The French Open is the second Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year and is just a few weeks away. Bookmakers cannot see anyone other than Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic lifting aloft the Coupe des Mousquetaires (pictured above) at Roland Garros this year.
At the conclusion of April, Nadal and Djokovic sported identical men’s singles records for the year of 26 wins and two losses. Nadal’s defeats were against the Serb and Horacio Zeballos, whilst Juan Martin Del Potro and Tommy Haas inflicted Djokovic’s losses. Little wonder then that bookmakers are almost inviting French Open punters to nominate their own odds about any other male player.
Any discussion of the 2013 French Open men’s singles has to begin with Nadal since the Spaniard has won the title seven times and his career Roland Garros record is 52 wins and one losses. Robin Soderling is the only man to have beaten Nadal at Roland Garros, the Swede beating the Spaniard 6-2, 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 7-6 (7-2) in the fourth round in 2009. Soderling went on to reach the final, which he lost to the great Roger Federer.
But quite how Nadal is the 2013 French Open men’s singles favourite ahead of Djokovic is bewildering, particularly given the result of the recent Monte Carlo Masters match between the superstars. Djokovic beat Nadal 6-2, 7-6 (7-1), the Serb converting five of his 12 break points and murdering the Spaniard whenever he received his second service winning 69% of points when Nadal played a second serve with Rafa only able to win 7 points for the match when he missed his first serve.
It is not only the bare scoreline but also the manner of Nadal’s loss to Djokovic that should dissuade anyone from backing the Spaniard to win his eighth French Open men’s singles crown at odds of around evens. Nadal was exhausted by the end of the 112-minute clash, which does not bode well for his chances of winning a Grand Slam event requiring 7 straight victories in the long best-of-five-set match format.
Djovokic is trading at odds of around 8-5 to win his first French Open men’s singles title and become the eighth player to win all four men’s Grand Slam singles titles. Fred Perry (1935) was the first, followed by Don Budge (1938), Rod Laver (1962), Roy Emerson (1964), Andrew Agassi (1999), Federer (2009) and Nadal (2010) – that is one extremely illustrious list.
There are no question marks regarding Djokovic’s fitness – most tennis analysts would say that he is the fittest man on the ATP Tour – and his Monte Carlo Masters defeat of Nadal was comprehensive. Also, Djokovic has won three of his last six clay-court clashes with Nadal and had his chances to win last year’s French Open men’s singles decider.
With there being a decent chance that Nadal and Djokovic will end up in the same half of the 2013 French Open men’s singles draw, now is a good time to have a speculative bet on one of the outsiders with a view to trading it as the tournament progresses. Clay is David Ferrer’s preferred surface so he appeals at generally available odds of 33-1.
Serena Williams is the 2013 French Open women’s singles favourite as the World No.1, 15-time Grand Slam singles champion and currently sporting a 25-2 win-loss record this year. If the American brings her best game to Paris, she will take a lot of beating.
But Williams does not love playing on clay and her Roland Garros record – one title all the way back in 2002 since her first appearance in 1998 – is terrible in comparison to her record at the Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.
It has been 11 years since Williams lifted aloft the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen and since then has progressed to the semi finals on just one occasion – in 2003. Consequently, 2013 French Open women’s singles punters should be looking to oppose the favourite. Neither Victoria Azarenka nor Maria Sharapova appeal at their respective odds of around 9-2 and 5-1 respectively based on Azarenka never reaching the semi finals and Sharapova’s one final in her 10 years of bids for the women’s singles title.
If one has an account with a betting exchange, one could simply lay Williams, Azarenka and Sharapova. However, if one is looking to back one or more 2013 French Open women’s singles competitors, Li Na is interesting at odds of around 10-1 having won the 2011 edition and taken part in the 2013 Australian Open final four months ago. Added to this, if you bet on your mobile you can claim a first time bonus bet, (applies to all customers not just new accounts) and enhance the EV of the bet. In other words, you are betting on a profitable bet with free money.
Other 2013 French Open women’s singles outsiders to consider include the Italians – Sara Errani at odds of around 28-1 and Francesca Schiavone at odds of around 150-1. They love clay and could trade at much, much lower prices in play.
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