With the 2014 French Open just days away from getting started, now is a perfect time to take an in-depth look at the Men’s ATP World Tour players with the most realistic chances of bringing home the bacon at the year’s second Grand Slam tournament.
After watching newly-minted world No.3 Stanislas Wawrinka take home the championship hardware at the 2014 Australian Open in January and some other eye-opening events along the way since then, this year’s French Open could be as wide open as it ever has been in the Rafael Nadal era.
And speaking of the ‘Spanish Bull,’ why don’t we get started with this 2014 French Open tennis predictions by saying that the polarizing ‘King of Clay,’ the winner of four straight French Open titles and eight of the last nine, looks as vulnerable as he ever has on his most dominant surface.s
The 2014 Men’s Tennis French Open Betting Favorites
Can Rafael Nadal (5/4) Win the French Open?
If I wasn’t the one asking this question, I’d ask the person that was what they were smoking. I mean really…I know Nadal (34-6) just lost to Novak Djokovic at the Rome Masters 1000 this past weekend to snap a two-year winning streak at the tournament and sure, the world’s No. 1 ranked player has suffered three inexplicable losses on clay this year, (while luckily avoiding a fourth) but when push comes to shove, there aren’t many players I’d wager on to beat Rafa on clay. Still, I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least admit that Nadal has shown some chinks in his once unbreakable clay court armor.
Can Novak Djokovic (11/8) Win the French Open?
After starting off his season by losing to Wawrinka in the Aussie Open quarterfinals and then following that up with a surprising loss to Roger Federer in the semifinals at Dubai, everyone was wondering just why the versatile Djokovic (24-3) hired Boris Becker as his coach. Successive wins over Federer at Indian Wells and Nadal at Miami got Djokovic back on track in a big way and his most recent win over Nadal in the Rome Masters 100 final may have very well made him the odds on favorite to bring home the bacon in the French Open no matter what the odds say. Besides, Djokovic has plenty of motivation to win here as he seeks to capture the only major title to elude him so far in his quest for a career Grand Slam.
Can Stanislas Wawrinka (6/1) Win the French Open?
With a higher career winning percentage on clay than on any other surface, it’s easy to come to the conclusion that of course Wawrinka (21-5) will have a chance to win the upcoming French Open, but I really don’t think so. I like the ‘Stanimal’ and everything, but he’s never been past the quarterfinals at the French and enters the year’s second major coming off consecutive three-set losses to Dominic Thiem and Tommy Haas.
Can Roger Federer (12/1) Win the French Open?
Look, Fed’s my boy and all, but I gotta’ keep it real by saying that it’s asking a lot…a whole lot, to expect the all-time grand slam leader to win the French Open at this stage of his career. Yes, I know Mr. ‘RF’ has played mostly fantastic tennis en route to a fine 28-6 record, but the fact of the matter is the Fed’s recent time off – and the fact that he’s no longer one of the two best clay court players in the world, tell me that a quarterfinal or semifinal appearance is the very best that Fed followers can expect here.
Can David Ferrer (20/1) Win the French Open?
If you like tennis, then you’ve got to love the way David Ferrer (27-10) plays the game. The fiery Spaniard has arguably the best court coverage of any player in the game today, but unfortunately as he’s shown time and time again, he just doesn’t have the ‘put-away’ power that is necessary to beat the game’s most elite players like Djokovic or Nadal.
Can Andy Murray (20/1) Win the French Open?
If you don’t like Andy Murray, then you’re probably jumping for joy that the World No. 8 has not only not won a tournament this year, but not even reached a final, while reaching the semis just once. I don’t know how else to say it…but parting ways with former coach Ivan Lendl was absolutely idiotic after reaching new heights under the eight-time grand slam winner. Now, Murray looks mostly like a shell of his former self and isn’t as much of a threat to win the French as several other hungrier players right now.
The Not So Long-Shots At Roland Garros
All of these ATP World Tour players will at least have an outside shot at pulling off one of the biggest upsets in recent tennis memory. Each player is listed in the order that I believe his chances stand at actually pulling off what would be an astounding feat.
Milos Raonic 80/1
In the case of young Milos Raonic, I believe the young Canadian will one day become a legitimate grand slam champion and not just because of his huge serve either. Raonic is extremely composed and is a thinker that just keeps improving. In the case of Jo-Wilfred, he’s a guy that I’m disappointed that hasn’t won a grand slam title by now.
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga 50/1
Tsonga has a huge serve and is as athletic as any player on tour. Unfortunately, his shot-selection, mental fortitude often fails him at the worst possible moment.
Tomas Berdych 50/1 & Gael Monfils 100/1
Oh, what can I say about Tomas Berdych that hasn’t already been said? Good…then I won’t say it either…and the same goes for Gael Monfils. I mean, jeez, these two guys are two of the most physically gifted – and mentally perplexing – players you’ll ever see. I wonder how many former coaches these two have driven directly to an insane asylum with their on-court shenanigans and head-shaking shot-selection.
A Roland Garros Dark Horse Surprise?
You just gotta’ throw a dark horse pick or two in every betting preview and prediction. These two ‘young, wild and free’ players could both, upset the entire apple cart with their immense gifts or they could flame out early because of their on-going battles with maturation.
- Grigor Dimitrov 50/1
- Alexandr Dolgopolov 150/1
The 2014 Men’s Tennis French Open Betting Pick:
Novak Djokovic is my pick to win the 2014 French Open. His total annihilation of Nadal at the Rome Masters, combined with the fact that Rafa has lost a lot of his clay court dominance recently leads me to believe that the Serbian-born superstar not only wants this grand slam title very badly, but also the World No.1 ranking he likely feels he held way too briefly.
My 2014 Roland Garros Sleeper Pick: Kei Nishikori 16/1
Why Kei Nishikori CanWin the French Open?
Yes Kei Nishikori (27-5) can win the French Open people! If you’ve been paying attention to this talented and emerging Japanese-born superstar, then you already know he’s got the game and ability to beat anyone on the planet on any given day. Nishikori won in Memphis and Barcelona this year and would have beaten Nadal at Madrid two weeks ago had he not succumbed to a back injury after smacking the World No. 1 around the court like a rag doll for the majority of the match.
— adidas tennis (@adidastennis) May 12, 2014
If Nishikori’s health holds up, then he could find himself making a deep – and not very surprising if you ask me – run to the finals. If not, then his 10-1 record on clay this year won’t mean very much in the end.