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French Open Tennis 2020: Preview & Predictions

An ecstatic Rafael Nadal after winning the 2019 French Open . (Getty Images)

The eyes of the tennis world will be on Paris from September 27 as the French Open gets underway at Roland Garros.

The tournament will be the third and final Grand Slam of the year and most of the world’s top players are expected to participate.

A total of 11,500 fans will be able to attend each day of tournament split into three zones around the venue’s three courts.

Read on as we take a look at the French Open and assess some of the key contenders for glory in the men’s and women’s singles events.

Nadal a Worth Favourite

Rafael Nadal
Rafael Nadal with his French Open title last year. (Getty Images)

Nadal skipped the US hardcourt segment of the season but will head into the French Open as the odds-on favourite to win the title for the 13th time.

The Spaniard has triumphed in each of the last three years and is one of the most popular to enhance his excellent record this time around.

Nadal is aiming to equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam titles and with the Swiss star out injured, he has an excellent chance of doing just that.

The 34-year-old is warming up for the tournament by competing in the Italian Open and he should be extremely tough to beat in France.

Djokovic on a Recovery Mission

Djokovic won the Australian Open earlier in the season, but an act of petulance cost him the chance of victory in the US Open.

The world number one was disqualified from his fourth-round match for hitting a line judge in the throat with a ball and rightly received plenty of criticism for his antics.

He will be eager to bounce back at the French Open, although it is not a tournament that he has excelled in during his career.

Djokovic’s four-set victory over Andy Murray in 2016 is the only time he has won the title and he doesn’t appeal as a likely winner this time around.

Thiem Breaks the Glass Ceiling

Dominic Thiem of Austria plays against Jannik Sinner of Italy during the semi-final match on Tuesday.
Dominic Thiem of Austria plays against Jannik Sinner of Italy during the semi-final match on Tuesday. (Getty Images)

Dominic Thiem finally made the breakthrough at Grand Slam level with a magnificent comeback victory over Alexander Zverev in the final of the US Open.

The Austrian star was troubled by an Achilles problem during that match, but is expected to be fully fit once the French Open gets underway.

Thiem has reached the last two finals at Roland Garros and is the biggest threat to Nadal’s hopes of winning his 13th title.

The 27-year-old has a 5-9 career record against Nadal and will fancy his chances of improving that if the pair meet in Paris.

Outsiders Have Their Work Cut Out

Stefanos Tsitsipas is ranked as fourth favourite in the outright betting market, but it is difficult to imagine him challenging the big guns.

He was bundled out of the Italian Open by Jannik Sinner earlier this week after racking up 58 unforced errors during the contest.

Zverev is next on the list, but his serve deserted him at key moments in the US Open final and he still appears to lack the temperament to get the job done at Grand Slam level.

Daniil Medvedev and Stanislas Wawrinka could prove troublesome if they find their best form, while Gael Monfils will hope to make his mark on home soil.

Halep Geared up for Success

Simona Halep can be backed at 7/2 to win the women’s singles and she holds an excellent chance of lifting the trophy for the second time in her career.

The Romanian won the Prague Open on clay during August and has had plenty of time to train on the surface having skipped the US Open.

Halep last won the French Open in 2018 and has reached the final on two other occasions, highlighting her ability to perform well at Roland Garros.

With defending champion Ashleigh Barty withdrawing from the tournament, the way is clear for Halep to shine.

Williams’ Hopes of Matching Court are Over

Nike
Serena Williams of the US ties her Nike shoe laces before a point against Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard during their women’s singles match on day four of the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne last year. (Getty Images)

Serena Williams blew a big chance to equal Margaret Court’s tally of 24 Grand Slams when she was deservedly beaten by Victoria Azarenka in the semi-finals of the US Open.

Only two of the of the top eight players in the world played in that tournament and the 38-year-old will never have a better opportunity to match Court’s record.

Williams has won the French Open on three previous occasions, with her last success coming back in 2015 when she beat Lucie Safarova in the final.

The American hasn’t won a Grand Slam since 2017 and the suspicion remains that time has finally caught up with her.

French Open 2020 Predictions: Nadal is impossible to oppose in the men’s singles, while Halep is an outstanding bet in the women’s event. Backing the pair in a double is priced at around 13/2 and that looks great value.

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