Tennis – French Open Preview

 

 

 

 

 

Below is my take on who I think are the main 4 contenders in both the Men’s and Women’s French open Tournament. Let’s hope it’s a great Roland Garros!

MENS

Nadal (1.73) – Playing very well but not at his invincible best.  Djokovic had chances against him but taking enough to win a 3 set match may prove even more difficult.
Djokovic  (4.3) – We all know how good Djokovic is on this surface and although he has lost to Nadal on slow clay twice recently, the first can be ignored because his mind was elsewhere and the second was a much closer match than the scoreboard suggested.
Federer (11) – No chance for Fed on this surface. I know he beat Djokovic here last year but I can’t see it happening again and no chance versus Nadal.
Ferrer (48) – Has impressed me recently. He has been close to taking a set of Nadal and his level is as close as it’s ever been to his in my opinion. Whether he’ll mentally ever believe he can beat Nadal though I’m not convinced.

Verdict – Dutch Nadal and Djokovic for around 20% return. I’ll be amazed if the winner comes from elsewhere. Don’t waste your money on Murray, Del Potro, Tsonga, Raonic, Isner as they just don’t cut it on this surface and as for talented clay courters like Almagro, Warinka, Simon and Monaco and Verdasco, they are just that talented but lack the mental strength to win a best of 5 set match in a grand slam against the very best.

Look out for – Brian Baker.  I’ve won loads recently backing the comeback kid and would love to see him have a good run here. Let’s be honest he has no chance of competing with the likes of Nadal and Djokovic yet but hopefully we may see him produce a good little run and get some juicy odds in the process.
WOMENS
Serena (3.35) – Looked great on clay recently and massively determined. I don’t expect her to win and I don’t think she should be favourite but her winning wouldn’t surprise you the form she is in.
Azarenka (4.9) – Will be there or thereabouts. If Sharapova and Serena don’t turn up then Azarenka could stroll to victory but she’s definitely beatable.
Sharapova  (7.8) – Playing arguably the best tennis of her career at the moment. She is moving better than ever and I would say mentally she up there with Serena as the strongest player. She hammered Azarenka on clay the last time they met and most of the time her serve looks unbreakable.
Kvitova (19) – Doesn’t have enough desire for me. Great serve and good ground strokes but poor movement and will be exposed here.
Verdict – Really like Sharapova at 7.8 here as she’s playing the best I’ve ever seen her play on clay and for long periods her game is devastating.  Never thought I’d be backing her in this tournament but she’s improved her game on this surface so much. In women’s tennis you shouldn’t count anyone out as it’s that unpredictable at times and Li Na, Stosur are former winners here and could be worth a punt at 14 and 16.5.
Look out for – Mona Barthel. She’s the most promising young player on the tour. She has great technique and power and has twice been close to beating Azarenka this year. Very unlikely to go all the way as she lacks the experience but can cause a few upsets.