The second French Tennis Major in less than a year gets underway on Monday, as the best male and female players travel to Europe. The French Tennis Major is the second Grand Slam of the season and takes place off the back of an unforgettable Australian Open at the start of the year. But, which players have an outstanding chance to win the respective men’s and women’s titles this year?
Men’s French Tennis Major
There will be no secret in the men’s draw that Rafael Nada is the clear favourite in the betting. The Spanish star has dominated the competition in France, and is rightfully the ‘king of clay’. Nadal has won 13 French Tennis Majors during his esteemed career, which is five better than another player in the history of the competition.
The Spanish player will be looking to achieve five consecutive French Tennis Major wins on the bounce for the second time in his career, after winning the previous four tournaments. In last year’s final, he beat world number one Novak Djokovic in straight sets. Djokovic was the last player to win the competition before Nadal’s stranglehold on the French Tennis Major since 2017.
A case can certainly be made for Djokovic, as he has achieved success on the clay in the past. He has a breath-taking 83% win rate on the ATP Tour and in Grand Slam events, and recently won his 18th Grand Slam success in the form of the Australian Open.
However, we find it incredibly difficult to see past Nadal regaining his title. He recently won the Italian Open on clay, as he beat Djokovic in the final. It would be hard to see anything other than history repeating itself.
Women’s French Tennis Major
The women’s event looks a far more difficult competition to predict with a number of players having a decent chance of winning the event in France.
Serena Williams will be back on court at a Grand Slam as she looks to equal the record number of titles achieved by Margaret Court. However, her successes at the French Tennis Major have been few and far between. The American hasn’t won the French Tennis Major since 2015, and has failed to make it past the fourth round in each of the last three years.
Iga Swiatek is the reigning French Tennis Major champion, and is the current leader at the top of the betting. Last year’s victory was her first Grand Slam victory, but the 19-year-old will certainly be one with a chance. Like Nadal, she warmed up for the French Tennis Major by winning the Italian Open on clay. In the final, she beat ninth-seed Karolina Pilskova, and the surface will certainly play to her advantage.
Ashleigh Barty won the event in 2019, which was her first Grand Slam success, and she will be looking for a strong showing at the French Tennis Major after missing the event last year.
Simona Halep also has an excellent chance if she can recapture her form from the French Tennis Major in 2018, which she won. Naomi Osaka’s struggles on the clay continued in the Italian Open, while Garbine Muguruza is another with Grand Slam experience, and she won the French Tennis Major previously in 2016. However, our preference would be for Barty to win a second title in three years.