If Novak Djokovic proved anything last Sunday is was that he can win the French Open crown this summer as a shocked Monte Carlo Masters crowd looked on while he dismantled clay king Rafael Nadal.
Djokovic, playing in only his fifth tournament of the season, must have known the scale of the challenge ahead of him. Nadal had won all eight previous Monte Carlo titles and with two clay trophies on his mantelpiece already this season was clear favourite in the betting world to clinch another.
Yet the Serb had other plans and got out the trap fast, storming to a 5-0 lead before taking the first set 6-2. Nadal eked his way back into the second with some determined serving but there was no stopping Djokovic on the tie break, the world number one recording a 7-1 finish to clinch the match and championship.
What will please Djokovic most isn’t necessarily the title or the €500,000 prize money but the knowledge he can match Nadal on clay, despite an ankle injury that threatened to keep him out of the tournament.
How Djokovic has coped over this past week with that hurt only he knows and betting fans shouldn’t be surprised if he pulls out of a couple of tournaments between now and Roland Garros.
Indeed, he may well do simply to protect that ankle, for a fully fit Djokovic under the Parisian sunshine is going to be difficult to stop.
Nadal is still the favourite with Betfair French Open
to win the contest and rightly so, but fans should seriously consider Djokovic a close second. Roger Federer and David Ferrer both have the quality to reach the final, but this year’s clay Grand Slam will boil down to two competitors – the clay king and his usurper.
Don’t forget that there are plenty of big priced trades in the women's draw!