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The French Open, held annually at Roland Garros is probably the hardest one of the four Grand Slams that happen in a season, to win. The big event at the Stade Roland Garros in Paris, is the only major to be played on clay, which adds a tremendous amount of unpredictability to proceedings. Some players just have a hard time adjusting to the clay surface, and with the red clay in Paris playing slower and bouncing higher than traditional American clay surfaces, then there is a lot of game adjustment, both underfoot and dealing with the speed of returns to handle.
The 113th edition of the famous Parisian tournament will start on May 25th, 2014 and concludes on June 8th. The prize money on offer for both the winner of the mens and womens events is a cool $2.3 million, with $1.15 going to the runners up.
Reigning Women’s Champion
It is why you find clay court specialists like Rafael Nadal dominating things. No-one can rival Rafael Nadal’s record at the French Open since the dawning of the Open era. The Spanish ace, because he is the greatest clay court player in the world, won Roland Garros for the eighth time in his career in 2013. It made it eight wins for Nadal in the last seven editions of the French Open. The only time his amazing run was snapped, was when Roger Federer took victory back in 2009 over Robin Soderling.
Main Contenders Mens Draw
You aren’t going to be looking to deep in the men’s draw for options really. Rafael Nadal will run as favourite, simply based on his track record and the weight of clay court titles which he has won during his career. He’s going to be tough to beat, and you would expect a winner to come from either himself, Novak Djokovic, the 2012 runner up, Stanislas Wawrinka or, stretching things, Roger Federer. With 2014 Australian Open Wawrinka taking a ATP Masters 1000 title on clay at Monte Carlo in April, he probably represents better value. A dual forecast on Nadal and Novak Djokovic probably wouldn’t steer you too wrong. Federer has lost four French Open finals to Nadal.
Best Mens Draw Dark Horse Bets
Again, you are going to look for clay court specialists. Spain’s David Ferrer ran to the final of 2013, but couldn’t touch Nadal there. Always a dangerous floater on clay but will always still play second fiddle when Nadal and Djokovic are in the same field. Britain’s Andy Murray has never really threatened on clay, and with 2014 form for the Scotsman far below par for the standards needed to win a Slam, he will only take dark-horse backing as a long shot at Roland Garros. Clay has been Murray’s least productive surface, but like Ferrer should be around the final eight, but beyond that, it is tough to see him win.
Reigning Womens Champion
Serena Williams may or may not be heading back to Paris to defend her title, a troubling hamstring a concern over her title defence. Despite her dominance in the Open era at Grand Slams, it just goes to show the difficulty of winning the French Open, because she has only won it twice. It leaves the women’s draw far more open than the mens.
Main Contenders Womens Draw
There have been seven different winners of the women’s French Open in the last seven years, a stat which adds value to your betting. Maria Sharapova has been to the last two finals, winning in 2012, and will be a strong contender. The big guns like Victoria Azarenka (a semifinalist last season) and Agnieszka Radwanska will attract backers, but are stronger on other surfaces, while China’s Li Na, the 2011 Champion has a proven track record, but how long it took for Serena WIlliams to win two French Open, shows how hard it is to get double Parisian victories on the board.
Best Womens Draw Dark Horse Bets
It is worth looking at someone who hasn’t won before. Where would the best options there be? 2014 sensation Simona Halep looks a fantastic dark horse bet, the World number five proving her clay form with a run to the final of Madrid in May. The other player who could punch her way to success is Dominika Cibulkova, the diminutive powerhouse having had a tremendous competitive 2014 season, running to the final of the Australian Open and she had a solid quarter final place at Roland Garros back in 2012.
|2013||S|D||Rafael Nadal||Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan|
|2012||S|D||Rafael Nadal||Max Mirnyi / Daniel Nestor|
|2011||S|D||Rafael Nadal||Max Mirnyi / Daniel Nestor|
|2010||S|D||Rafael Nadal||Daniel Nestor / Nenad Zimonjic|
|2009||S|D||Roger Federer||Lukas Dlouhy / Leander Paes|
|2008||S|D||Rafael Nadal||Pablo Cuevas / Luis Horna|
|2007||S|D||Rafael Nadal||Mark Knowles / Daniel Nestor|
|2006||S|D||Rafael Nadal||Jonas Bjorkman / Max Mirnyi|
|2005||S|D||Rafael Nadal||Jonas Bjorkman / Max Mirnyi|
|2004||S|D||Gaston Gaudio||Xavier Malisse / Olivier Rochus|
|2003||S|D||Juan Carlos Ferrero||Bob Bryan / Mike Bryan|
|2002||S|D||Albert Costa||Paul Haarhuis / Yevgeny Kafelnikov|
|2001||S|D||Gustavo Kuerten||Mahesh Bhupathi / Leander Paes|
|2000||S|D||Gustavo Kuerten||Todd Woodbridge / Mark Woodforde|
|1999||S|D||Andre Agassi||Mahesh Bhupathi / Leander Paes|
|1998||S|D||Carlos Moya||Jacco Eltingh / Paul Haarhuis|
|1997||S|D||Gustavo Kuerten||Yevgeny Kafelnikov / Daniel Vacek|
|1996||S|D||Yevgeny Kafelnikov||Yevgeny Kafelnikov / Daniel Vacek|
|1995||S|D||Thomas Muster||Jacco Eltingh / Paul Haarhuis|
|1994||S|D||Sergi Bruguera||Byron Black / Jonathan Stark|
|1993||S|D||Sergi Bruguera||Luke Jensen / Murphy Jensen|
|1992||S|D||Jim Courier||Jakob Hlasek / Marc Rosset|
|1991||S|D||Jim Courier||John Fitzgerald / Anders Jarryd|
|1990||S|D||Andres Gomez||Sergio Casal / Emilio Sanchez|