As spring moves into
summer, the tennis world packs its bags for Paris and the strange red clay of
Roland Garros. Sports Interaction betting analyst Frank Doyle weighs up the
contenders for the 2012 French Open!
year’s French Open looks like a two-horse race between Rafa Nadal and Novak
Djokovic. Nadal is the -120 favorite, Djokovic is +275 and it’s +600 the field
after that. The big four of Djokovic, Nadal, Federer and Murray has now
separated into a big two.
it’s not hard to understand why, for this tournament at least. The clay courts
of Paris suit Nadal perfectly – Nadal has only lost once at Roland Garros, to
Robin Soderling in 2009. He’s 45-1 in all matches at Roland Garros in his
career, with six titles to show for seven years. Nadal comes to Paris in hot
form, having won the Italian Open on May 20th.
Djokovic, the World Number 1, is Nadal’s chief rival of course, and has the
year’s first grand slam under his belt already, having beaten Andy Murray in the
Australian Open final. The French Open doesn’t suit him however – not only has
he never won, he’s never got past the semis.
Djokovic was almost unstoppable last year, he’s been beaten five times already
this year. Is it a loss of form, or has
decided that he needs to concentrate on the Slam events? Paris will reveal a
lot. As the only Slam he hasn’t won, did Djokovic put “win the French Open” on
his list of things-to-do for 2012?
has only won the French Open once, when Soderling opened it up with his defeat
of Nadal in 2009, but it’s clear that the Swiss would have won at least one or
two more had Nadal not been around. The clashes between Nadal and Federer have
been tennis at its most enthralling, but the Fed’s powers are on the wane and
bettors do not have the same faith in him that they once did.
is still ranked Number 3 in the world – while he might have enough magic in his
racquet to see of either Nadal or Djokovic, to win the French Open he’s got to
deal with both. Right now, that’s a big ask for Roger Federer.
Murray is no longer considered part of the big four on the evidence of these
Sports Interaction odds. Juan Martin Del Porto, the Argentinean winner of 2009
US Open, is fourth favorite at +1400, ahead of Murray at +2000. People who
think the Scotsman has the stuff of champions haven’t seen so big a price on him in years – can he deliver in Paris?