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French Open Preview : Nadal Can Be the King Of Clay In Paris Again

Tennis Previews
Last Updated : 22nd May, 2018 By
Clay courts in Paris
May 27th 2018
Live on ITV and Eurosport
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Sometimes in sports betting it’s unwise to ignore the obvious even though there seems to be no value in the odds. Rafael Nadal is the world number one again and his chances cannot be underestimated in the French Open in Paris. The King of Clay has won the only Grand Slam tournament played on the surface 10 times and cannot be opposed for this year’s championship. You can back Nadal or other players using your bookmaker tennis free bet.

Nadal (4/9 with Ladbrokes)  has won each of the four majors at least once but the red dirt is his domain. He has the mentality and physical attributes to win the attritional matches which are characterised by long rallies. Clay is a slow surface which means the ball does not keep low and skid so players have time to recover when they appear to be out of rallies. Matches are played over five sets in the French Open and that suits Nadal. 

The Spanish player is one of four players who have dominated the Grand Slams over the last ten years. Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic (10/1 with Betfair) have achieved the career Grand Slam and Andy Murray has won three of the tournaments that matter most, including two titles at Wimbledon. Murray is still absent through injury but clay is not his best surface and he is unlikely to win a French Open. 

Last year Federer missed the European clay court season on the ATP tour but won the Wimbledon title for the eighth time. He has set a similar schedule this season so is not playing in Paris. Djokovic won the French Open in 2016 to complete the set but his form and fitness has dipped over the last two years. He has recently looked back to his best and as a proven player on clay can go deep in the draw in this major again. 

The form player to upset the favourite is Alexander Zverev (15/2 with Paddy Power) who is a potential Grand Slam title winner. However, Nadal beat him in the final of the Rome Masters in his last tournament and Zverev will find it a tough ask to reverse the form over five sets. Nadal is a better clay court player so should beat his nearest rival for the title when they meet in the latter stages of the event.    

Juan Martin Del Potro (50/1 with Boylesports) is a former winner of the US Open but his career has been disrupted by injury. In full fitness and at his best he should be able to handle the red dirt in France but beating Nadal looks beyond him. Dominic Thiem has produced good form this spring on clay and has the game to make life difficult for Nadal but ultimately not beat him in a best of five sets match. 

No other player has won a Grand Slam tournament more than 10 times and Nadal has that record. Despite passing the age of 30 he is still at times unbeatable on clay. RAFAEL NADAL can win all his matches over the next fortnight in Paris and pick up the French Open trophy again but he may have to beat his old rival Djokovic on the way. Tip

RAFAEL NADAL should not be opposed and can win the French Open for the 11th time. 

Get odds of 4/11 on Rafael Nadal with Ladbrokes (18+ Ts & Cs Apply)

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  • The French Open is the second of the four Grand Slams.
  • The event first took place in 1891.
  • The championship is played outdoors on clay.
  • Due to the nature of the courts the championship is the most physically demanding.
  • Rafael Nadal is the winning-most champion with 10 titles.
  • He holds the record for winning the title in five successive years.
  • Four unseeded players have won the men’s title.
  • Michael Chang (1989) is the youngest winner aged 17 and three months.
  • Every champion since 2005 was from Europe.
  • Gustavo Kuerten (1997, 2000 and 2001) was the previous multiple champion before Rafael Nadal.  
  • Andre Agassi was the most recent winner from the United States (1999).

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