Three men to back for French Open – who aren’t Rafael Nadal

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The French Open is rapidly approaching, and let’s be honest, it looks like Rafael Nadal is going to be impossible to stop.

The King of Clay is in sensational form, and his victory in the Madrid Open Final on Sunday meant the Spaniard has now claimed his last three tournaments – all on the dust.

But with his odds for a record 10th French Open having tumbled from 5/1 in January into 8/11 today, there isn’t much value to be had on the clay maestro.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t decent odds to be found elsewhere.

We’ve run the rule over three men who are poised to steal the headlines should Nadal come unstuck in Paris.

Dominic Thiem – 10/1 (in from 20/1)

We’re starting with the man who Nadal defeated in the last two finals, Dominic Thiem.

Beaten comfortably by Rafa in Barcelona after seeing off Andy Murray in the semi-finals, Thiem really stepped it up a notch in Madrid.

The 23-year-old forced Nadal to a first-set tie-break, and only went down in the second 4-6.

If the Austrian can build on that momentum, he’s in the perfect position to bag the glory in Paris.

Alex Zverev – 25/1 (in from 80/1)

Along with Thiem, Germany’s Alex Zverev is the future of the game.

The 20-year-old claimed his first ATP clay court title earlier this month at the BMW Open.

But equally impressive was his performance in Madrid, where he defeated top-line opponents Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych, the latter in straight sets.

Zverez reached round three on his French Open bow last year – losing to Thiem in four – but with a full year on tour under his belt – and three ATP titles – he’s all set to go far this time around.

Pablo Cuevas – 150/1

This is our lively longshot.

The odds suggest it’s unlikely Uruguay’s Pablo Cuevas will win in France, but there’s more to the 31-year-old than 150/1 may suggest.

Primarily, the world number 23 one of the few players to have produced any sort of form in recent weeks, reaching the quarter-finals in Monte-Carlo and the last-four in Madrid.

He defeated three-time Slam champion Stan Wawrinka in straight sets in the Principality, while also seeing off our other fancy Alex Zverev in the Spanish capital.

And his head-to-head record with Nadal isn’t too shabby either.

Cuevas defeated Rafa as recently as last summer’s Olympics, and Nadal has either dropped a set or required a tie-break in three of their four meetings.

Very much a clay specialist, Cuevas became a social media hit last week with a sensational trick-shot winner, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see him hit a couple more winners – and headlines – in Paris.

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

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.