The 2013 French Open gets underway in Paris this week, with the tournament making its customary Sunday start. The event marks the peak of the clay season, and the men’s draw and women’s draw promise to serve up two very different tournaments.
The French Open men’s draw looks like a straightforward two horse race. Only two players have been a formidable presence on clay this season, with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal dominating the clay circuit.
Earlier in the season it was Djokovic who was dominant, as the Serb managed to beat Nadal in the final of the Monte Carlo Masters, securing the first major clay title of the year. However, it’s been all Nadal since, as the Spaniard has claimed titles in Rome and Madrid.
Unless the draw contrives to pit these two against each other before the final, there’s a good chance they’ll be the men’s finalists. In the event one of them gets knocked out before the final, the other shoe-in for a place in the final is Roger Federer, who’s having a quiet season with no titles to day, but has all the experience he needs to reach the final.
Lower down the betting markets there are no serious title contenders. We can expect David Ferrer to make a sincere push for the semis, and then fail to go further. Andy Murray is out with an injury, and Juan Martin del Potro is not a natural clay player.
Only Stanislas Wawrinka, the losing finalist in the Madrid Open, looks capable of producing anything resembling an upset, and the Swiss player could be an option for an each-way bets for tennis fans betting on the tournament.
The women’s draw is different affair, with several players in the field capable of taking the title at Roland Garros.
Serena Williams is a strong favourite to win her second French Open title, having cleaned up in major clay court tournaments this season, including wins in the Family Circle Cup, the Madrid Open and the Rome Open.
There have been bit parts available for the likes of Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka and Jelena Jankovic, who have all lost to Wiliams in finals on clay this season, but have claimed some of the smaller clay court titles on offer in the WTA.
Sharapova is perhaps the strongest rival to Williams, having won the French Open in 2012, and having managed to claim the only other clay court title of any significance this season – the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart.
Jelena Jankovic is returning to a semblance of form, and is a gifted clay court player when she’s on top of her game. She could provide real value for long range each-way bets, as a favourable draw could easily deposit her in the final.
Another player worth keeping an eye on is 21 year old Russian player Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who has won a clay title this season, taken a title on hard courts and made the final of the 2013 Brisbane Open in Australia. She’s one of the up-and-coming stars of the WTA and is one to watch given the French Open’s penchant for producing upsets.
There’s lots of value on offer if you’re thinking of putting some money on the 2013 French Open. Rafael Nadal’s a banker for the men’s title given his recent form, and only an injury or an inspired performance by Novak Djokovic is likely to prevent him from claiming his 8th title.
The women’s draw throws up more possibilities. A lay bet against Serena Williams is one good option – as the American has a tendency to be eliminated when she starts tournaments as a strong favourite. Meanwhile players further down the betting markets offer some top odds if you’re using each way bets to cash in on your selection reaching the final of the tournament.
Gambling Guru will be providing coverage of the 2013 French Open for the next two weeks, including the latest French Open betting specials, the best odds on all the French Open tournament, and previews of selected high-profile French Open matches.
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