Novak Djokovic Set To Defend His Title At 2022 French Open

Written By Nicole Russo on April 14, 2022
novak djokovic French Open

All signs point to a Novak Djokovic French Open appearance, which would be his first Grand Slam start of the year. French Prime Minister Jean Castex ended vaccine passes for many public places, including sporting events, clearing the way for Djokovic to defend his title at the French Open in Paris.

While Djokovic is currently second on the odds boards to win at Roland-Garros, his recent performance in Monte Carlo suggests his lack of match play is beginning to take a toll.

French Open Odds: Men’s and Women’s Singles

Odds for a Novak Djokovic French Open victory currently sit behind Rafael Nadal as the second choice at two legal online sportsbooks in the United States.

Men's Winner
Women's Winner

Rafael Nadal
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-550
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-650
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-550
Novak Djokovic
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OTB
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OTB
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Casper Rudd
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+400
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+460
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+400
Carlos Alcaraz Garfia
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Stefanos Tsitsipas
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Alexander Zverev
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Daniil Medvedev
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Jannik Sinner
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Andrey Rublev
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Miomir Kecmanovic
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Holger Vitus Nodskov Rune
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Felix Auger-Alissime
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Marin Cilic
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OTB

Game
(Eastern Time)
(EST)
Iga Swiatek
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-650
Amanda Anisimova
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OTB
Cori Gauff
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+500
Paula Badosa Gibert
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OTB
Jil Belen Teichmann
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Aryna Sabalenka
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Leylah Annie Fernandez
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Victoria Azarenka
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Sloane Stephens
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Jessica Pegula
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Elena Rybakina
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Veronika Kudermetova
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Novak Stunned Early In Monte Carlo

The Monte Carlo Masters is running through April 17. This was just the fourth match in 2022 for Novak, having last played in Dubai in February.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina defeated him 6-3, 7-6, 6-1 in the Round of 32. This stunning loss for Novak came after being deported from Australia just before the start of the Australian Open and being denied entry to Indian Wells and the Miami Open over vaccine requirements.

Djokovic has gone on record saying he understands he will miss tennis majors over his choice to remain unvaccinated against COVID-19. That being said, he acknowledged sitting on the sidelines has taken a toll both mentally and physically.

That toll was on full display in Monte Carlo for the world No.1. Djokovic had his serve broken nine times and had 51 unforced errors against Fokina, something unheard of from him.

After the match, Novak commented that he felt on the ropes the entire time and simply ran out of gas.

While you can never count Djokovic out, it will be difficult for him to assemble enough match play to be fully prepared for the French Open in a few short weeks.

Rafael Nadal, who has won the tournament 13 times and is coming off of a gritty Australian Open victory in Djokovic’s absence, is currently the betting favorite.

Rafael Nadal Out Of Monte Carlo, Dealing With Rib Injury

While Rafael Nadal is currently the betting favorite to win at Roland-Garros, his journey won’t be as easy as the odds boards might suggest.

The Australian Open winner has been sidelined since the finals of Indian Wells due to a stress fracture in his rib. He has been ruled out for at least 4-6 weeks, causing him to miss Monte Carlo.

The Monte Carlo Masters is the ideal “warm-up” tournament leading up to the French Open, as it gives players the chance to adjust to the clay courts.

Many hoped he would be well enough to play at the Barcelona Open next week, but he recently withdrew from that tournament as well. His team said he hasn’t been able to return to the court, and for now, is sticking to working out and rehabbing in the gym.

The next big ATP tournament on clay is the Rome Masters from May 2-15. Nadal is the reigning champ, beating Djokovic in the final in 2021.

If Nadal has to miss the final clay-court tournament in preparation for the French Open, it could open the door for Novak, or another player, to win the second major of the year.

French Open Dates, TV Schedule

  • Dates: May 22- June 5
  • Location: Paris, France
  • Network: Tennis Channel, NBC, Peacock
Photo by Associated Press
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Written by
Nicole Russo

Nicole Russo is the Brand Content Strategist for TheLines.com. Previously, she covered the gambling industries in Tennessee and Indiana as a content editor for PlayTenn.com and PlayIndiana.com. She comes from the world of poker, leading the marketing efforts for online poker in Nevada and New Jersey with the WSOP. Russo also assisted with the marketing efforts for the Caesars Sportsbook launch in 2019.

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