The 2023 Roland Garros men’s tennis tournament could have some blockbuster showdowns in the later rounds. They might be the most anticipated matches of the tennis year, even more than anything we might see at Wimbledon or the U.S. Open. This could be one for the history books, more so than other French Opens.
French Open Favorites
The discussion of the favorites for the men’s French Open championship always revolves around two men more than any others: Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. They met in 2021 in the semifinals. Djokovic won the match and went on to win the title. They met in the 2022 quarterfinals. Nadal won, and he went on to win the title. We obviously don’t know what the draw will look like this year. Will Rafa and Novak be in separate halves so that they can meet in the final once again, as they did in 2020? That’s what most fans would want – seeing these iconic champions, both with 22 major championships, meeting for No. 23 in the final.
If they don’t meet in the final, however, there are a few other matchups which could be absolute must-see television for global tennis fans.
The other prime favorite at this tournament, provided he can stay healthy, is Carlos Alcaraz. He is currently No. 2 in the world behind Djokovic. He just came back to the tour after a lengthy injury absence and won the Argentina Open on clay in Buenos Aires. That should put to rest any lingering doubts about his capabilities or if he will have a 2023 slump after rising so high in 2022, complete with a U.S. Open championship before turning 20 years old.
A semifinal or final putting Alcaraz against Nadal or Djokovic would be a global sensation. Any of Nadal, Djokovic or Alcaraz are clearly the top three favorites at this tournament. Those are the three options you should be investing your betting units into.
French Open Sleepers
The sleeper discussion involves a lot of questions. Alexander Zverev suffered a major injury in last year’s French Open semifinal against Nadal. Will he have enough time to build back his fitness and stamina before late May? Maybe, but the clock is ticking, and it will be a tough climb for the German on his road back from a several-month absence. He played in Australia but was obviously nowhere close to his normal pre-injury self.
Dominic Thiem has needed multiple years to deal with a wrist injury which has limited his effectiveness on tour. If he can develop momentum in April and early May, he will rise up the board and become a player no one will want to face in the early rounds. However, Thiem’s struggles over the past 12 months make it hard to be certain that he will be a significant factor at Roland Garros this year.
Jannik Sinner battled Carlos Alcaraz in a memorable U.S. Open quarterfinal last September, one of the great matches of the 21st century. He has played a lot of close matches against top players but has not been able to win them. Could he turn the corner in Paris? It’s a very intriguing possibility for the Italian, who is very comfortable on clay and will have ample fan support in European tournaments.