Posted by Barrie on Sunday, 17 May 2009

Looking foward to Roland Garros

The second Tennis Grand Slam of the year starts in a week's time as the tennis spotlight goes to Paris France for Roland Garros, the French Open.

An unpredictable tournament, with many of the top seeds falling off because of the difficulty to play on clay for many players.

World number 1 Rafael Nadal dominates on this surfact, and has won the last 4 tournaments, 3 against Roger Federer. But Nadal comes into this tournament having lost to Federer in the final of the Madrid Masters today which must raise doubts to some punters. Whilst I do expect Nadal to overcome this defeat and go on to win the French Open, the 4/11 odds on him winning are pretty poor. He'll have a week's rest now after looking fatigued at the end of the final earlier today.

Roger Federer is 8/1 joint-second favourite having just won his first title of the year and beat nemesis Nadal for the first time since 2007. Novak Djokovic has looked good on clay recently, narrowly going out to Rafael Nadal in 3 sets in Madrid; he is also available at 8/1. World number 3, Andy Murray, who has improved his game on clay this year is available at 16/1 to win his first Grand Slam. He has victories over Nadal, Federer and Djokovic this year, but I can't see him winning this tournament.

On the women's side, Ana Ivanovic is defending champion, having beat the now world number 1, Dinara Safina in straight sets, ending Justine Henin's 3 year reign after she retired shortly before the tournament. Ivanovic has only had 2 matches on clay this year, losing in the 3rd round of Rome to Agnieszka Radwanska. She is 16/1 8th favourite, and is not going to defend her trophy! Dinara Safina is deserved favourite at 5/1, having won her last two tournaments, in Rome and Madrid. I'll be having a few £ on her. Safina has started to show some consistency of late, having been a liability in previous years. She was runner up here last year and runner up to Serena Williams at the Australian Open earlier this year. Miss Williams is 8/1 4th favourite, but comes into this tournament on poor form and a knee injury, although you should never write a Williams sister off! Her sister, Venus is 12/1 to win here, but also comes into this tournament on poor form and has never won this Grand Slam before. Jelena Jankovic is joint-2nd favourite with Svetlana Kuznetsova who has found her form again of late (despite her 2nd round exit in Madrid). They are at 7/1.

Be sure to check out our pro tennis tipster's French Open tips during the competition, I assure you he's very good and experienced at this and is expecting to make many £1,000's during this tournament!

In other tennis news today, Steffi Graf, Kim Clijsters, Andre Agassi and Tim Henman tested out the new Wimbledon court equipped with roof for the first time today, which went down a success. Highlights of a tie break in a mixed doubles match can be found at the BBC.

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