Tennis Betting Advice - June 2023

French Open - Day 13: Men's Semi Finals...

Friday 9th June 2023

Good morning and welcome to Day 13 of your French Open 2023 Daily Service. Play starts at 1.45pm.

If you’re good enough, then you’re good enough…

They say every day’s a school day, and I certainly feel like this is a tournament that I’ve learnt a lot from…

About the potential of some players, and the limitations of others.

And for me, this French Open has proved a further reminder that in the modern game, tennis is becoming more and more of an all-court sport

Or in other words: anyone can win on any of the three main playing surfaces - hard courts, clay, and grass - as long as they’re good enough

Yes, you still get the occasional lower-ranked South American player, for instance, who plies their trade almost exclusively on clay. Juan Pablo Varillas made it to the last 16 here in Paris, with the 27-year-old from Peru compiling a career record in which 351 of his 395 match wins have come on clay.

But at the pinnacle of the sport, you have to be able to do it on all surfaces - and at all four Grand Slams…

The obvious recent examples here being megastars like Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic. Who have all completed the full sweep of Major titles, lifting the trophies at the Australian Open (hard courts), French Open (clay), Wimbledon (grass), and US Open (hard).

If you’re good enough, you’re good enough…

If we look at the new stars of the sport. Women’s world no.1 Iga Swiatek has already won two French Opens, and goes for a third in the final this weekend - as well as holding one US Open title. Age 22, she’s halfway to completing the Grand Slam full-house already.

And in the men’s, world no.1 Carlos Alcaraz has also already conquered the US Open. With the 20-year-old playing in the French Open semi finals today.

  • We’ve got Karolina Muchova in the book at 50/1+ for Wimbledon next month. Having just reached the French Open final having gone off at 100/1 last week, the 26-year-old Czech has now reached the semi finals at the Australian Open, final at the French, and quarter finals (twice) at Wimbledon. Muchova is showing she has the game and quality to deliver at any event, as long as her fitness holds out

The small margins make all the difference…

I often talk about small margins making all the difference in elite sport. Those close-fought moments also impact our bets. Sometimes it goes our way, sometimes it doesn’t…

For example, here at the French Open. My recent pick Ons Jabeur lost in the quarter finals, having won exactly the same amount of points in the match as her opponent, Beatriz Haddad Maia (107 pts v 107 pts). The old tennis saying proved correct: some points are worth more than others.

Jabeur lost the second set on a tiebreak. Which was the (count ‘em) sixth time in a row that one of our players lost a set by the tightest score-line, 7-6, when carrying our cash.

And my two serving-stats selections, backing the ‘Tie’ for Most Aces in both women’s semis, at odds of 10/3 (4.33) and 9/2 (5.5), saw the tallies settle just one off in both instances: the Muchova-Sabalenka aces score ended 6-5, and Swiatek-Haddad Maia was 1-0.

I’m not talking up our hard-luck stories here. More to say that we come close more than we get it wildly wrong… and we’re certainly in the right ballpark…


Muchova saved a match point in yesterday’s semi-final win over Aryna Sabalenka. Coming from 2-5 games down in the final set.

When Alcaraz won his first Major in New York last year, he saved match point in the quarter finals.

  • Muchova has underlined her Grand Slam credentials this week in Paris. Let’s see if she can push on, full of confidence, and make a big run for us at Wimbledon next month. We have the all-important early-bird prices on our side. With Karolina in the book at 50/1+ from back in February. A bet that is now trading at 25/1 at best with BetVictor, and 20/1 and 18/1 in general

Believe the hype…

Talking of small margins…

Carlos Alcaraz and Novak Djokovic have only met once before - on clay at the Madrid Masters last year - and the scoreboard was just about as close as you can get…

Alcaraz came from behind to win, the Spanish new kid on the block beating the Serbian giant, 6-7, 7-5, 7-6.

We’ve spoken before about Djokovic going the full five sets when up against the new contenders at the Grand Slams. For example, right here at Roland Garros. Novak beat Stefanos Tsitsipas in five sets in the 2020 semi final. And then broke the heart of the young Greek again in 2021, coming from two sets down to win 3-2 in the final.

Today’s semi-final match-up between Alcaraz and Djokovic is being given the biggest build-up you’re ever likely to see outside of a Grand Slam final. And rightly so. I’m usually one to play down hyperbole. But on this occasion, I’d say the hype is justified.

If you’re able to watch the match live this afternoon, strap in, grab the popcorn, and get set for what could be a truly epic encounter…

Go long…

On the betting front, we should be all about the ‘long match’ options today. Both in the headline match, and also in the second men’s semi between Casper Ruud and our man Alexander Zverev - which also looks every inch a contender to go to the wire.

That Alcaraz-Djokovic meeting last year would’ve paid out in Bet365’s Go the Distance market - settled by a final-set tiebreak, 7-6. That’s available as a 14/1 shot today. And 12/1 for Ruud v Zverev.

  • Skybet also have those final-set tiebreak bets at 14/1 and 12/1 respectively, in a ‘Request-a-Bet’ market that they’re calling ‘Deadlocked!’

In the Total Sets markets, 5 Sets is available at 9/4 (3.25) or 2/1 (3.0) for both matches.

And in the Total Games betting, the Over options appeal. With Over 38.5 Games the industry line for Alcaraz v Djokovic. And that marker is also available for Ruud v Zverev.

I’m proposing main bets on those two Over 38.5 Total Games picks (eg. 2-point stake on each). And a couple of smaller singles at 14/1 and 12/1 for each match to be decided by a fifth-set tiebreak (eg. 0.5 pt each).


Ones to Watch picks - French Open

See above for full details

Men’s Semi Finals:

Carlos Alcaraz v Novak Djokovic

  • Main bet. Total Games: Over 38.5 Games @ 10/11 (1.91) Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, 20/23 (1.87) BetVictor, Unibet, 17/20 (1.85) William Hill, 5/6 (1.83) Bet365, Skybet, Boylesports

  • Smaller bet. Go the Distance to a 5th-Set Tiebreak? Yes @ 14/1 Bet365, Skybet

Casper Ruud v Alexander Zverev

  • Main bet. Total Games: Over 38.5 Games @ 5/6 (1.83) Skybet, 4/5 (1.8) Paddy Power, Betfair Sportsbook, Betway, 8/11 (1.73) Betfred, 7/10 (1.7) William Hill

  • Smaller bet. Go the Distance to a 5th-Set Tiebreak? Yes @ 12/1 Bet365, Skybet


Play starts from 1.45pm, with Alcaraz v Djokovic, followed by Ruud v Zverev.

You can watch the French Open live on Eurosport.

I’ll be back tomorrow morning with your Day 14 email, looking at the Women’s Final.

Want to get in touch? Email me at:

Enjoy the tennis…

Best wishes,

Tom Wilson

Oliver Upstone

Ones to Watch