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Rafa rightly favourite but young guns will challenge

Rafa rightly favourite but young guns will challenge


The main draw of the French Open gets underway on Sunday and the usual suspects are again lining up to do battle on the iconic Parisian clay.

Rafael Nadal has been almost immaculate at Roland Garros during his career, winning on nine of the 12 occasions he has entered the tournament and his recent wins in Monaco, Barcelona and Madrid make him hard to look past as the 4/5 favourite.

However, the Spaniard’s injury woes ensure there are always doubts over the ‘King of Clay’s’ ability to last over the two weeks of a Grand Slam but his record and current form undoubtedly make him the man to beat.

Nadal’s prowess on clay means his awkward draw will not faze him but he is likely to have to get past holder Novak Djokovic in the semis if he is to win the tournament. The Serb has been well off the pace since finally winning the French Open 12 months ago but could be inspired by having Andre Agassi in his corner.

A price of 16/5 still looks a bit short though, especially when you consider the man he lost to in last week’s final in Rome, Alexander Zverev is 16/1.

The German appears part of the new guard of players ready to take over, a crop which also includes Dominic Thiem. Having gone close over the previous two weeks, the Austrian beat Nadal in the Italian capital and like Zverev offers value at 10/1.

2015 champion Stan Wawrinka’s form has been mixed in 2017 but he is always dangerous and is a tempting 14/1, while 40/1 hope Juan Martin del Potro is one of the few who can scare the top players, despite his game not ideally being suited to clay.

Unfortunately for the Brits, Andy Murray appears unlikely to go all the way. The 12/1 shot has struggled this year and has yet to justify his number one ranking. Although he has been bullish about his chances, a maiden Grand Slam title on clay looks beyond him.

Of course there will be a yearning for a home winner and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils will both be hoping to become the first Frenchman to win the title since Yannick Noah in 1983. The pair are priced at 75/1 meaning the wait looks set to go on but one man who could make a big splash is Monte-Carlo finalist Albert Ramos-Vinolas, who is a surprisingly long 100/1.

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Jack Ogalbe Jack has been a sports betting writer for over a decade and has an excellent strike rate with his suggestions. A semi-professional footballer, runner and cyclist, his sports knowledge is second to none and he knows all the stats and facts you need when considering a punt.