French Open 2015 Tips – Men’s Singles

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Rafael NadalTo Win Outright5/1Coral, William Hill
Kei Nishikori (ew)To Win Outright12/1Paddy Power
David FerrerTo Win 2nd Quarter3/1Ladbrokes
Kei NishikoriTo Win 3rd Quarter13/8Ladbrokes

Friday’s French Open 2015 draw threw up what everyone feared, as it pitched Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal into the same quarter and the same half as Andy Murray.

Of course, that was great news for the likes of Roger Federer, Stansilav Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori, amongst others. The draw certainly feels very lopsided, so it’s probably worth opening there and considering who the main prospects are now.

Despite the draw, the market stills predicts that the winner of a likely quarter-final showdown between Djokovic and Nadal is likely to go on to the title. Dutching the odds on the pair gives them a mammoth 70% chance of the tournament trophy.

Starting with Djokovic, the Serb is 13-4 against Top 10 players on clay over the past two seasons, and also boasts a 12-1 record versus players ranked 10-50 over the same period. Clay has never been his favoured surface, and Roland Garros has been his least successful Slam over his career, with an 81% win ratio – that compares poorly to 85% at Wimbledon and the US Open and 89% in Melbourne. Priced no longer than 10/11 and facing a potential Nadal – Murray – Federer route to the title, he looks a short price here.

Nadal’s record speaks for itself here – he has an amazing 98.5% win rate at Roland Garros – losing just one of his 67 matches here over the past 10 seasons, winning nine titles (including the last five). Much has been made of his recent clay defeats, but it’s arguable that those results have been more down to poor luck than time catching up with him. Nadal managed to convert just 3 of his 14 break point chances against Fognini in Barcelona for instance and probably deserved to win that match, while his underlying stats are very strong this season.

Nadal’s break % is the highest of anyone this season on clay at 41.2% while his service hold % of 83.3% is only a fraction lower than Djokovic (84%), who he has beaten here each of the last three years (a total of 9 sets to 4). Certainly, odds of 5/1 look an insult to Nadal’s ability – in fact we make this one of the bets of the season.

Andy Murray is also in the top part of the draw and his defeat of Nadal recently in taking his first Masters Series Clay Court event is fresh in the mind. He’s got a tough ask to win the title given the draw, and even best odds of 10/1 with Titanbet don’t appeal to us. Murray’s season break % on clay is just 33% and that simply doesn’t look solid enough to take down a title that is always dominated by the top few players in the world. He has won just 3 of his last 7 matches against Top 10 players.

On the opposite side of the draw, it’s all about getting the each way value, and we think the 12/1 Paddy Power have chalked up about the consistently improving Nishikori is the value. He avoids Federer or Wawrinka until the semi’s, and it’s hard to see who will beat him in his section – he could face the likes of Tsonga or Berdych in the quarter’s, and neither would be a particular threat to the Japanese man.

When looking at the combined Service Hold % and Break % for the 2015 clay season, Nishikori ranks 3rd (behind Djokovic and Nadal) with a combined value of 120%. Federer is down on 115%, while Wawrinka is just 104%.

Finally, a quick look at the quarter betting.

With the dominance of Nadal and Djokovic, odds of 5/2 and 4/9 aren’t really tempting enough to get involved in the first quarter – one should go on to at least reach the final, so an outright bet is surely a better way to support these two.

In the second quarter, its possible the market has over-reacted to Murray’s form lately, and that opens up the opportunity to support David Ferrer to win the quarter.

Ferrer has been strong all season, giving Djokovic a good game in Rome last week and winning in Rio back in February. Ferrer also has a 4-0 clay head to head record against Murray, so odds of 3/1 with Ladbrokes look fair about him reaching the semi-finals for the 3rd time in four years.

One of our outright picks, Nishikori, also looks worth backing to win the 3rd quarter at 13/8. Ladbrokes make Tomas Berdych their 5/2 second favourite, but the Czech man simply doesn’t posses the clay game to trouble this market in our opinion – his break % is just 26.7% for the season on clay compared to 36% for Nishikori.

RECOMMENDED BETSMARKETODDSBOOKMAKERS
Rafael NadalTo Win Outright5/1Coral, William Hill
Kei Nishikori (ew)To Win Outright12/1Paddy Power
David FerrerTo Win 2nd Quarter3/1Ladbrokes
Kei NishikoriTo Win 3rd Quarter13/8Ladbrokes