Rafael Nadal has only ever lost one game at the French Open and there are two main reasons as to why 8/11 is a decent price that he adds to his trophy haul at Roland Garros this year.
Nadal’s dominance of the Grand Slam began as a fresh-faced teenager in 2005 and he has added a further five successes since.
World number one Novak Djokovic is considered the main threat this year, with a victory for the Serb allowing him to complete the career Grand Slam.
However, Nadal has claimed the pre-tournament bragging rights after beating Djokovic in the final of the Rome Masters, the final warm-up event before Roland Garros.
The victory marked Nadal’s sixth success from eight entries in Italy and the fact it was achieved in straight sets is a further boost to his chances of gaining an unprecedented seventh title at the French Open.
Also a boost is that Nadal pushed Djokovic for six hours in the Australian Open final in January on a surface that favoured the world number one, while he has won the last two meetings between the pair having embarked on a seven-game losing streak.
Nadal’s baseline barrage of top-spin forehands are far more deadly on clay, while his court coverage and general power on the slower courts are seemingly impossible to cope with.
Robin Soderling is the only player to have found an answer to Nadal’s style when claiming an unexpected success over the Spaniard in the fourth round in 2009.
However, Soderling has not taken part in a tournament since July because of the mononucleosis disease and has still not made a sufficient recovery ahead of the French Open.
Djokovic’s odds are 9/4 to win the French Open, with Roger Federer next best at 7/1.