Novak Djokovic’s tennis betting odds of finally winning a French Open may have improved thanks – indirectly – to Roger Federer’s withdrawal from Roland Garros. The Swiss would have been seeded third at the French Open; his pulling out of the tournament means that Rafael Nadal will be moved up to the 4th seeding. As a result, the chance of a quarterfinal rematch between Nadal and Djokovic becomes null and void – meaning that the Serb should in theory have no trouble making it past that stage. Nadal is known as the King of Clay and has won the French Open 9 times; or, if you prefer, nine more times than Djokovic.
Still, Djokovic’s good news could also be bad news for people who bet on tennis, as well as for tennis fans in general. Federer is an iron man who has played in 65 straight Grand Slam singles tournaments, and won 17 titles – making him one of the most successful men’s player of the Open era. His absence from the French Open will break a 16 year streak; the last time the Swiss did not participate in the main draw in a singles at a Grand Slam tournament was the 1999 US Open, when he lost in the second round of qualifying to his compatriot Ivo Heuberger. Win, lose, or draw, you could bet on tennis major tourneys to feature Federer – until now.
So far this year Federer has missed the Miami Open, the Rotterdam Open, the Dubai Championships, the Indian Wells Masters, and the Madrid Masters. However, no one in the world of tennis betting could have foreseen his withdrawal from a Grand Slam event. The Swiss’s longevity is the stuff of legend; he only had the first surgery of his career in February of this year. However, chronic back issues have finally taken their toll on the player. In a statement, Federer said that he felt he would be running an unnecessary risk by playing Roland Garros while not at a 100% physically.
Also of note for tennis betting fans, Federer will switch to grass – and that doesn’t mean he has become an advocate for medicinal marijuana. In fact, he will focus on grass-court competitions such as the Stuttgart Open, the Halle Open, and, of course, Wimbledon – which he has already won seven more times than Djokovic has won the French Open. Federer plans to achieve the highest level of fitness before returning to the ATP World Tour for the upcoming grass court season. At the same time, he also expressed his desired to return to Roland Garros for the 2017 French Open – at which time Djokovic will most likely still be pining for that title.