The French Open is just around the corner, and it is sure to have tennis heads glued from their seats. As always, three names will headline the event – Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray. Between those guys are a truckload of clay court titles and years of utter dominance in the sport.
Read on below to know our picks for the tournament!
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With all of his crazy numbers on the clay, Rafa is still a huge favorite heading into the tourney – 51 of his 69 ATP titles were on such a surface and he has an eye-popping 91.7 win percentage on those courts. That, along with his nine French Open championships in 10 years (2005-2008, 2010-2014), is almost impossible to pass on.
Having said that, we can’t also count out the other two guys named above, who are 1A and 1B in the sport as of the moment. They can still be a big hurdle to the “King of the Clay.” Djokovic has 13 clay ATP titles himself (won last year’s French Open) and has beaten Nadal in four of their last five meetings on a clay court, while Murray, though dominated by Nadal in their early encounters, has gotten revenge in years past, including a finals win at the 2015 Madrid Open (held on clay).
Though not a household name, the ninth-ranked Thiem can hang with the best of them when he’s on, which makes him a worthy dark horse pick. The 23-year-old is 69-27 (71.9 win percentage) on the clay, including six ATP titles. Additionally, he’s 7-3 on the French Open and was able to reach its semis stage last year.
Del Potro (12-6 overall on the FO), meanwhile, will be in his first appearance in the tournament since 2012, but don’t let it hinder you from considering him as a sleeper. He mirrors Thiem’s W-L card on the clay and has four ATP titles on such a court under his belt. Also, he’s had plenty of upset victories over Djokovic and Murray.
Long Shot: Alexander Zverev (+6,000)
Prior to his upcoming meeting with Tomas Berdych at the Madrid Open, the continuously rising Zverev (ranked 19th) has won eight of his last 10 matches on the clay, which includes the wins in his recent successful run to the title at the Munich Open (held on clay).
Djokovic takes home his second consecutive Roland Garros Trophy.
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