Many an offshore bookmaker might wonder why the French Open tennis tournament is named after an aviator, but there is no wondering who the odds-on favorite to win the second Grand Slam of the 2017 season is. Here’s a clue, though; the Roland Garros is the premier clay court tennis championship in the world, and this tennis player is known as the King of Clay.
The Spaniard has won three straight outdoor clay tournaments; the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters and the Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell in April, and the Mutua Madrid Open in May – the latter in which he defeated Novak Djokovic in the semifinals. Non Serbian, that’s Nadal’s motto. The Spanish racketman is the most winning player in the history of the French Open with nine titles, as well as the most dominant in the past 12 years. Nadal has lost only two matches in La Ville Lumière and has a .973 winning percentage at the Stade Roland Garros.
The Serb has been experiencing a bit of Ozymandias melancholia after winning the 2016 edition of the tournament. On the one hand, that French Open victory made him the eighth player in history to achieve the Career Grand Slam and the third to hold all four major titles at the same time – and first to accomplish it on three different surfaces. On the other hand, it left him with no more challenges to overcome. Even Wikipedia describes Djokovic’s 2017 season with the words “mediocre results.” You know you’re in bad shape when you get punked by a Wiki editor. Nevertheless, Nole is the second offshore bookmaker choice to win.
(Sir) Andy Murray
The Scot is still searching for his first Roland Garros title after losing the 2016 final to the aforementioned Djokovic – and also after failing as well to secure his first Aussie Open. The World No. 1 won the the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships in February but the rest of his season has been pretty uneventful. According to the Daily Mirror, Murray admitted that he needed to be concerned following his 6-3, 6-3 loss to No. 59 Borna Coric at the Madrid Open.
The Stanimal won the 2015 French Open and last year’s US Open, and made the semis of the Australian Open where he lost to fellow Swiss Roger Federer – who also beat Wawrinka in the final of the BNP Paribas Open.
And speaking of the Fed, no self-respecting offshore bookmaker will give him a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the 2017 Roland Garros – presumably because he won’t be in it. Federer withdraw from the French Open for the second straight year in order to prepare for the grass-court season. Hey, a lot of people like grass, particularly when they’re listening to the Grateful Dead. Moreover, Fed is to grass what Nad is to clay, so it’s understandable that he’ll stick to his preferred battleground. Or maybe he’s just trying to avoid falling into a French Open-induced, Djokovic-like depression.