French Open

French Open Men's Final: Back outsider Zverev @ 8/1 for four-set win

Alexander Zverev at Roland Garros French Open
Although never a grad-slam winner, Alexander Zverev has the experience to take this

Although the rightful favourite, Alcaraz is no certainty in what is likely to be short match says Jack Houghton...

  • Head-to-head record and Elo ratings suggest this will be closely contested

  • 2022 four-set Roland Garris win is reliable form line for this match

  • 5/2-shot Zverev has experience and record to overturn favourite


Match betting

With a brutal unpicking of pre-tournament tip Stefanos Tsitsipas's one-handed backhand in the quarterfinal, Carlos Alcaraz established himself as favourite to win his third major at Roland Garros, a mantle he carried just-about-successfully in his five-set win over Jannik Sinner in the semifinals.

It's little surprise, then, to see Alcaraz (1.42/5) at short odds against Alexander Zverev (3.45) in Sunday's final.

By my reckoning, though, those odds are a little skewed. Alcaraz - 5-4 ahead in their head-to-head record - only carries around a 100-point advantage on Elo ratings going into this final, making him more of a 1.51/2-shot. And although Zverev has never converted a final berth into a major win, he is experienced enough to make this match closer than those odds suggest it will be.

The best betting value, though, is to be found in the side markets.

Number of sets

To date, head-to-head, the pair have used 72% of the sets available to them. This figure is low compared to other pairings in the men's game, and is exemplified by the fact that only once - at the Tour Finals in November - have they gone to a deciding set. This is likely to be over in three or four sets.

Backing Four Sets at 2.77/4 is the value call.

Set Betting

Given this, supporting Zverev to win 3-1 at around 8.88/1 looks like the right bet.

The last time they met at Roland Garros, that was the outcome, and although Alcaraz was only 19 at that time - and hadn't won a major - his Elo rating from the period suggests he was playing better at that point than he has this season. After all, three months later he won the US Open. Zverev will rightly draw confidence from that 2022 encounter and look for a repeat here.

Total Games

Using a percentage-of-available-games measure, the pair use an average of 52%, very low for two players from the top of the men's game. That suggests an over/under midpoint of around 34 games.

Given the market is currently settling at 38 Games, and that Under is available at 2.021/1, this is worth a small bet.


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