The screw is starting to turn in the French Open. The final matches of the fourth round take place today, with Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray taking on Dusan Lajovic and Fernando Verdasco respectively. A place in the last eight is up for grabs.
However, one man whose fate has already been decided is Swiss star Roger Federer. The 32-year-old will not be in the quarter-finals at Roland Garros for the first time since 2004 after his five-set defeat at the hands of Ernests Gulbis on Sunday.
Djokovic in cruise control
Conversely, Novak Djokovic has already sealed his place in the last eight following a bloodless straight sets victory over Jo-Wilfried Songa, setting up a quarter-final clash with Milos Raonic tomorrow.
Djokovic is long odds on to see off the Canadian – 1/9 with Bet365 is the best price available at the time of writing – and also heads the outright tournament betting at a top-priced 11/10 with Betfred, though he’s generally an even-money chance.
The 27-year-old, who has yet to taste victory in the French Open, is clearly in excellent form and is 8/11 with Paddy Power to see off Raonic 3-0 in the sets betting, which is an appealing option as far as odds on shots go.
Nadal nailed-on for further Roland Garros success?
However, he could be displaced as tournament favourite if Nadal comes through his tie with Lajovic. The Spaniard has triumphed at Roland Garros on no less than eight previous occasions, and can be backed at 6/4 with 888sport to enhance that already tremendous record this year.
Nadal is widely expected to brush Lajovic aside – indeed, he’s as short as 1/150 in the match betting and just 1/5 with Paddy Power to prevail in straight sets.
Meanwhile, Wimbledon champion Andy Murray is 20/1 with Paddy Power to end his French Open hoodoo this time round. The Scot showed courage aplenty when getting the better of Philipp Kohlschreiber in a thrilling third-round bout which went right to the wire.
Verdasco the victorious?
However, the 27-year-old’s powers of recovery will be fully tested when he clashes with Verdasco who, in contrast to Murray, had a relatively easy time of things in the last round, outpointing Richard Gasquet in straight sets, dropping just eight games in the process.
The Spaniard is a 13/10 chance with BetVictor to get the better of Muzza, who is clear favourite at a standout 4/6 with Stan James. It is poised to be a close call, but from a betting perspective Verdasco makes plenty of appeal given how hard a match Murray had in the last round.
French Open Round 4 betting advice:
Fernando Verdasco to beat Andy Murray – 13/10 (BetVictor)