The question on everyone’s lips at Roland Garros for the 123rd French Open is can anyone stop Spaniard Rafael Nadal from making it an unprecedented 12th title?
Nadal and the young pretender
To understand the dominance Rafael Nadal has enjoyed at the French Open, one only needs to look at his odds to win this year’s second grand slam event.
Prior to the tournament, the 32-year-old can be backed at 1/1 with popular sportsbooks and victory over world number one Novak Djokovic in the Italian Open final has only gone to strengthen Nadal’s position as the king of clay.
Eleven titles at Roland Garros since 2005 means it is impossible to look beyond the Spaniard for the outright title, although for value, it is worth looking elsewhere.
One player to watch out for is 2018 finalist Dominic Thiem.
The 25-year-old Austrian has already claimed victory on the ATP Tour this season on clay, at the Barcelona Open last month, and his rise into the world’s top four has been a well-deserved and rapid one.
Thiem will be know the French is his best chance of landing a major title sooner rather than later and anything other than another semi-final berth would be a huge disappointment.
At +600 with 888Sport , the Austrian is well worth a closer look.
What of Federer and Djokovic?
The French Open is the least of Roger Federer’s most successful grand slam events.
In fact, he has only ever won one (2009) which is proof enough of his preference to focus on grass and hard-court surfaces.
Federer can be backed at +2000 with 888Sport in the outright betting which may be tempting and is certainly backing as an outsider, but only as that.
This will be 37-year-old’s first French Open since 2015 but he is still not guaranteed to compete after pulling out of the Madrid Open with a leg injury just last week.
Understandably, world number one Novak Djokovic enters the tournament as second favourite with online betting sites and like Federer, is seeking only his second French Open title.
However, Novak is a 15-time grand slam winner and to reach the final is the minimum expectation.
|Juan Martin Del Potro|
Facts and figures
Rafael Nadal is seeking his 12th French Open title at the iconic Roland Garros.
This will be the 123rd French Open tournament in which Britain H Briggs won the first ever title in 1891 (although it was not a grand slam event back then).
The venue is named after French aviator and world war one fighter pilot Roland Garros.
In 1968, the French Open became the first grand slam to become and Open event.
Unsurprisingly, Rafael Nadal is the defending champion.