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Consider Nadal’s training partner at 500/1 in French Open odds

| 14.05.2014

Argentine surprises are not totally alien at the French Open, after all it has been 10 years since the unseeded and number 44-ranked Gaston Gaudio unexpectedly lifted the title at Roland Garros.

Five-setters were needed in each of his opening two matches at the Grand Slam and his clay-court form from earlier in the season hardly suggested that a strong French Open challenge was on the cards, despite losing a final in a deciding set to Tommy Robredo in Barcelona.

A decade on and there is another Argentine, barely in the top 50 of the world rankings that could replicate Gaudio’s achievements – and he is 500/1 in the French Open betting.

Carlos Berlocq currently finds himself at number 49, but can count clay as his favoured surface, with all three of his ATP Tour finals coming in this environment, which includes two victories.

The latest of these arrived this season, when beating top-10 players Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych en route to victory in the Portugal Open.

Bearing in mind that these victories were the first time that the 31-year-old beat opposition of such a high ranking, he is sure to arrive at Roland Garros with substantially more confidence than ever before.

Part of the reason for this triumph could relate to the fact that Berlocq has been a training partner of Rafael Nadal of late on clay, who has won the French Open on a record eight occasions and is favourite to do so again at 1/1.

Although not doing especially well, it could be significant that Belocq matched his best previous result in three of the four Grand Slams last year too.

Berlocq will certainly be one of the dangerous floaters in the draw that the big names will want to avoid in the early rounds and should he find himself a straightforward passage through to week two in Paris, he is capable of causing a few upsets.

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

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.