The second Grand Slam of this tennis season will be the 2015 French Open, and all eyes will be on Spain’s Rafael Nadal as he bids to win an unprecedented tenth French Open title. While Rafa has been struggling since his return from injury, many will expect the former world number one to return to winning ways on his favourite surface. The French Open is a tournament that Nadal has failed to win on just one occasion over the last ten years, and that is the main reason why he is the current 11/8 favourite to land the title in Betfair’s ante post betting market.
Rafa Nadal is the undisputed master of the clay court, but has his body now received one injury too many? The Spaniard’s main problem is his knees and with the clay courts being slightly less punishing on that part of the body, it allows Nadal a bit more freedom to get around the court with feeling the same level of pain. Whether or not Nadal can repeat his successes of previous years is open to question, but his attitude is sure to remain determined throughout the tournament.
His knee injuries apart, arguably the biggest threat to Rafael Nadal’s chances of winning the 2015 French Open will come in the form of world number one and recent Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic. The Serb destroyed Andy Murray in the Aussie Open final, and will be desperate to add the French Open to his list of Grand Slam achievements. Djokovic has already captured Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open, and it is just the French that now alludes the world’s very best tennis player.
Novak has shown improvement as time has gone on at Rolland Garros, and having reach the French Open final in two of the last four years, it would be no surprise to see him reach the latter stages once again in 2015. It has been Nadal, who has defeated Djokovic in both the 2012 and 2014 finals, and if the reigning champion is not at his best, Djokovic will be sure to take full advantage. Novak Djokovic is currently a 6/4 chance with Betfair to be crowned 2015 French Open champion.
Outside of the big two, the betting market takes a massive jump to 2014 Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka at odds of 16/1. That victory in Australia was the world number eight’s only Grand Slam win and Wawrinka appears to be playing his very best tennis at this latter stage of his career. Stan’s most dangerous weapon is undoubtedly his backhand, and that has been seen to great effect in recent months and was particularly prevalent during his run to the semi finals of this year’s Australian Open.
Wawrinka is not quite the same player on clay and exited the tournament at the first round stage in 2014, but that may well have been due in part to the hangover from winning his first Grand Slam title. At 29 years of age, Stanislas Wawrinka should be at his peak as a professional tennis player, and may well be a decent outside bet for the upcoming French Open.