Roland Garros Final Preview and Odds – Zverev vs Alcaraz

by Simon Zeitler
zverev vs alcaraz final

The 2024 Roland Garros Men’s final is all set and promises to be a nail-biter – Alexander “Sascha” Zverev against Carlos “Carlitos” Alcaraz. The clash between the German and the Spaniard is the first final in two decades without Federer, Nadal or Djokovic, which makes this encounter feel like the start of a new era. But who will take their maiden Roland Garros title?

Let’s look into the details, predictions and the best odds for Alcaraz vs Zverev in the final on Sunday!

Their way into the final and their season so far:

For both men the season had its ups and downs, but I don’t think that it comes as a surprise that either of them made their way to their first Roland Garros final. The German No. 1 won the Rome Masters just before Paris, so he naturally was one of the favorites coming into this one. Plus, he already had reached his first AO semifinal earlier this year. The little dip towards the spring just shows how hard these fully packed seasons are, where there is little to no breathing room for the top players in between tournaments.

Zverev’s 2024 Roland Garros of course started with maybe the match of the tournament, his first-round encounter with Rafa Nadal. Highly anticipated, and followed live by Novak even, he beat the greatest clay player of all time in straight sets, before giving Nadal a suitable stage for his (potential) good-bye from Paris. Zverev then followed up with another straight-set victory against Goffin, before falling back into his “old routine” of playing five-setters at Majors. Against in-form opponents Griekspoor and Rune he did proof his newly found mental fortitude, before beating De Minaur and Ruud on his way to the final.

For Carlos Alcaraz the way up to the second Major of the year wasn’t quite as smooth. Sustaining a forearm injury during his successful Sunshine Double campaign, he had to pull out of most of the bigger clay tournaments of this year. So, when he entered the 2024 Roland Garros draw, nobody knew what to expect really and after a clear victory against JJ Wolf, he seemed to struggle early against Jesper DeJong. But Alcaraz picked up his game and seemed to be drastically improving throughout the rounds, beating Korda, Auger-Aliassime and Tsitsipas all without dropping a single set.

His semifinal encounter with Jannik Sinner was one of these matches we live for as tennis fans and nerds – continuously up-and-down between both players, with extraordinaire shots from both. After falling behind badly in the first set, Alcaraz changed his playing style and came back against a struggling Sinner, who looked close to cramping for some time. In the end, it seemed that the Spaniard was playing more relaxed and came out on top in five sets.

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The interesting case of their head-to-head:

Now, both players seem to be in shape and striving, but who is the favorite in this final? Their head-to-head is a bit of a curious case, with Zverev leading the way 5-4 in total. But while the victories for the German seemed to be hard-fought and long matches, the Spaniard won his victories mostly in straight sets and more clear results. Some tennis nerds even went as far and analyzed the conditions at the previous events, stating that Zverev seems to be the favorite at the Paris climate.

I personally watched both their Australian Open and their Indian Wells matches live, and I would rather say the following – Zverev will mainly decide which way this will go. His path to victory as clear as ever, he needs to go out and attack close to the baseline. It is a never-ending story for the German, who tends to be too passive in important moments. But against Carlos Alcaraz this will be even more important, as the Spanish prodigy likes to be in charge and enjoy playing with his opponents.

If Zverev can serve well, attack from his backhand and have Alcaraz reacting instead of acting, this will be a very interesting matchup. But certainly, the best-of-five modus and surface will come to the German’s help, who plays his best tennis on clay. Interestingly enough for a Spanish player, Alcaraz seems to prefer the faster surfaces like hard and grass. But he grew up playing on clay and will surely have some aces up his sleeve, nevertheless.

But for Carlos, the way to victory is to keep Zverev far behind the baseline and running, so expect some high launch topspin shots from him, paired with his signature drop-shots.

Zverev loves the clay

Predictions and Odds for Alcaraz vs Zverev

I expected this matchup to be even amongst bettors, but the odds actually favor Carlos Alcaraz heavily at 1.33, with Zverev being the clear underdog at 3.40. One might say that the Spaniard is a two-time Grand Slam champion and Zverev choked heavily last time he was in this position, but the clay shape and preparation all favor Zverev even.

So at these odds it is a pretty interesting bet on Zverev, who I personally expect to win this in four or five sets this time around. 

Another interesting bet is a +1.5 Hcp bet on Zverev which gives 2.15 | +115 in odds at most of the tennis sportsbooks.

What do you think? Will we see another Alcaraz title or can the German giant finally fulfill his lifelong dream? Let’s see your opinion in the comments!

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