French Open Preview 2017May 23, 2017
Preview of the 2017 French Open
The attention of the tennis world turns to Roland Garros next week for the French Open Tennis Championship. The second major of the year is always a fascinating one, perhaps more so this year, with the resurgence of all-time greats Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. However, in a pre-tournament shock, 2017 Australian Open champion Federer has opted to skip the tournament in order to prepare himself for a full tilt at Wimbledon.
The clock has officially been turned back 5 – 10 years in the Men’s game. After battling form and injury woes over the past 5 years, clay-court king Nadal is back in the sort of form that has seen him win 9 times at Roland Garros. Recent wins in lead up tournaments at Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid have led global betting company Bet365 to instil Nadal as the $1.80 favourite.
Perhaps even more surprising than Nadal’s resurgence has been Federer’s return to prominence in 2017. After serving his longest break from the game during the latter half of 2016, the Swiss maestro has been the best-performed player on tour in 2017. Alas, we will have to wait til Wimbledon to see if that form continues.
Next in betting for the Men’s French Open is Novak Djokovic. It is only 12 months ago that Djokovic was the toast of the tennis world, with talk of him eclipsing Federer’s Grand Slam record. However, a surprising form lapse in 2016 has extended into 2017. There have been casualties along the way too, Djokvic split from long-time coach Boris Becker at the end of 2016, and only recently sacked his full support crew. Djokovic is rated a $4 chance for to win at Roland Garros.
The next two fancies are Andy Murray and Dominic Thiem. Murray is a fixture in the semi finals at nearly all of the Grand Slams, Thiem however, has never featured so high up in French Open betting. His victory over Rafael Nadal in Rome last week has seen him catapulted to equal 3rd favourite at $10.
Looking outside the main fancies, it’s amazing that 2016 French Open Champion and 3-time major winner Stan Wawrinka is quoted at $13. As mentioned in our preview of the Australian Open, Wawrinka is just as likely to win a major as Andy Murray, only he is even more adept on clay than Murray. If someone is to upset Nadal, our money would be on Wawrinka.
Australian Nick Kyrgios is enjoying his best season to date, he also performs well on clay. There is perhaps some value to be had at the $34.
Where the Men’s draw is interesting for the return of Nadal, the Women’s is equally intriguing now that 2015 champion Serena Williams has withdrawn. Williams’ absence means that the 2017 title is wide open. Romanian Simona Halep is the $4.20 favourite, with Elina Svitolina at $8 and 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza at $11.
It’s hard to go past Nadal in the Men’s event. However, at the odds, Wawrinka represents terrific value. In the Women’s, last year’s winner and world number 5 has arguably better claims that Halep, however, she is at far better odds of $11.