Can the Spaniard overcome Novak Djokovic?

Rafael Nadal has been the King of Clay since 2005 although there’s the chance that his crown is slipping after failing to win a tenth Roland Garros title last year.

Nadal’s run of five consecutive victories was brought to a halt in 2015 when the Spaniard lost at the quarter final stage against Novak Djokovic, although the Serbian was surprisingly beaten by Stanislas Wawrinka in the subsequent final.

djokovic vs nadal head to head picture

Tennis betting is now starting to heat up on the 2016 renewal of the French Open, with the clay court season firmly under way and Coral are offering a best price 9/2 that Nadal returns to his imperious best and lands a tenth crown at Roland Garros.

When it comes to tennis betting, the French Open is one of the most popular tournaments in the calendar, with the second Grand Slam of the year the only of its kind to take place on the unique clay service.

In-Play tennis betting is widely available on the Grand Slam tournaments starting with the first round matches where the bookmakers trade a spate of encounters and offer customers a massive range of betting markets.

You can bet In-Play on tennis markets such as match winner, set winner, game winner, correct score of set and even which player will win the next point. The odds update in real time in accordance with what’s happening on the court and you’ll often see the odds fluctuate during a match which is in the balance several times.

Nadal has previously been favourite for the French Open due to the fact that the man from Manacor has had an excellent schooling on this surface which enabled the 29-year-old to win his first Roland Garros title in 2005.

Since then, he has barely looked back and it was only 2009 which has prevented Nadal from winning a string of consecutive crowns. On that occasion, Robin Soderling accounted for the Spaniard before losing in the final to Roger Federer.

However, Nadal is ready to return to his peak that has seen him land nine French Open titles and his early clay court season form suggests that he might yet deliver the goods this year.

“Last year I was competing against myself and this year I am competing against rivals. I could not get over the anxiety,” Nadal shared to the Spanish press via The National. “I love what I do. I will train while I am happy. I do not feel anxious while playing. I do not have last year’s issues.”

nadal carrer in numbers stats

The French Open tennis betting market for the men’s singles indicates that Djokovic is the heavy favourite to collect his first Grand Slam in the French capital although the world number one seems to find it difficult to get over the finish line.

The 28-year-old has reached three finals in 2012, 2014 and 2015 although he has found Rafael Nadal too good on the first two occasions before Wawrinka produced sublime tennis to claim last year’s French Open title.

Wawrinka is 8/1 to return to Paris and claim the 2016 French Open title, with the Swiss illustrating last year that he can produce a formidable A game whether it’s on a hard court surface or the slower and less predictable clay.

Andy Murray has also come on leaps and bounds on the clay of Paris and should also be considered when it comes to your tennis bets. Two consecutive semi-final appearances set the Brit up nicely and it was the final as usual at the Australian Open before Djokovic saw off Murray.

Is the 2016 French Open a four-horse race as far as the men’s singles is concerned? Kei Nishikori is a 20/1 poke with BetVictor and the Japanese player should be taken seriously, although it’s hard to see Roger Federer claiming the spoils at 25/1.

Tennis betting can also occur on the ladies singles and it looks a more open contest considering that the market leader is an 11/4 chance with Sportingbet. Serena Williams holds 21 Grand Slam singles titles and she appears to have found her feet on clay in the past couple of years.

The American only had one Roland Garros title to her name before 2013, although she has claimed two French Open crowns in the past three years and is therefore the player to beat over the fortnight that the tournament takes place.

Victoria Azarenka is a 5/1 chance although the Belarusian has never really impressed at Roland Garros and she is yet to make a semi-final of any Grand Slam since the French in 2013.

In addition to betting on the outright tennis champion at Roland Garros when it comes to the men’s singles and ladies singles, there is also the opportunity to bet on other antepost markets.

You can bet on which two tennis players will reach the final for the men’s singles event and ladies singles which offers bigger odds than simply backing the winner of the event.

There is also the chance to bet “without Djokovic” in the men’s singles which basically means you are backing the player who will go the furthest with the exception of the Serbian.

bet365 tennis markets picture

In addition, for both versions you can bet on the winner of each quarter so you might fancy a particular player to reach the semi-finals of the French Open even if they might not make it all the way to claiming the grand prize.

Tennis betting is also popular when it comes to putting together an accumulator on several players to potentially deliver a big win. So when the draw is made for the first round of the 2016 French Open, then you can expect Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Serena Williams to be available at short odds.

That will also apply to these players in their second and third round matches, although multiplying them together in a tennis accumulator means that you can better odds providing that each player wins.

Several bookmakers also have Cash Out available when it comes to tennis betting and this is an excellent chance of making money before a tennis match has even finished.

Simply place a bet on a tennis match which might be along the lines of Rafael Nadal winning a match by a correct set score of 3-0. If you’ve had £100 at odds of 2/1, then you would be looking at a potential return of £300. If Nadal goes into a 2-0 lead in his match, then the bookmaker might offer you a Cash Out value of £200.

So you would then weight up whether to take a payout of £200 ahead of the third set taking place or whether to instead stay in the bet and potentially claim a £300 return should Nadal get the job done in straight sets.

Some bookmakers have tennis betting special markets on Rafael Nadal and the other top players in respect of how many Grand Slam titles they are going to rack up in 2016.

Paddy Power make it a 3/10 shot that the Spaniard sadly doesn’t add to his French Open haul and actually missed out on the US Open and Wimbledon, with the might of Novak Djokovic all too apparent.

However, Nadal is an 11/4 chance with Betway to walk away with at least one Grand Slam title this year, with the bookies going 25/1 that the Spaniard lands two titles and a massive 100/1 is available that the 29-year-old walks away with three Grand Slam titles.

Djokovic’s odds tell a different story. Bet365 offer 4/1 that the Serbian walks away with a clean sweep of Grand Slam titles, with an Australian Open crown already in the bag although this niggling issue of a first French Open title means that the tennis betting odds suggests three titles would be more likely.

Bet365 have 13/8 about the world number one landing three Grand Slams this year and it gives you a lively chance whether Djokovic fails or succeeds at Roland Garros. You can be virtually certain that Novak will be favourite for Wimbledon or the US Open.

Nadal fans might be interested in a special tennis betting market where you can bet on the next player to defeat Djokovic in a 2016 Grand Slam event. The Spaniard is a 4/1 chance to accomplish this feat, with Andy Murray the same price and both players will be confident of beating the Serbian on clay if early signs are to be believed.

Djokovic has already bowed out of the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters in surprising fashion, although there was plenty to like about Nadal’s 6-3, 6-3 win over Aljaz Bendene as the 29-year-old bids to win a first ATP title in more than eight months.

It has been a long road back for Nadal although the tennis betting markets for the French Open suggest that the Grand Slam mini-drought could finally come to an end.