Zverev can threaten peerless Nadal


Alexander Zverev has emerged as the main threat to Rafael Nadal’s French Open dominance although the Spaniard is once again expected to be crowned champion on June 10.

Nadal, 5/13 to win the tournament, has won 10 of the last 13 French Opens with injury forcing him to miss the 2016 competition. His only defeats in Paris in that time came against Robin Soderling nine years ago and Novak Djokovic in 2015.

With Djokovic far from his best and Roger Federer and Andy Murray not involved this year, the new generation of tennis stars have the chance to challenge the King of Clay.

Zverev 31/4 to win the French Open

Zverev has never reached the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam before but his form heading into the action in Paris has been good.

The 21-year-old German won the recent BMW Open in Munich and the Madrid Open and had emerged victorious in 13 successive matches before being edged out by Nadal in last weekend’s Italian Open final.

After losing the first set Zverev responded well and took the second before a rain delay disrupted his rhythm and Nadal won the decider. However, he showed that, if he can perform to his best level, he can trouble the world number one.

Thiem 21/2 to win the French Open

Dominic Thiem claimed a 7-5 6-3 victory against Nadal at the Madrid Open and is a proven performer on clay having won seven of his nine titles on the surface.

The Austrian has reached the semi-finals of the French Open in each of the last two years but disappointed at the recent Italian Open when he was knocked out by Fabio Fognini in the second round.

Djokovic 21/2 to win the French Open

He’s nowhere near his best but Djokovic should never be written off at Grand Slams.

The 30-year-old has won 12 Grand Slam titles during his career and triumphed at the French Open two years ago when he defeated Murray in the final.

He reached the semi-finals of the Italian Open before losing to Nadal and is showing some signs of improvement following a miserable injury-ravaged two years.