A historic matchup is on tap Friday in the 2019 French Open semifinals when Rafael Nadal, the 11-time champion at Roland Garros, plays Roger Federer, owner of 20 Grand Slam titles. Nadal cruised into the semis with an easy win over Kei Nishikori, while Federer needed four sets to eliminate fellow Swiss contender Stan Wawrinka. Nadal has owned Federer on clay, winning 13 of 15 matches and all five at the French Open. But they have not faced each other on clay since 2013. Sportsbooks list Nadal as a -750 favorite (risk $750 to win $100), with Federer getting +540 (risk $100 to win $540) as the underdog in the latest Federer vs. Nadal odds. The over-under on sets is 3.5, the over-under on games is 27, and Nadal is favored by 6.5 games overall. Before you make any Federer vs. Nadal picks or 2019 French Open predictions, you’ll want to see what Sean Calvert picked, given the streak he’s on.
An internationally-acclaimed tennis journalist, Calvert is crushing the 2019 French Open. He predicted Nadal would destroy Nishikori, recommending Nadal -9.5 games and their second set to last fewer than 8.5 games. The result? Nadal breezed to a 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 victory, handing two easy cashes to anyone who followed Calvert’s advice. Calvert also said Federer would take care of Wawrinka, and that’s exactly what happened.
It’s no surprise, as Calvert has been cashing consistently for six years. Among his legendary calls: Dominic Thiem to win Indian Wells this year at 80-1, Jack Sock to win the 2017 Paris Masters at 80-1, and Wawrinka to win the 2014 Australian Open at 60-1.
Now, Calvert has broken down Nadal vs. Federer, combining detailed statistical analysis and his years covering the sport to produce three best bets on this titanic matchup. Two of the picks are plus-money bets, with one paying out at 2.5-1. He’s sharing them over at SportsLine.
Calvert knows Nadal’s topspin is lethal on clay, “where he can get the ball to kick up off the surface higher than he can on slick, lower-bouncing hard courts.
“Another factor in Nadal’s favor is that presumably this match will be played on the vast Chatrier Court that has acres of space behind the baseline for Nadal to retrieve,” Calvert told SportsLine. “And of course the surface is slower, taking the sting out of Fed’s ground strokes.”
That said, the 33-year-old Nadal “doesn’t look quite the player he was,” Calvert continued. “We saw in Madrid that a single-hander [Stefanos Tsitsipas] can take on Nadal successfully on clay, with aggressive court positioning and positive, attacking tennis.”
With the match set for Friday (time TBD) instead of Thursday, the 37-year-old Federer — playing in his first French Open since 2015 — will have plenty of time to recover from his tough four-setter against Wawrinka.
Calvert has taken into account all of these factors, and many more you haven’t thought of. Not only is he confident he has the winner, but he’s betting on how long the match lasts, how long the first set lasts and how many games one player wins.
Who wins Federer vs. Nadal? And exactly how long does the match last? Visit SportsLine now to see Sean Calvert’s three best bets on Nadal vs. Federer, all from the uncanny expert who’s crushing his 2019 French Open picks.