos Alcaraz -1.5 sets over Alexander Zverev (-200)

Can anyone other than Nadal or Djokovic compete with Alcaraz at the moment? Maybe not. The 19-year-old is in rarified air right now, and Zverev found that out the hard way in Madrid. They faced each other in the final of that event, with Alcaraz dominating 6-3, 6-1. The Spaniard needed five sets against Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the French Open second round, but since then he has annihilated Sebastian Korda and Karen Khachanov. Zverev, who was also close to bowing out in round two (saved a match point against Sebastian Baez), has been far from dominant in Paris. Alcaraz may not beat the German as bad as he did in Madrid, but this should be straightforward.

Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal Over 37.5 games (-115)

Djokovic is a considerable favorite and deservedly so, but I can’t see this one being a blowout. The head-to-head series stands at a super competitive 30-28 in Djokovic’s favor; at Roland Garros, Nadal has won 7 of 9 meetings. Their semifinal last year, which Djokovic won in four sets, finished with 39 games played. Conditions at night should favor the Serb, but I wouldn’t be too concerned about it. The two all-time greats collided in similar conditions in the 2020 French Open final and Nadal still won. Tuesday’s blockbuster matchup should go at least four sets, and a five-set classic would hardly be a surprise.

Leylah Fernandez ML over Martina Trevisan (-175)

Trevisan is through to the French Open quarterfinals for a second straight year; not bad for someone ranked outside the top 50 in the world! It’s also true that the 28-year-old Italian is a clay-court specialist. Still, I’m not convinced. She had a favorable draw last year and has enjoyed the same in 2022, with seeded players vacating her section of the draw before she had to see them on the other side of the net. As for Fernandez, she is a former Grand Slam finalist (2021 U.S. Open). The Canadian has already ousted Belinda Bencic and Amanda Anisimova — two legitimate title contenders — this fortnight. She is battle-tested, so look for Fernandez to take care of business with ease.

Coco Gauff ML over Sloane Stephens (-182)

Stephens has done well to reach the quarterfinals, but I’m not about to trust her consistency. She arrived at Roland Garros having lost a ridiculous five matches in a row. Gauff, on the other hand, is 8-3 on clay this spring and 24-7 on the surface dating back to 2021. The 18-year-old has not dropped a set through four rounds of this tournament, whereas Stephens has been pushed to three sets twice. Count on this all-American affair going Gauff’s way.

The Pickswise tennis handicappers are on hand throughout the entire tennis season, bringing you the best free expert Tennis Predictions and Picks from top events including the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and U.S. Open.

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