Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will meet in the final to determine who will be in the driver's seat to become the most successful Grand Slam player of all time. That's it, that's the 2020 Roland Garros preview.

Well, I hope I won't regret continuing to write, but even though I do think this is about to happen two weeks from now, fortunately there are some more betting opportunities in a Grand Slam draw.

Quarter 1

The first quarter belongs to the world #1 Novak Djokovic. We don't need to talk about his motivation and no one should be able to challenge him in the early rounds. Although winning the Masters event in Rome, the Serb wasn't at his best in any of the matches, which leaves some of the players in his quarter hoping. I'm looking forward to a potential fourth round meeting between Djokovic and Cristian Garin. The Chilean is one of the bigger talents on tour, especially on clay, and I think his game is pretty similar to Djokovic's. Garin doesn't have the easiest path though as he has to go through Ugo Humbert and #15 seed Karen Khachanov first in rounds two and three.

Matteo Berrettini is the #7 seed and thereby projected to face Djokovic in the quarterfinal. His section looks manageable with Pospisil, Harris or Popyrin and probably Struff or Tiafoe in the first three rounds. bet365 offers odds of +125 on the Italian to make it to the fourth round and I think this presents some value. After getting there, the Italian's next opponent could be either Bautista Agut, Pella or Carreno Busta. I'm not expecting a lot of upsets in this quarter and even though I considered taking Garin to win the quarter at +6600 with Kambi, this might be a year too early for him. So I'll stick to the Berrettini play only.

QF Prediction
Djokovic over Berrettini

Quarter 2

Let's just refer to the second quarter as the "Next Gen" quarter. Almost all the guys the tennis world eagerly awaits to break through are gathered here: Daniil Medvedev, Andrey Rublev, Denis Shapovalov and Stefanos Tsitsipas. Medvedev comes off a rather shocking loss to Humbert in Hamburg and he never made it past the first round in Paris. The same applies to Rublev, so it'll be interesting to see how the two Russians fare this year. Although arriving late in Paris and still having to play the final in Hamburg today (what was that scheduling anyway?), Rublev was given a pretty easy draw. He faces the total out of form Sam Querrey first before playing the winner of the match between talented young guns Harold Mayot and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina. Dusan Lajovic could be a tough test in round three, but just like in the first quarter, I like the "to reach the fourth round" bet again, this time with Rublev at +150 odds.

In the other eighth, Denis Shapovalov is projected to play Grigor Dimitrov in the third round and the two already faced each other in Rome with the young Canadian winning in three sets. I'm curious whether Shapovalov can reproduce some of his great tennis in best-of-five clay matches. Stefanos Tsitsipas has a pretty challenging draw. After facing Jaume Munar first, Pablo Cuevas and Filip Krajinovic might await in rounds two and three. Especially the Serb is finally 100% fit and therefore, his results improved a lot over the last year or so. I wouldn't be surprised if Tsitsipas gets upset early here. However, none of the odds really excite me in this wide open second quarter.

QF Prediction
Rublev over Shapovalov

Quarter 3

Newly crowned Grand Slam winner Dominic Thiem is the top seed in the third quarter. Unlike his usual philosophy of playing as many matches as possible, the Austrian took a few weeks off and didn't compete since his US Open win. Coming to Paris, he was given a really tough draw. Marin Cilic shouldn't be able to eliminate Thiem on clay and the same applies to Americans Opelka and Sock. That being said, none of them will give him too much rhythm, so it will be interesting to see whether the Austrian is prepared well enough for the rest of the draw, which looks brutal if everything holds. Casper Ruud is arguably the toughest third round opponent a top seed could have drawn. The young Norwegian is living up to the praise as he was reaching the semifinal in both Rome and Hamburg the previous two weeks. If Thiem gets past him, either former French Open winner Stan Wawrinka or another top talent in Felix Auger-Aliassime awaits in round four.

I would be quite surprised if the draw holds in the other eighth as #8 seed Gael Monfils is completely out of form. The French lost to Germans Koepfer and Hanfmann in his first rounds of Rome and Hamburg. On top of his game, he would probably eat everyone in this section alive, but I doubt he'll be able to turn things around quickly here. At least Monfils's first round match against Bublik promises some epic rallies and shots. In the other segment, Borna Coric and Diego Schwartzman are the seeded players and I like the Argentine's form, not only because he beat Nadal in Rome. He looked competitive throughout the whole week and the conditions presented in Paris should suit him perfectly. The odds on Schwartzman to win the quarter are +800 and I like that number, especially given Thiem's brutal draw.

QF Prediction
Schwartzman over Thiem

Quarter 4

A lot has been talked about the new balls used at this year's French Open and Rafael Nadal has been one of the more vocal guys about the matter. Apparently the balls are heavy and together with the cold and rainy conditions, they will add to the slow play that can be expected this upcoming fortnight. The circumstances could become the biggest challenge for the 12-time French Open champion indeed. If the new balls don't take the spin as well, that will only add to the courts absorbing most of it. Obviously that's a bigger issue for Nadal or Thiem than for others.

Apart from that, we're still playing on clay and talk about the best player that ever stepped onto these very courts. To put it in a nutshell, I won't have a bet in this fourth quarter. Alexander Zverev is a player I still don't trust despite his good run at the US Open. In his eighth, there are two interesting first round matches with Cecchinato-De Minaur and Sinner-Goffin. The two winners could go on a little run here. Nadal's section has some great names in it as well with Fognini, Isner and Nishikori, but there are fitness concerns for all of them. Personally, I'm excited how the youngsters Pedro Martinez, Aleksandar Vukic and Sebastian Korda will do in their French Open debuts, but from a betting perspective, I don't think anyone can stop Rafa.

QF Prediction
Nadal over Zverev

All bets

Schwartzman to win 3rd quarter

French Open Men

  • 4.00 u
    Result

Berrettini to reach 4th round

French Open Men

  • -1.00 u
    Result

Rublev to reach 4th round

French Open Men

  • 1.50 u
    Result