The 2015 French Open will have a different name etched on to it according to William Hill's Lee Phelps. Read on to find out which odds he has taken for his free betting pick.
If you have been betting on The French Open since 2005 I’m hoping you have backed Rafa Nadal a lot. The amazing Spaniard has won this title nine times in a decade, with only Roger Federer break the run (when Nadal was injured). So is this La Decima??
Before you start making your picks, fitness is crucial on clay, with long early round matches a negative. The other factor is not to look outside the top five seeds. Just two French Open finalists have come from outside the top five in the world, and both lost in the final. Robin Soderling (23rd seed) lost to Roger Federer in 2009, whilst the unseeded Mariano Puerta took the first set from Nadal in 2005 before succumbing in four sets.
I’m going to go through four of the favourites at most sportsbooks to find a winner.
Nadal remarkable Roland Garros record reads 66-1 – his solitary defeat coming against Robin Soderling. He has dominated this tournament in a way no other player in tennis history has managed.
This year hasn’t been good though. He has lost five matches on clay already with four of them in straight sets against Fabio Fognini, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Stan Wawrinka. He also lost in three to Fognini too.
Murray’s win in Madrid was his first Masters triumph on clay and he has had near perfect preparation for Roland Garros. I’m already a little worried about him being fatigued though having pulled out in Madrid. The main negative for me is his physical ability to stay in the tournament. He must not get into a long drawn out four or five setter early.
Last year he looked jaded against Nadal after giving up a two set lead against Gael Monfils to go five sets in the previous round.
Nishikori sits alongside Nadal and Djokovic in the top hold/break percentages, with all of them going over the 120% mark – a key indicator for clay success.
He has already won one tournament in Barcelona and is 10 and 2 on clay this season. The defeats have come against Murray in Madrid and Djokovic in Rome. But at double the price of Murray, with the right draw he could be a ‘surprise finalist’ here.
I’ve left the best until last here and I’m not surprising anyone given the world number one’s price (-125 favorite on the French Open odds board).
The Serb is having a superb 2015, losing just two of 31 matches this year. There are doubters though because he hasn’t won the French. Some say his dominance should have returned more than eight Grand Slam wins in five years. I simply don’t see anyone stopping him and I think he will still be boasting an ‘0’ come the end of this slam.
My two bets in the Men’s French Open are Djokovic to win at 1.8 (4/5) and Kei Nishikori to make the final. It’s an each way bet, so half the tennis odds at 17.0 (16/1) with my tennis picks.