Up To £100 In Bet Credits
  • New Customer Offer
  • Up To £100 In Bet Credits
  • Watch & Bet On Live Tennis
Sign Up Now Up To £100 In Bet Credits
New Customers only. Up to £100* in Bet Credits. Sign up, deposit £5* or more to your account and bet365 will match your qualifying deposit in Bet Credits when you place qualifying bets to the same value and they are settled. Min odds/bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. T&Cs, time limits & exclusions apply.

French Open 2020: Men’s singles draw analysis, preview and predictions

hannahwilks in French Open 10 Oct 2020
Can 12-time champion Rafael Nadal once more play himself into form at the French Open? (PA Images)

Can Novak Djokovic deny Rafael Nadal a thirteenth French Open title?

We break down the men’s singles draw, analyse the contenders and predict the semifinalists and champion as Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem lead the draw at the 2020 US Open.

Rafael Nadal faces Novak Djokovic in the French Open final on Sunday 11 October – read our match analysis and predictions here.

French Open 2020: Preview

No man has ever ruled the French Open, also known as Roland Garros, like 12-time champion Nadal, who has only ever lost two matches there.

But the 2020 French Open will be different – it’s being played in chilly, damp autumn instead of the sunshine and heat of June, and at best only limited spectators will be allowed, with players enclosed in a bio-security bubble.

Can Nadal adapt to these new conditions, and his own lack of match practice, or will one of his challengers wrest the Coupe des Mousquetaires from his grasp?

US Open Semifinals

Novak Djokovic (1) vs Stefanos Tsitsipas (5), 5pm local/4pm BST

World no. 1 Novak Djokovic faces Stefanos Tsitsipas, playing his second Grand Slam semifinal, as Djokovic attempts to reach the final of the French Open for the fifth time.

Djokovic comes into the match with physical concerns, having struggled in his quarterfinal against Pablo Carreno Busta. Djokovic took to the court with his neck taped and clearly suffering from pain and stiffness in his left arm. He dropped the first set to Carreno Busta – the first set he has lost in the tournament – but won 4-6, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 and said afterwards that the pain faded as his body warmed up.

Read full match analysis and get head-to-head stats and more on Djokovic vs Tsitsipas.

Tsitsipas, in contrast, looked just the right combination of relaxed and intense as he faced Andrey Rublev in what was not just the Greek’s first Grand Slam quarterfinal since his initial breakthrough semifinal run at the Australian Open in 2019, but a rematch of the Hamburg Open final which Tsitsipas had served for and then ended up losing a few weeks before. But a polished performance by Tsitsipas saw him claim his first win over Rublev in four attempts, his all-court game leaving the Russian looking one-dimensional and his backhand standing up to the Rublev forehand better than it has before.

Tsitsipas has beaten Djokovic before, but not on clay, and most crucially not over the best-of-five sets. Djokovic has obvious physical concerns, but even if he loses the first set against Tsitsipas, he’ll always be favoured to play his way into the match. You can’t say the same for Tsitsipas.

Rafael Nadal (2) vs Diego Schwartzman (12), 2.50pm local/1.50pm BST

Nadal has never won the French Open when he came in without winning a title on clay, although that stat is a little misleading – all bets are off in this strangest season, after all (though not literally). He has still only lost two matches at Roland Garros, and it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that although he played abysmally in losing to Schwartzman in Rome, the 12-time champion has had exactly the draw he needs to play himself in.

Nadal dropped only 23 games in reaching the quarterfinals, beating Egor Gerasimov, Mackenzie McDonald, Stefano Travaglia and young qualifier Sebastian Korda all without turning a hair, pretty much; and he’s adapted his game to the slower, colder conditions, flattening out the cross-court backhand in particular. His sternest test of the tournament came against 19-year-old Italian Jannik Sinner, who had eliminated David Goffin in the first round and Alexander Zverev in the fourth; Sinner served for the first set, had a break lead in the second, but still lost in straight sets, Nadal winning 7-6(4), 6-4, 6-1.

Read full match analysis and get live streaming information for Nadal vs Schwartzman.

Meanwhile, Diego Schwartzman earlier that day played for over five hours to knock out Dominic Thiem, in a match which was both a very impressive win – Thiem was looking for his fifth straight semifinal or better at the French Open – and also something of a missed opportunity for Schwartzman, who arguably could and should have won in straight sets.

If he had, he would have been at less of a physical disadvantage coming into the semifinal against Nadal, although both players do have two days to recover.

Schwartzman beat Nadal in Rome in straight sets, his first victory over the Spaniard in ten attempts. But it’s difficult to see him repeating the feat. Nadal served abysmally in Rome, and didn’t play well off the ground, while Schwartzman was inspired and aggressive. If Nadal plays even 20% better, Schwartzman will be forced back off the court and unable to dictate and the match will follow familiar patterns – the Argentine could come out and absolutely redline for a set and maybe take it, but will be unable to keep up the pressure over the best of five.

French Open 2020: Prediction

Semifinals:

Djokovic d. Tsitsipas
Nadal d. Schwartzman

Final:

Nadal d. Djokovic