While the scorching heat tends to be omnipresent, you might not otherwise think there’s a great deal that connects the US Open tennis tournament in Queens with the French Open in Paris.
And yet, from a betting perspective, the 2021 edition of the event at Flushing Meadows may hold the key to identifying who could go deep into the draw at Roland-Garros in May and into June.
They say that reaching the business end of tournaments becomes a habit, and how about this for symmetry – of the eight quarter-finalists at the US Open in 2021, five feature amongst the top ten favorites in the Roland-Garros odds, with Novak Djokovic leading the way for that group at +350.
Coincidence? Perhaps, but there’s no doubt that players build their major pedigree over time, and that the confidence of reaching the finals of one Grand Slam translates nicely to the next – even when they are played on different surfaces and in unique conditions.
So could one of the final eight at Flushing Meadows go on to win the French Open?
Slow and Steady
Clearly, there are marked differences between the ultra-fast courts in Queens and the slow, low bouncing surfaces in Paris.
But some players have the skillset to compete on all types of court, and Djokovic – a 20-time major winner – is able to compete on the clay despite it being far from his favored surface.
He will contest favoritism in the betting market with Rafa Nadal, whose French Open record knows no equal. Even at 35, the Spaniard is one of the most likely Grand Slam champions, and his victory at January’s Australian Open confirms he is very much the man to beat.
It’s happening very slowly, but you do sense something of a changing of the guard in men’s tennis. Nadal and Djokovic refuse to go away, but the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev – aged 26, 26 and 25 respectively – look set to take the sport into a new generation.
They all reached the quarter-finals of the US Open last year, and all have been well backed in the French Open betting market too. Medvedev has enjoyed the most rapid of ascensions to the top of the sport, and he was ranked number one in the world earlier this year – not bad for a player who only turned pro in 2014.
As for Berrettini, his power-packed game will surely bring him plenty of rewards on grass and hard courts in years to come, but let’s not forget that the Italian reached two clay-court finals and the last eight of the French Open in 2021 – he should not be written off despite his baseline-hogging style.
Of the trio, it’s Zverev, with a record of SF-4R-QF-QF at Roland-Garros, who is perhaps of most interest. Putting a difficult 2021 behind him, the German has shown further glimpses of his qualities on clay with runs to the business end of the French Open warm-up events in Monte Carlo and Madrid.
So, there you have it. Could the 2021 US Open reveal the winner of the 2022 French Open?