Four outsiders to deny ‘big four’ from winning men’s singles French Open
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | May 19, 2016
The 2016 French Open kicks off on Sunday, May 22nd, with most of the top names confirmed to take part in the men’s singles, but Coral pick out four outsiders to claim the title.
Stars such as Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and defending champion Stan Wawrinka have shown vulnerability in recent weeks, while Roger Federer has pulled out, so are the ‘big four’ (or five) set to falter at Roland Garros?
Due to clay courts being far different in style to hard and grass, the unpredictable surface has the potential to conjure up a new winner or finalist, as has happened many times in the past.
So, read on to find out our temptingly priced picks for the title, or even to reach the final (going each-way on places 1 and 2 pays out half the odds).
Japanese star Nishikori, 26, has already reached a Grand Slam final after losing to Marin Cilic in the 2014 US Open, and is a brilliant 18/1 shout to go one better at the French Open.
The world number six has certainly showed promising form of late, reaching at least the semis in each of the last four tournaments on tour – the previous three of which were on clay.
Nishikori only lost out to Djokovic and Nadal in those events, and came so close to shocking the former in the Rome Masters semis.
Austria’s Thiem has been the surprise player on the men’s tour in 2016, having reached the final in Munich, and getting as far as the quarters at the Rome Masters – both clay tournaments.
The 22-year-old’s run had seen him rise to number 13 in the ATP world rankings at one stage, and beat Federer in straight sets in Italy’s capital. You can back him at 28/1 to win the French Open.
Belgian Goffin is one of the most consistent players on tour, and is up to number 13 in the world right now after solid performances in tournaments over the past year.
The highlight of the 25-year-old’s career so far is no doubt reaching the 2015 Davis Cup final, while this clay court season he has beaten the likes of Tomas Berdych, Feliciano Lopez and Fernando Verdasco, the former of which by a rare 6-0 6-0 scoreline.
At 100/1, Goffin is a terrific price if you go each-way, considering he got to the quarters at the Rome Masters and lost only to eventual champion Andy Murray.
Controversial figure Kyrgios no doubt has talent, but can he keep a cool head at Roland Garros and go all the way? He is 50/1 to do so.
The 21-year-old Australian is not in the best of form, but on his day can beat the best in the world, and will surely be a Grand Slam singles champion one day.