Is Konta the conqueror more likely than Murray mania in France?

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British success in the French Open really is a rare thing, with just one singles title in 51 years to shout about.

And given the troubles Andy Murray is enduring right now, it’s Johanna Konta who is rapidly emerging as Britain’s most likely successor in Paris next month.

The 25-year-old is 14/1 to win her first Slam crown in the French capital.

As with most of the WTA Tour, her odds crashed following Serena Williams’ pregnancy announcement earlier this month.

Williams’ absence blows the women’s contest wide open, with the American having won the event in 2013 and 2015.

And similarly, 2012 and 2014 French Open champion Maria Sharapova won’t find out if she has a wildcard entry until Mary 16 – just 12 days before the tournament begins.

In short, champions for four of the last five years will either be absent, or entering in far from peak preparation.

And should Sharapova be denied a wildcard slot, Konta’s odds will surely tumble yet again.

The Brit was a quarter-finalist in the Australian Open – beaten by Serena – but was remarkably impressive to win the Miami Open in March.

Konta defeated Simona Halep, Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki en route to victory in the USA, claiming her second – and biggest – Tour success of the year.

In contrast, since winning the Dubai Duty Free Championships nearly two months ago, Murray has suffered surprise early exits at Indian Wells and Monte-Carlo.

The Scot has been battling an elbow problem, but even if he does prove his fitness for Roland Garros, he has other issues.

While Konta’s rivals are falling by the wayside for numerous reasons, Murray’s rivals are in resurgent mood.

Roger Federer is re-writing the script for how to go about an ATP Tour, while Rafael Nadal has shown more than enough evidence this year that he’s ready to rule on clay once more.

Then there’s Juan Martin del Potro’s continued comeback and Nick Kyrgios’ rollercoaster journey to the top, to name just a few more plotlines.

In short, if we do see a first British winner of the French Open since Sue Barker in 1976, don’t be surprised if it isn’t who you expected it to be.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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