It’s time to seriously start considering Austrian hotshot Dominic Thiem as the heir-apparent to Rafa Nadal‘s French Open legacy, as the 24-year-old closes in on an unlikely triumph at Roland-Garros.
Following his straight-sets quarter-final win over Alexander Zverev, Thiem now faces a semi-final with the tournament’s surprise package Marco Cecchinato, who managed to halt Novak Djokovic’s return to form in the previous round.
Cecchinato might have the momentum, and the feel-good underdog story behind him, but he’d never managed to win a single main event match at a Grand Slam before this competition, and you’d have to back No.7 seed Thiem to take advantage of his inexperience.
The odds compilers at 888sport price Thiem as 1/9 favourite to reach the final, and face a probable showdown with the King of Clay Nadal.
But whilst you won’t make much money backing Thiem to see off Cecchinato, you could make a pretty penny backing the 24-year-old to win the competition overall.
He’s currently second favourite behind Nadal at a tasty 4/1 – which isn’t bad given he’s already a massive favourite to reach the final.
The big-hitting Austrian has been making waves with his powerful performances this year, and has now made the semi-finals for the third consecutive French Open – and this could well be the year where he goes even further.
Thiem is the only player on the men’s circuit to have beaten Nadal on clay both this season and last (Rome in 2017 and at the Madrid Masters last month), and he has won more matches on clay (25-5) than any other male player in 2018.
With odds of 4/1 still available via 888sport for a player with one foot in the final, it might be time to rethink just how much you fancy Nadal to retain his crown this weekend.