French Open 2017 Betting: Men’s Final

Stan Wawrinka v Rafael Nadal

Nadal is the greatest clay courter of all time and as if to emphasise that point he goes for an incredible 10th French Open crown here. That would surely represent one of the greatest achievements in sports history and it’s hard to see how he’ll be denied having dropped just 29 games to reach this stage.

Nadal’s record in Tour level finals on clay is a superb W52-L8 and those defeats have not come against ordinary players as Federer (twice), Djokovic (four times) and Murray (once) have accounted for all but one of those defeats, and a loss to Horacio Zeballos in the 2013 Chilean Open after seven months out with knee problems can perhaps be ignored here. Significantly he’s won all nine previous French Open finals and while just three were in straight sets seven were by at least five clear games. Furthermore, the three finals that were against players other than Federer or Djokovic were all won by at least eight clear games.

Wawrinka has won all three of his previous major finals and he was a huge underdog each time as he beat three world number ones to do so (Djokovic twice and Nadal once) so we don’t expect him to crumble under the pressure. However, his wider record against Nadal isn’t great as he’s lost 16 of their 19 meetings, with six straight set losses from seven meetings on clay. Having required more than 4.5 hours to get past Andy Murray in the semi-final fatigue could also be an issue for the Swiss and there’s no greater challenge than having to beat Nadal over five sets on clay.

We wouldn’t rule out Stan blasting his way to a set but he may have to give up on a set at some point to conserve energy and that makes the handicap a great way to support Nadal. 11 of the 16 completed sets he’s played in this tournament have had fewer than nine games while he’s won half either 6-0 or 6-1.

Betting Strategy

 BACK – Nadal -5.5 games at $1.90 or better

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