French Open Betting: Can Wawrinka upset the odds in Paris final again?


The final of the men’s singles at the 2017 French Open is set for Sunday in Paris, with our outright pick Stanislas Wawrinka taking on nine-time champion Rafael Nadal.

If Wawrinka does manage to cause the upset it would be a superb end to what’s been a pretty decent tournament, after 18 good-priced winners from 30 bets in the men’s tournament for a 15-point profit, with one still live.

And that’s our 3 points on Stan Wawrinka to win the title at 15.0, which will be decided on Sunday when the Swiss takes on Rafa Nadal at (not before) 14:00 UK time on Sunday.

Hopefully we’ll have a bit more luck than in the women’s final when Simona Halep led Jelena Ostapenko by 6-4, 3-0 and break point for a double break only to collapse like Theresa May’s majority with the winning line in sight.

We’re expecting a warm day in Paris for the final, which will certainly suit Nadal, as the dial will hit 30C in the shade and the wind doesn’t look like it’s going to be a problem for the shot maker Wawrinka.

Stanislas Wawrinka vs Rafael Nadal


Neither of these men has tasted defeat yet in a French Open final, but that will all change on Sunday and hopefully it will end in a fourth major title and second Coupe des Mousquetaires for Wawrinka.

It’s about as tough as assignment as it can be for Stan though, with Nadal arriving into this final having conceded the second fewest games in men’s Grand Slam history and never having lost at the French Open to a player with a single-handed backhand.

Rafa is 26-0 on the clay of Paris against one-handers and the only time he’s dropped as much as a set to one since the 2011 final when he beat Roger Federer was versus Daniel Brands in round one in 2013.

I didn’t think I’d be writing the name of Brands in a major final preview, but there we are, it shows how tough it is for single-handers to face Nadal in these conditions – particularly if it’s warm and sunny.

In those 26 matches he’s dropped a grand total of six sets – and four of those were in matches against Federer (the other one apart from Brands was to Mariano Puerta in the 2005 final).

That said, Nadal did lose to Dominic Thiem in Rome and the Austrian started well against Rafa in their semi final here before his wish to be ultra-aggressive ended in far too many errors and another straight sets loss to add to Nadal’s tally.

Wawrinka is one of only three single-handers in the last four years to beat Rafa on clay (the others being Thiem and Pablo Cuevas) and although it should be noted that Nadal was some way off his best when they met in Rome in 2015 and Stan prevailed with all-out attack.

And make no mistake, Wawrinka can be unplayable, even for Nadal at times, so what we have here is to decide if Stan can reach his best level and if so, how long can he keep it up for?

The Chatrier court is so big that it gives Nadal and the likes of Djokovic and Murray lots of room to scurry about in their defensive efforts and that’s one reason why it’s so hard to beat an in-form Nadal here.

There isn’t a huge amount of point in looking at stats here, as they’ll all favour Nadal and we know full well that Wawrinka can be very poor at times in the regular season yet turn it on when it counts in major finals, of which he’s won all three he’s contested so far.

Not many other players I can think of have the ability that Stan does to lose to the likes of Damir Dzumhur and Benoit Paire on the tour, shrug it off and make a major final.

And of course when he stunned Djokovic as a 6.3 chance in the 2015 French Open final Wawrinka came into the tournament having lost at home in Geneva to Federico Delbonis.

Wawrinka hit 60 winners against Djokovic in that 2015 final and came into that match having lost 16 of his previous 17 against the Serb. Indeed, all three of Stan’s wins over Djokovic in the last decade have come at majors.

So, we know he can play his best tennis when it matters the most, even versus opponents he has a huge head-to-head deficit against. Question is can he do it again on Sunday?

There’s not much point in trying to cover our Wawrinka outright pre-match at these odds, but if Wawrinka does get ahead and looks like he’s having another of those unplayable days I’ll cover the stake if Stan gets to around evens.

The tie breaks market doesn’t appeal much here, with this pair having played a fair few against each other in the past, but tie breaks are rare in French Open finals, with only four of the last 15 featuring a breaker.

Odds-on about there being one certainly does not appeal and neither do the other ‘stat bets’ really, with Wawrinka hardly a prolific ace hitter on clay (six in five sets against Murray and three against Monfils and Cilic).

We’re left hoping a bit here that Stan will catch fire and repeat 2015, but that’s maybe a little bit of wishful thinking and the bet looks to be Nadal in four sets at 3.65.

Of Rafa’s nine French Open final wins six have been by three sets to one and that’s the probable outcome on Sunday, although I’m obviously hoping Stan can produce something amazing.

Best Bets
3 points win Nadal if his price reaches 2.0 in-play (only if backed Wawrinka pre-tournament)
1.5 points win Nadal to win 3-1 at 3.65