What Are The Odds For Rafael Nadal To Win Another Grand Slam
Rafael Nadal is unquestionably the greatest clay court player of all time. He has won the French Open a mind-boggling 14 times, starting in 2005 just as he turned 19 years old, and continuing all the way through his 2022 title at Roland Garros.
Rafa of course wins everywhere else too as he joins Rod Laver, Andre Agassi, Novak Djokovich and Roger Federer as the only men to have won all four Grand Slam titles in the Open era. Nadal has won two Australian Opens (2009, 2022), two Wimbledons (2008, 2010) and four US Opens (2010, 2013, 2017, 2019) giving him a record 22 Grand Slams overall.
Perhaps most amazingly, Rafa remains a force heading into 2023 as he finished 2020 ranked second in the world behind only his countryman Carlos Alcarez. There is an excellent chance he adds to his trophy case this year despite turning 37 in June, an age once considered ancient in tennis. Jimmy Connors turned 39 in his crazy 1991 US Open run to put that into perspective. First up, Rafa will defend his Australian Open title. Here are the favorites over at BetMGM.
- Djokovic -110
- Dmitri Medvedev +500
- Nadal +1100
- Nick Kyrgios +1100
- Tsitsipas +1200
- Jannik Sinner +1400
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As for the Australian, it sets up as a tough task for Rafa to defend his crown. Alcarez is sidelined with an injury but Djokovic is back after missing the 2022 Australian. It is Novak’s best Grand Slam venue as he holds nine titles, including the last three he played in.
Djokovic has won 91.4% of his matches at the Australian vs 83.5% for Rafa. Overall on hard courts, Novak wins at an 84.6% clip vs Rafa’s 77.4%. Djokovic took both of their meetings in Melbourne including a five set thriller in the 2012 finals.
Of course there are other top contenders as Kyrgios can lift his game as high as anyone and could pose a particular threat in his home country. Medvedev plays his best on hard courts including having won the 2021 US Open.
The French Open is next up on the Grand Slam calendar. Here are the BetMGM betting favorites.
- Alcarez +175
- Djokovic +175
- Nadal +225
- Tsitsipas +700
- Casper Ruud +1200
- Holger Rune +1200
- Alexander Zverev +1400
- Sinner +1400
- Dominic Thiem +1800
Alcarez of course looks like the successor to Nadal as the King of Clay. But the current King still plays in peak form. Nadal’s biggest edge on clay is his return game as has won 46.8% of the return points over the course of his career. He barely slipped from that level in 2022 as he led the tour by winning 45.4% of his return points on clay.
Djokovic plays only modestly less well on clay than he does overall and has won at Roland Garros twice, including in 2021. Does feel like Nadal should have the second lowest odds rather than the third, though of course it is very early and these odds will change as the season goes on.
Then comes Wimbledon. Here are the BetMGM favorites.
- Djokovic +100
- Matteo Berrettini +700
- Nadal +800
- Medvedev +800
- Alcarez +800
- Kyrgios +1000
- Zverev +1200
- Sinner +1400
Though Rafa has won here twice, it is his toughest slam. He returned to Wimbledon in 2022 after missing the previous two with injuries. Unfortunately he tore an abdomen muscle mid-tournament. He won his quarterfinal match anyway but then had to withdraw before the semis and missed the next six weeks of tour play.
Rafa has won 78.4% of his career matches on grass, actually higher than his 77.4% hard court win percentage. Most players win fewer return points on grass but Rafa really drops off as he falls to 37.4%. He did however do better in that category in 2022 at 40.9%, which ranked fourth on the tour.
Still, Djokovic is rightly the favorite here. He holds six Wimbledon titles, including 2019, 2021 and 2022. Service points won better track Wimbledon success and Njokovic led the tour on grass in 2022 with a 72.9% success rate.
The Grand Slam year finishes up with the US Open. This is what BetMGM has up eight months in advance.
- Djokovic +160
- Alcarez +300
- Medvedev +333
- Kyrgios +700
- Nadal +800
- Sinner +1000
- Zverev +1400
- Tsitsipas +1400
- Ruud +1600
It makes sense that there is a flatter list of favorites here than in the other Slams as it is the one spot where the grip of Nadal and Djokovic has demonstrably loosened. Alcarez defeated Ruud to take the 2022 finals, Medvedev took down Djokovic in the 2021 Finals and Thiem beat Zverev in 2020.
Nadal won in Queens in 2019 but did not play again until 2022. He would go on to lose to Frances Tiafoe in the fourth round for his lowest Slam finish last season. He has won 85% of his career matches at the US Open, which makes it his second best Slam.
Djokovic has “only” won three times here. He of course is a significant threat to win any tournament he plays in, but the price here looks way too steep compared to the rest of the leaderboard.
As the tournaments get closer, the sportsbooks will post odds on the winners of the individual matches as well as all manner of fun props and live betting markets.
If Rafa can stay healthy, he has an excellent chance to take yet another French Open, even assuming Alvcarez gets back to top form by May. He will certainly be a factor in the other Slams as well even at the ripe age of 37 as of June.
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