The French Open is nearing its end and that’s when tennis gets exciting. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are in action on Wednesday and are expected to make the semifinals where they will face.
However, things might not go according to plan for the favorites. Matteo Berrettini and Diego Schwartzman are worthy opponents and they could push the superstars.
Online betting markets aren’t giving the underdogs much respect, but value is there to be snapped up.
Novak Djokovic vs Matteo Berrettini
Novak Djokovic survived a major scare in his fourth round matchup against 19-year-old Lorenzo Musetti. He lost the first two sets in a tiebreak before the Italian suffered an injury.
He would eventually withdraw in the fifth and final set after losing 6-1, 6-0 and 4-0 in the fifth. However, it doesn’t take away from Djokovic’s less-than-ideal performance and he was lucky to escape unscathed.
“I like to play young guys in the best-of-five because even at two sets down, I feel I still have my chances,” Djokovic told BBC Sport.
“I have won most of my five-setters and that experience helps. It’s unfortunate for him to have to retire but I could see he was struggling physically.”
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 7, 2021
It was the first time Djokovic has looked tested at Roland Garros after failing to drop a set in his three previous matches. He can throw in the odd perplexing performance, so bettors taking the -450 odds against Matteo Berrettini will be hoping it’s a one-off.
Berrettini comes in as the fresher player after getting a walkover against Roger Federer, who opted to pull out of the French to better prepare for Wimbledon. As strange as that decision was, it helped the Italian progress to the quarters.
He looked good winning his last two games in straight sets. He is a top-10 player that can’t be dismissed because of the opposition.
Tennis betting markets have Berrettini getting 6½ games, which is more than enough for our liking. He is capable of sticking with Djokovic and he will be fresh and ready to cause an upset.
Pick: Matteo Berrettini +6½ (+105)
Rafael Nadal vs Diego Schwartzman
The 13-time French Open champion breezed into the quarters with a 3-0 win over Jannik Sinner, who is a tough opponent. Almost as tough as Diego Schwartzman, who shouldn’t be overlooked.
He is a tough Argentine that has yet to drop a set in the tournament. Schwartzman isn’t being talked about, but he put away Jan-Lennard Struff in straight sets and that’s not easy to do.
The match went for three hours compared to 2:20 for Nadal, but he should be fit and ready to fire on Wednesday.
The most recent meeting came at the 2020 French Open where Nadal won 3-0. However, Schwartzman would have covered the +9 line which is available in this matchup. It was closer than it looked and it followed a 2-0 win for Schwartzman at the Italian Open.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) June 7, 2021
Picking Schwartzman to win outright would be a risk, but he’s getting a nine-game advantage and that’s substantial over a possible three-set game. He has the luxury of losing 6-3, 6-3, 6-4 and bettors cash their tickets.
However, Rafael Nadal isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. He hasn’t dropped a set and he made Jannik Sinner look like a qualifier. The top 20 player was beaten 6-0 in the final set, which is when Nadal turned up the screws.
It’s not going to be an easy game for Nadal. He will be made to endure lengthy rallies, which is a strength of the nuggety Argentinian.
Bettors should expect a long match where Diego Schwartzman does enough to cover the generous spread.