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Rafael Nadal odds-on favourite to win 2017 French Open

International Business Times (AU) logoInternational Business Times (AU) 23-05-2017 Sai Mohan

Rafael Nadal, Madrid Masters © Provided by IBT Australia Rafael Nadal, Madrid Masters

Rafael Nadal is the favourite to win his tenth Roland Garross title at the forthcoming 2017 French Open, according to odds makers and analysts. Nadal has been nearly unstoppable this clay-court season, storming to victories at Monte-Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid before losing in the quarter-finals of the Italian Open. 

Though Novak Dkokovic, the reigning French Open, is viewed as a legitimate threat to Nadal, the Serb's recent meltdown against Germany's Alexander Zverev in the finals of the Rome Masters has given experts reason to pause. ESPN is of the opinion that Djokovic's decision to hire Andre Agassi as his new head coach implies that the World No. 2 isn't feeling very confident entering Roland Garross. 

"Djokovic is in the midst of a major transition. He hasn't slumped far, but it's far enough to make him vulnerable. Of greater potential impact, his motivation seems crippled. He looked like the dominant Djokovic of yore when he crushed Thiem in the Rome semis but couldn't muster the resistance the following day to claw his way to a single break point in the final against Zverev. That kind of inconsistency won't fly in Paris," Tennis expert Peter Bodo wrote in an article published Monday.

Rafael Nadal: Overwhelming favourite entering 2017 French Open

According to Odds Checker, Nadal is favoured to prevail in Roland Garross by every sports betting website, including the likes of Bet365, Ladbrokes and Betfair. Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and World No. 1 Andy Murray have the next best odds. It's worth nothing that Nadal was the odds-on favourite entering the 2017 Australian Open final against Roger Federer but came up short in the decisive fifth-set. 

Meanwhile, 2009 U.S. Open champion Juan Martin del Potro has no doubt in his mind that Nadal enters the 2017 French Open as the favourite despite the Spaniard's forgettable 2016 and lengthy drought of major titles. Nadal hasn't won a Grand Slam since the 2014 French Open. Alexander Zverev, the youngest player on the circuit to win an ATP Masters 1000 title, has broken into World Top-10 but isn't willing to ignore Nadal's dominance in Paris. 

"The favourite is still definitely Rafael Nadal. Strong favourite. And the others, the rest, it's going to be quite open. I think Novak is playing quite great again. Dominic (Thiem) has been showing he's been playing very, very well. I just won here. So I've got to put me on that list even though, you know, I don't want to sound like I want to say that I'm the favourite myself or something like this," Zverev told reporters after winning the Rome Masters, via Super Sport.

The 2017 French Open runs through May 28 and June 11. Rafael Nadal has the opportunity to become the first player in the Open Era to win a Grand Slam on ten occasions. His overall Grand Slam tally stands at 14.

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