2017 French Open Favorites

Rafael Nadal French Open Favorite

Rafael Nadal – one of the favorites to win the 2017 French Open.

With less than a month to go before the 2017 French Open begins, the provisional schedule has been released, but players are still jockeying for their slots. Gentlemen’s Singles matches begin promptly at 10AM on May 22nd and fans anxiously await the announcement of just who will be playing these qualifying rounds.

The tournament is played outside on clay courts at the Roland Garros Stadium in Paris. This year marks the 116th edition of the French Open and the second Grand Slam event of the year. The three-week event consists of matches for professional players in singles, doubles and mixed doubles categories.

One of the most exciting rivalries to watch for is the three-way battle between 2016 defending champion Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. And, of course, one cannot leave out Andy Murray either. After missing the 2016 French Open due to an injury, Rafael Nadal is a favorite for this year, however Federer is stronger than ever as well.

Nadal had three losses to Federer this year, yet he still surprised fans with his January win at the Australian open. His win at the Monte Carlo Masters has many putting him as the favorite at the French Open. However, Federer still has the odds in his favor with his powerful backhand and Miami Open win. On the other hand, his announcement to take an eight week break from the tour (other than the French Open) has skeptics wondering if he can pull it off.

Women’s defending champion Garbiñe Muguruza will have her hands full with fifth ranked Simona Halep, with second best odds at this point, although she is still considered the top favorite. While many expected a comeback from this year’s Australian Open winner Serena Williams, her recent announcement that she was 20 weeks expecting and not planning to return until 2018 put those hopes to rest. Prior to that, she was the clear cut favorite to win.

Petra Kvitova could surprise all with a comeback at the French Open following a hand injury in December from an intruder in her home. She was expected to miss most of the season but announced recently on social media that she will be submitting her entry for Roland Garros.

Many find the most intriguing female competitor this year could be Maria Sharapova, who just finished serving her 15-month ban. Her two previous Grand Slam wins were the 2012 and 2014 French Open, and she is favored with 9 to 1 odds despite her lengthy break. As she begins her comeback with Stuttgart, she may yet not qualify for the French Open. It remains to be seen as there are many more women to watch who have no grand slam title.

Doubles predictions are far less predictable. Veteran players Abigail Spears and Katarina Srebotnik are considered the top favorites in the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Germany, while last year’s women’s doubles team Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic still hold much favor. All else is still up in the air. All eyes are on Stuttgart now to see if odds and favorites will change before the French Open.