The second major of the year is just around the corner, which begs the question: who should we back, who might spring an upset, and who should we avoid at all costs? These are our top tips for the 2018 French Open, which starts Saturday, May 26.
Best bets for French Open 2018
Rafael Nadal – -250 at William Hill
He just won the Rome Masters and has lost only twice in 2018, yet there is a suggestion that Rafa has lost momentum over the past few weeks. Fear not: the king of Stade Roland-Garros is in great touch and looks a red-hot chance to win an 11th French Open singles title.
Elina Svitolina – +600 at William Hill
An excellent run in Rome sees Svitolina enter the French Open as the woman to beat. The question is: can she deliver the goods on the biggest stage? With Simona Halep facing similar scrutiny and few other standouts in the field, Svitolina is as good a bet as anyone.
Dark horses and outside chances
Alexander Zverev – +800 at William Hill
It is not often that Rafa Nadal has a genuine challenger on clay, but Zverev’s recent form speaks for itself. He reached the semis at Monte Carlo, won back-to-back at Munich and Madrid, then took the great man to three sets in the final in Rome. If anyone’s going to do it…
Serena Williams – +1200 at William Hill
Back on tour after the birth of her first child, Serena looms as a tempting proposition for punters. No seeding and a limited preparation means she will have to do it the hard way, but it is difficult to write off one of the greatest female athletes of all time.
Who not to back at Roland Garros
Stan Wawrinka – +2200 at William Hill
Switzerland’s other guy has excellent credentials, including a French Open win in 2015, but his form line is littered with red flags. Persistent fitness problems and early exits at Rome and Geneva suggest the end may be nigh for the 33-year-old from Lausanne.
Garbine Muguruza – +1200 at William Hill
Here is another former champ with no kind of form. Muguruza’s first-up defeat to Daria Gavrilova at the Rome Masters sums up her output on the red stuff this year, so the fourth line of French Open outright betting seems like rather high altitude.