The French Open holds a special place in the hearts of fans who bet on tennis. Time and the weather can play such a big part as to even change tennis betting odds. Number 1 in the world Novak Djokovic found that out on Monday when it literally rained on his parade. For the first eight days of Roland Garros, Djokovic looked like the luckiest guy in tennis. Andy Murray – on the other side of the draw – arrived in Paris off a clay-court win over the Serb in Rome that left some doubting as to whom exactly should be favored. As it turns out, though, Murray got off to two nerve-wracking, five-set matches he barely managed to scrape by won and expressed concerns about needing to save energy if he had any chance to win.
Two days later, both tennis betting favorite Rafael Nadal and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga dropped out of the French Open with injuries. Everything was coming up Djokovic as he easily dismissed Aljaz Bedene late on Saturday evening. But things took a turn for the worse when a rainout forced to reschedule all of Mondays 32 matches – only the second time that happens in 115 years. If that happens again on Tuesday, Murray will have enjoyed two days rest because he safely advanced to the quarterfinal round. But the cancelation of Djokovic’s Monday match means the Serb might have to face a gauntlet of four best-of-five matches in five days. On the other hand, Murray would face three matches in five days, which is a much more feasible task.
No other French Open men’s singles champion has had to wait more than 11 years to win his first title. Djokovic is now in his 12th appearance at the tournament. While his 0-2 record in finals against Nadal when Nadal was at his peak seems justifiable, Djokovic’s shocking four-set loss to eighth-seeded Stan Wawrinka last year still resonates. Djokovic has already won 11 majors, but most people who bet on tennis are adamant that Djokovic needs the French Open to make a case for being the greatest of all time best-ever. Roger Federer – who pulled out of the tournament before it started – has 17 majors overall but has not won one since 2012 at Wimbledon.
Djokovic insists he isn’t “obsessed” with winning the French Open, but he also admits that he feels the pressure to finally win at Paris. People who bet on tennis wonder if this is the year it will happen at last. After Monday’s rainout, the 29-year-old Djokovic will need to pull out all stops, even with Nadal, Tsonga and Federer all injured and out of the draw.