Top seeds in action as French Open’s business end approaches

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Top-10 seed retirements have been a theme running through this year’s French Open, so when the leading figures of the men’s and women’s draw take to the court on Monday, their health, as well as their performance, will be something to keep an eye on.

Rafael Nadal’s withdrawal in the third round due to a wrist injury strengthened Novak Djokovic’s grip on the betting, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga’s groin problem opened up the Serb’s half of the draw even further.

In the women’s game, Victoria Azarenka pulled out in the first round while defeats, rather than injuries, ended the challenges of Angelique Kerber and Roberta Vinci at the same stage.

Despite that, Serena Williams remains an even-money chance to win it all in Paris, while Djokovic is a formidable 1/2 chance.

Both players have fourth-round assignments on Monday, with Djokovic due to face Roberto Bautista Agut as the 1/50 favourite and Williams 1/10 to better Elina Svitolina.

Elsewhere, David Ferrer’s tussle with Tomas Berdych looks to be the pick of the matches, with the Spaniard slightly favoured at 4/5 against the Czech’s price of 1/1.

According to Ladbrokes, at least one Williams sister is expected to leave the French Open in the fourth round. Venus is also in action and is unfancied at 7/4 against Swiss number-eight seed Timea Bacsinszky.

The two matches that have directly benefitted from Nadal and Tsonga’s misfortune involve Marcel Granollers, who progressed at Nadal’s expense, and Ernests Gulbis, who advanced when Tsonga pulled out.

The former now takes on Dominic Thiem, while Gulbis must face number 12-seed David Goffin.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.