2012 French Open Odds: Juan Martin Del Potro's Odds Shorten Following Title

Shane LambertAnalyst IIMay 7, 2012

Juan Martin Del Potro
Juan Martin Del PotroMatthew Stockman/Getty Images

The ATP was fairly busy last week as three tournaments were played on European soil. However, not one of those events was a major event as they were each just 250-level tournaments.

In Belgrade, Andreas Seppi of Italy took down a rare title. In Munich, Philipp Kohlschreiber added to his modest title count, while Juan Martin Del Potro defended his ATP Estoril title.

The latter event is the only one that led to significant changes in the betting market for the 2012 French Open. Here are the updated odds to win the Grand Slam outright as of Monday morning, May 7:

  1. Rafael Nadal (EVEN odds with WilliamHill)
  2. Novak Djokovic (19/10, +190 with bwin)
  3. Roger Federer (14/1, +1400 with Boylesports)
  4. Juan Martin Del Potro (18/1, +1800 with Boylesports)
  5. Andy Murray (25/1, +2500 with Boylesports)
  6. David Ferrer (33/1, +3300 with bet365)
  7. John Isner (66/1, +6600 with bet365)
  8. Tomas Berdych (80/1, +8000 with Bodog)

The odds are virtually identical to the odds that I provided last week, although Del Potro's odds are shortening following his impressive display in Portugal. The Argentine, who took down ATP Estoril without dropping a set, looks like an increasingly dangerous player on tour as Roland Garros nears.

Del Potro made the 2009 French Open semifinals and pushed eventual champion Roger Federer to five sets in that match. If Delpo is playing his best tennis then he is clearly a major force to be reckoned with even on the clay court surface.

So far in 2012 he has not faced anyone more talented than Richard Gasquet on clay; however, Del Potro has clearly separated himself from the peripheral clay court threats with his recent form. Besides the result in Estoril, Delpo was dismissive of his Davis Cup competition on clay earlier this season as he sent off both Marin Cilic and Ivo Karlovic in routine straight sets.

Here are my updated percentages for each player to win the 2012 French Open men's singles title:

  1. Rafael Nadal (71%)
  2. Novak Djokovic (10%)
  3. Roger Federer (5%)
  4. Juan Martin Del Potro (5%)
  5. Tomas Berdych (3%)
  6. David Ferrer (2%)
  7. Andy Murray (2%)
  8. Milos Raonic (1%)
  9. The Field: 1% chance combined with Jo-Wilfried TsongaGael Monfils, Nicolas Almagro, and Robin Soderling accounting for a huge portion of that.

While I think Del Potro is clearly capable of making a deep run at the 2012 French Open, I do question his chances of actually winning the title outright. I do not question his abilities, his desire, or his mental fortitude however I do have the following question: what kind of draw will he have?

With Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer, the players who I favor ahead of Delpo, you know that they are not likely to face a difficult opponent in the fourth round of the tournament. However Del Potro looks like he could be a No. 11 seed or a No. 10 seed, and that means he could face a minor threat like Ferrer, Berdych or Tsonga early in the middle round.

Should Del Potro make the quarters, he can expect a very difficult match against one of the tour's most talented players. I find it hard to picture Del Potro barging his way through to a French Open title if he has to barge through a draw that looks something like Ferrer, followed by Murray, Nadal and then Djokovic.

Nadal is the clear value pick in this betting market and I still say Bodog is out to lunch on their 80-to-1 odds on Tomas Berdych which should be closer to 30-to-1 in my view.