Online bookmaker Bet365.com.au has brought Rafael Nadal into $2.10 odds for the 2019 French Open, which starts this Sunday.
The Spaniard had drifted in the outright betting after failing to defend his titles at Monte Carlo and Barcelona.
Each of Rafa’s 11 French Open crowns have come after winning those two lead-up events, so the omens are against him this year.
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However, the punters are back in Nadal’s corner after he stopped the rot by beating his chief rival, Novak Djokovic, in the final of the Italian Open.
Djokovic had shortened to $3 for the French after his recent win at the Madrid Open, but the Serb has eased out to $3.25 after going down 0-6, 6-4, 1-6 in Rome on Monday morning (AEST).
The two European stars have faced off three times since last year’s Italian Open final, so it would surprise nobody if they met again in the decider at Roland Garros.
Dominic Thiem ($5.50), the losing French Open finalist in 2018, rounds out a select trio of contenders in the men’s singles draw.
The women’s event is much more open, although defending champion Simona Halep is the clear favourite at $5.
Kiki Bertens ($10) holds the second line of betting after defeating Halep in the final at Madrid earlier this month, with Naomi Osaka ($11) also in the mix despite quarter-final exits as the top seed in her last two outings.
Ashleigh Barty is the best of the Australian hopes in either draw, sharing a $17 quote with Elina Svitolina.
2019 French Open outright betting
$2.10 – Rafael Nadal
$3.25 – Novak Djokovic
$5.50 – Dominic Thiem
$17 – Stefanos Tsitsipas
$19 – Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev
$34 – Stan Wawrinka
$41 – Fabio Fognini, Daniil Medvedev, Kei Nishikori
$51 – Marin Cilic, Juan Martin del Potro,
$5 – Simona Halep
$10 – Kiki Bertens
$11 – Naomi Osaka
$13 – Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams
$15 – Karolina Pliskova, Sloane Stephens
$17 – Ashleigh Barty, Elina Svitolina
$19 – Garbine Muguruza
$23 – Victoria Azarenka, Angelique Kerber,
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