The ATP World Tour and the WTA rolled into Roland Garros on Sunday for the start of the French Open, the year’s second Grand Slam.
Rafael Nadal is the big favourite to take the men’s tournament once again, with the Spaniard looking to secure the title for the fourth time in a row.
Nadal beat Novak Djokovic three sets to one in his most recent triumph in Paris and his impressive record as he has already won the event seven times in total, with the other four titles coming in consecutive years between 2005 and 2008.
This dominance on clay has earned him the nickname of ‘King of the Clay’ and few would bet against him matching Max Decugis’ record of eight French Open wins come the final in two weeks’ time.
The world number four has already had an outstanding season, winning six titles before the commencement of the French Open.
After being forced to miss the first Grand Slam of the season, the Australian Open, due to a stomach virus, Nadal reached the final of the Brazil Open, defeating David Nalbandian. He then won his next event, the Abierto Mexicano Telcel also played on clay, beating David Ferrer in the final.
He then defeated Juan Martín del Potro to take the Indian Wells Masters in America and also won the Barcelona Open title at the end of April. Nadal has also had success in the ATP Masters 1000 events earlier this month, winning both the Mutua Madrid Open and Rome Masters.
His stunning recent form and outstanding reputation on clay has put him some way ahead the rest of the field in the betting stakes, with Sky Bet and Paddy Power offering the best odds of 8/11 to take his eighth French Open.
The bookies clearly think it will either be Nadal or Djokovic who will take the title with the rest of the field priced at very long odds.
The Serb will be looking to exact revenge on Nadal for last year’s defeat and goes into the tournament after ending the Spaniard’s eight year run at the Monte Carlo Masters, after he won 6-2, 7-6 in the final back in April.
Paddy Power are offering the best odds on a Djokovic French Open win, with the world number one being priced at 11/4 with them.
The women’s tournament is expected to be far more open, with six different winners tasting success over the past six years.
Serena Williams is favourite to take the title although the last time she won the tournament was back in 2002. The American has had a good season so far this year and after beating Georgian Anna Tatishvili in the first round on Sunday, the best price available is with Bet 365 and Ladbrokes at 4/5.
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