Roland Garros 2017 Men’s Draw Betting Preview & Predictions

Posted by Ted Merrick on May 26, 2017 in

Sunday marks the opening matches for Roland Garros 2017. The only major that takes place on clay courts, this tournament challenges players who are not quite as accustomed to this surface, but players like Rafael Nadal are at their best here — which makes him the favorite in 2017, despite the fact that he has not won here since 2014, that he is 31 years old now, and that is 2016 season was dreadful. Let’s take a look at some of the key players in the men’s draw.

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Roland Garros 2017 Men’s Draw Betting Preview & Predictions

Why is Nadal the favorite?

The defending champion, Novak Djokovic, will be back, and he will have Andre Agassi coaching him. However, he lost in Italy (another clay-court tournament) to Alexander Zverev in the final. Andy Murray also has a higher ranking than Nadal, but he has not been playing all that well as of late. Nadal won clay-court titles in Barcelona and Monte Carlo, and he went to the quarterfinals in Italy, where he fell to Dominic Thiem. So what we’re really learning is that while Nadal might sit atop the odds table, this is a wide-open men’s draw.

Dominic Thiem showed a lot of promise in Rome, but he followed up his win over Nadal with a loss to Djokovic in the semifinal, as the mental strain of gearing up for two huge opponents in succession appeared to be beyond him, as he described himself as mentally “empty” during the semifinal.

Alexander Zverev is definitely someone to watch, as he beat the likes of Milos Raonic and John Isner, in addition to Djokovic, to take the title in Rome. Both of these players have the skill set and the mental strength to pick up big wins at Roland Garros.

What about Andy Murray? Yes, he has that high ranking, but clay courts can bring upsets to touted players who aren’t playing all that well to begin with and then fail to adjust to the different surface. Clay dilutes the power of a fast forehand by blunting the bounce, and if Murray isn’t ready for that slight difference, he could fall in an early round.

Which dark horses on the men’s side look like the real deal?

Juan Martin del Potrol made it to the quarterfinals in Italy, beating three opponents (including Kei Nishikori) before falling to Djokovic in the quarters. He has a semifinal appearance at Roland Garros under his belt already, but he hasn’t entered this tournament since 2012.

Pablo Cuevas is 31, but his clay season has been solid. He lost twice to Dominic Thiem, both in Italy and Madrid, but both matches were close.