- When it matters, Djokovic is better than his rating suggests
- Djokovic has a perfect record against Ruud
- Ruud's recent form suggests he can trouble Djokovic
On raw ratings, Casper Ruud at 5.04/1 is the value bet to take the Roland Garros title on Sunday, where he faces Novak Djokovic (1.241/4).
Those raw ratings suggest Djokovic is the most likely winner, but should only be priced at around 1.4640/85 to Ruud's 3.211/5.
Ratings have proved unhelpful when assessing Djokovic's chances in the Majors in recent seasons, though. In run-of-the-mill ATP events - the kinds of events where consistently winning players build up their rating - Djokovic has proved woefully unreliable. Hampered by a series of struggles off the court, his rating has plummeted, meaning that, for the first time in a decade, ratings suggest he is no longer the world's best player.
What Djokovic remains, however, is a darned good player when it comes to the big events. For all that his run-of-the-mill consistency has declined, he has still won six of the eight grand slams he has contested, and been the defeated finalist in the other two. Not bad for a supposedly diminished force.
Djokovic and Ruud head-to-head
Ruud's stature is certainly growing. Twice a grand-slam finalist in 2022, he has been consistently impressive in this French Open, and his brutal dismantling of Alexander Zverev in their semi-final will give some hope to Ruud supporters.
The head-to-head record of the final pairing doesn't inspire the same confidence, though. Djokovic has won all four of their encounters, including twice on clay.
To find the value in this encounter, then, the side markets offer the best hope.
To date, head-to-head, the pair have used 67% of the sets available to them, one of the lowest percentages among top-20 match-ups. History suggests this will be over quickly.
In the Set Betting market, reflecting that history, Three Sets is favoured at 2.35/4. However, that history is a year out-of-date, and the odds don't reflect the changing fortunes of the two players over the last 12 months, when they last met on court.
Ruud was clinical in his semi-final, and should be able to keep Djokovic playing for at least four sets.
With this in mind, supporting Djokovic to win 3-1 at around 3.613/5 in the Set Betting market makes sense. A trend in recent years has been for Djokovic to start slower in his matches, taking a few games to wear down his opponent and find the key to defeating them. It would be no surprise, then, to see Ruud win the first set, which can be backed at 3.185/40, before Djokovic then dominates.
Odds of around 2.001/1 that the pair will play more than +37.5 games look value. Using a percentage-of-available-games measure, the pair have used an average of 53% of the available games in their four encounters to date. That suggests an over/under midpoint of around +34.0 games.
However, given the argument above, it's likely that Ruud, a year better, will be able to push Djokovic for longer than history suggests he should.