This year’s French Open has duly delivered some great matches already. With a few special performances and some incredible “grinding,” it is great to see some of the contenders play. What has also been useful has been to see which seeds are definitely not comfortable with the conditions.
Betting on a top seed to lose is worth a fortune for you accumulators while knowing who to back or lay against can save you a fortune on the markets. This article should help with both.
Nadal clear Favourite and looks Unstoppable
The first few rounds of a grand slam for the champion contenders are guranteed victories. There are very few upsets early on for the top 5 although casualties can be expected. My focus here will be on Nadal and Djokovic. Nadal is currently 8/13 On to win yet another French Open. The king of Clay, Rafa the Gaffer has had the edge over Djokovic on the clay court season but more improtantly has found a way to counteract Djokovic’s cross court backhand. This was Novak’s big tactic against the Spaniard.
Djokovic himself has looked all right. I still feel like he is conserving his energy and is trying to find a way to ‘turn it on’ during the big matches. Something Pete Sampras perfected. The Serb has clearly not perfected this tactic yet although I do believe his focus is more on Grand Slams than anything else. Djokovic himself said that the heavier ball “suits my game,” I think Nadal has a little extra and should beat Djokovic to the title. A great test for the Djokovic will comes when he potentially plays Verdasco in the 4th round.
My outside call for the championship definitely comes in the form of Tomas Berdych. The Czech man has had a very impressive clay court season and did a great job of pushing Nadal very hard in Rome. The World No. #7 is middling his groundstrokes regularly and will not be easy to dismiss especially with the heavier conditions. If the weather turns a little cold and wet then I can see him taking down both Federer and Djokovic to reach the final. Great each way bet considering his odds are 33/1 by most bookmakers.
Which Big Men could fall?
Despite the first 2 rounds nearly over, we can definitely see that some seeds do not look comfortable. Gilles Simon is seeded 11th and took 5 sets to oust Brian Baker from the USA. Simon let a 2 set lead slip before Baker ran out of gas. I can see him slipping up next against Wawrinka despite the Swiss No. #2′s inconsistency.
I hate the say this with the Jubilee being so close but Andy Murray looks a little edgey. With a heavier ball, the Scot has even less chance of hitting a winner. Murray is battling a back injury, or so he says, and another encounter with his Rome conqueror, Richard Gasquet, in the 4th round could spell trouble for Murray. The British No. #1 seems out of sorts on clay this year and I hope he surprises me, but it could be an early bath for him.
Muhammad Ali look-alike, Jo Wilfried Tsonga, is the World No. #5 and a crowd favourite. The most entertaining player of the current game in my opinion with his huge serve and massive forehand means that a lot is expected of him. However, Tsonga has never truly delivered in front of his home fans for 2 reasons. His game-style matches up terribly with the slow conditions and he loses his concentration too easily against lesser opponents. Tsonga is right now in a battle with an unknown German player and I think he will win but it will be a typical tough performance that will cost him later on. Luckily though he seems to have very little in the way of difficult opponents coming his way until the 4th round.
Well folks I’ll leave you with my potential upsets for Thursday’s matches. A great addition to any accumulator.
Sergiy Stakhovsky over Tommy Haas- 9/4- Bill Hill
Santiago Giraldo over Bernard Tomic (had a very close 3 setter recently)- 11/10 Sporting Bet
Robin Haase over Makhail Youzhny- 11/8 by Stan James and Bet365