Novak Djokovic is the French Open men’s singles favourite and understandably so given that he is 37-3 this season and the world number one, a position that he has held for the best part of two years. But do you want to back Djokovic at odds on? There are three reasons for swerving Djokovic.
First, Djokovic arrives at the French Open off a loss to Murray in Internazionali BNL d’Italia men’s singles final. Djokovic lost 3-6 3-6 to Murray in the ATP World Masters 1000 event’s championship match and the Serbian had needed tie-break triumphs to defeat Rafael Nadal and Kei Nishikori in earlier rounds. Djokovic is not playing as well as one would expect of someone with a 37-3 record for the term.
Second, the French Open men’s singles draw put Nadal, who is the obvious threat to Djokovic and Murray, in the same half as the Serbian. Djokovic could meet Nadal in the French Open men’s singles semi-finals and the nine-time Roland Garros champion has rediscovered something like his old form.
And third, does the French Open men’s singles title mean a little too much to Djovokic? Andre Agassi, Don Budge, Roy Emerson, Roger Federer, Rod Laver, Nadal and Fred Perry have achieved what is known as a career grand slam and Djokovic requires a Roland Garros title to join that exclusive club. Djokovic was the raging French Open men’s singles favourite 12 months ago but, after hanging tough to defeat Murray 6-3 6-3 5-7 5-7 6-1 in the semi-finals, he collapsed against Stan Wawrinka in the all-important decider, losing 6-4 4-6 3-6 4-6. Djokovic’s mental state regarding the French Open men’s singles has to be a cause for concern because, to all intents and purposes, success at Roland Garros is all that stands between him and being ranked as one of the greats.
The French Open men’s singles draw could not have been kinder to Andy Murray had the Briton programmed the IBM computer so he is the pre-tournament play at odds of +400 with many bookmakers, including Bet365 and Ladbrokes.
Odds on, look on is one’s suggestion regarding Djokovic in the French Open men’s singles. Murray, who is 22-5 this season and more comfortable on clay than ever before, is sufficiently big odds at +400 to be one’s futures pick.
Murray was 0-4 against Djokovic on clay before he took out the Internazionali BNL d’Italia men’s singles final and one thinks that result, albeit versus an opponent who had had a tougher route to the title match, must have given a huge boost to the Briton’s confidence. If Murray meets Djokovic in the French Open men’s singles decider then one suspects that, for once, most of the pressure would be on the Serbian rather than the Briton even though neither of the childhood friends has won the Roland Garros tournament previously.
The French Open women’s singles is no-bet territory in light of the draw. Serena Williams does not have an easy passage but, frustratingly, it is impossible to construct a strong case for any of the other players towards the top of the French Open women’s singles market – all of them have lost matches recently that they were expected to win and win with something to spare. Williams will have her backers at what are tempting odds given her imposing career record but one thinks that some markets are best left alone entirely.
Andy Murray to win the French Open
22nd May – 5th June 2016