French Open

French Open Final Tip: How to hedge Zverev in Paris

Zverev clay
Close but no cigar: [9/1] Zverev is expected to come up short against Carlos Alcaraz

Our 9/110.00 outright pick Alex Zverev locks horns with Carlos Alcaraz in the French Open final. Tennis tipster Gavin Mair gives his verdict on what we should expect...

  • Alcaraz allayed injury fears

  • Zverev leads head to head

  • Signs point to Alcaraz victory

It is not much of a surprise to see Carlos Alcaraz or Alex Zverev in the men's French Open final.

Alcaraz was a doubt before the first forehand was hit at this tournament, lacking match time due to a right arm injury that restricted his time on court in the build up to Paris.

He has allayed those fears with a strong run to the final and is favoured at 4/111.36 in the match odds market to claim his third Grand Slam title and first at the French Open.

Zverev has backed up his pre-tournament championship run in Rome with a second career major final. The German was the standout selection in my outright preview at 9/110.00. However, if Alcaraz plays his best it won't end well for that pick.

Tale of the tape

Alcaraz was highly impressive in the fourth and fifth set against Jannik Sinner in the semifinal. If he repeats that level there is not a player on tour that can match that standard on this surface.

The creativity, physicality and quality of Alcaraz's game is unique. He is doing things on court that others can only dream of. His form is peaking at just the right time.

Zverev in contrast has been scrappier on his route to the final. The German is guilty of being overly passive at times, reliant on his steadiness and strong serving form to outlast his opposition.

Against Casper Ruud he was thoroughly outplayed in the first set, too cautious and allowing the Norwegian to not only dictate but hit him off the court.

He wisened up in set two, playing with greater assertiveness to run away with the next three sets. The margin of victory should be taken with a pinch of salt as Ruud was suffering from a stomach illness.

How they match up

The duo have met nine times and Zverev leads the head to head by five wins to four. However, with relevance to this match it is only fair to consider their two meetings this year. Other matches took place while Alcaraz was breaking through or when Zverev was returning from injury.

Zverev was a dominant winner when they met at the Australian Open this year. He had a strong serving day and used conditions to his advantage to drag out errors from the Alcaraz racket.

This should give Zverev confidence, there is a template for him to follow and he does have a game that is proven to exploit Alcaraz should he misfire.

It should be noted that conditions are very different in Paris than they were in Melbourne, and if there is a form guide to follow then the pasting delivered by Alcaraz to Zverev at Indian Wells does that.

On the slower track Alcaraz has shown he can carve up Zverev. At Indian Wells Zverev was able to win only four games.

Alcaraz has shown that his artist's brush will enjoy the canvas presented to him by a tentative and negative Zverev. It is incumbent on Zverev not to retreat onto the back foot.

However, when Zverev has tried to play aggressively during the French Open he has not fully convinced. His performance against De Minaur was notable for firing 48 unforced errors across three sets.

Zverev will be slaughtered if he plays negatively. And his attacking game off the ground hasn't been sharp enough.

What's more in Zverev's only Grand Slam final to date he lost from two sets and a break up against Dominic Thiem. The omens aren't good for the German.

I do however think he is capable of nabbing a set here. Not only can he draw positivity from their head to head record but Alcaraz has shown such a variance in his level from set to set.

Despite being the better player in the final four sets against Sinner he still found a way to drop the third. It wouldn't take much for Zverev to claim a set if he keeps his serving level high and is brave off the ground.

Ultimately it is fair to assume that Alcaraz will have too much. My tip is for Alcaraz to win and both to win a set @ 5/42.25

Now read our Euro 2024 tips and preivews here.

Recommended bets


New customers only. Bet £10 on the Betfair Sportsbook at odds of min EVS (2.0) and receive £50 in FREE Bet Builders, Accumulators or Multiples to use on any sport. T&Cs apply.

Prices quoted in copy are correct at time of publication but liable to change.