The 2024 French Open isn’t that far away—in just over a month's time, we’ll see the best players in the world in action at Roland Garros. Until then, Monte Carlo, Barcelona, Madrid and Rome are all tremendous clay-court events. Over the next few weeks, some of the top players in the sport will look to add some trophies to their mantles. They’ll also try to play their way into form ahead of the second major of the year.

Given everything at stake over the next few weeks, this feels like a good time to spotlight some key players heading into RG.

All odds provided by FanDuel Sportsbook

The New Big Three

Carlos Alcaraz (+140): Alcaraz is searching for his first title at Roland Garros, but he’s the betting favorite. He has won two Masters 1000 titles on clay, both in Madrid. The Spaniard has the skill set to dominate on the dirt for years to come. Alcaraz’s ability to maneuver himself around the court and play elite defense makes it hard to beat him on slower courts, which is why he’s seemingly unbeatable at Indian Wells. He also has the power to hit through the slow conditions. And his ability to hit every shot in the book, in addition to shots we've never seen before, makes him special.

The only question mark with Alcaraz heading into this event is whether he can deal with the pressure. Being the favorite to win last year seemingly got to him when he cramped against Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. He’ll need to find a way to stay calm in Paris, but he did show some serious resolve in winning Wimbledon a month later. That suggests he is growing rapidly when it comes to the mental game. Let’s see how he does at some of these big clay-court events coming up—after Monte Carlo.


Novak Djokovic (+230): Djokovic is the defending French Open champion and has won Roland Garros three times. But the 36-year-old heads into the clay-court season facing quite a bit of uncertainty. After losing in the Australian Open semifinals in January, Djokovic didn’t play another ATP event until Indian Wells, where he suffered a shock loss to Luca Nardi. Djokovic then withdrew from Miami to get himself prepared to play on clay.

Djokovic is probably still the guy to beat in Paris, but it’s hard to blame anybody that doesn’t see it that way. The eye test suggests that some of his younger rivals have passed him. But Djokovic can change that perception with a strong showing over the next few weeks. The Serbian generally has some issues in Monte Carlo, despite having won the event twice. But he’s usually a good bet to take home some gold in Rome. If he does, he’ll have momentum at the right time.

Jannik Sinner (+400): The odds for Sinner are pretty interesting entering the clay-court season. He’s been the most dominant player this season and won the first major of the year in impressive fashion—he's arguably the best value on the board right now. There’s also nothing that suggests Sinner can’t be an elite clay-court player, either. The Italian has improved in a big way as a mover, and he has the power to hit through slower conditions. He also added the variety required to win in a lot of different ways.

Sinner is probably the player you’ll want to watch the most over the next few weeks. If he can turn in some good results at some of these clay-court Masters events, he’ll have the confidence he needs to win it all in Paris. But you might want to jump on him now. There isn’t this big of a gap between him and the two listed above him on the board, so these odds will probably only get worse.

Alcaraz is the only player to conquer Sinner thus far in 2024.

Alcaraz is the only player to conquer Sinner thus far in 2024.


Two Others You Can’t Forget

Rafael Nadal (+470): You really can’t talk about the French Open without talking about its 14-time champion. Let’s just hope Nadal is able to get himself healthy enough to play. The Spaniard was able to go out and compete in The Netflix Slam before Indian Wells, but he clearly wasn’t himself. And we haven’t seen the 37-year-old since, as he has noted that his body isn’t allowing him to compete.

If Nadal is in the French Open field, he’ll be a dangerous opponent for anybody he faces. But he’s probably not somebody you should be betting on, especially at these odds. It has simply been a long time since Nadal played at an elite level, so you can find some better value down the board.

Casper Ruud (+1800): Ruud might not be the fifth-best player you think of when it comes to Grand Slams, but he has been to the French Open final in back-to-back years. He also has the fourth-highest raw clay-court Elo rating on tour. And if you’re not into metrics like that, the eye test backs it up. Ruud might not have overwhelming tools, but he has a solid all-around game and hits a very heavy ball from both wings. That makes him extremely hard to beat on clay, especially when he's hitting his spots with his serve.

When looking at the odds board, Ruud's price just jumps off the page a bit. Ruud lost to Nadal in the 2022 Roland Garros final, and Djokovic in 2023. In both matches, the Norwegian looked a little shell shocked. At some point in the near future, Ruud won’t have to worry about playing either legend at the peak of their powers. He remains a real threat to sneak a major in Paris before his career is over. That makes him an interesting player to watch as we really get into clay-court season.