The French Open is rapidly approaching, and the men’s competition looks like it could be a brilliantly competitive affair.
Rafael Nadal is favourite, but it’s Germany’s Alex Zverev who we have our eye on.
Actually, he’s been on the radar at Ladbrokes News HQ for some time, and we highlighted the 20-year-old ace as a potential winner in Paris just last week.
Had you read that, you could have got 25/1 on the hotshot winning in the French capital.
But today he’s just 14/1 following a sensational run in Rome which culminated in his biggest victory to date – defeating Novak Djokovic in the final.
It wasn’t down to the Serbian playing poorly either, far from it in fact.
Djoko entered the final having destroyed Dominic Thiem – who has been in great form in the clay season as we said last week – 6-1 6-0 in 59 minutes.
Juan Martin del Potro faired little better in the quarter-finals, the Argentine swatted aside 6-4 6-1.
So it was all the more impressive that Zverev came out on top 6-3 6-4 versus the world number two, to land his first ATP 1000 title.
In the process, the German became the youngest player to win such a high-ranking tournament since Djokovic himself 10 years ago.
Zverev’s performances throughout the week were mightily impressive, and will be the perfect confidence booster as he heads to Paris as a tournament favourite.
Tour regulars Kevin Anderson, Victor Troicki and Fabio Fognini were defeated in the early rounds, before world number five Milos Raonic was dealt with in the fourth.
Big-serving John Isner was then ousted in the semi-finals.
Zverev has been long-tipped as the big star of the future, but we say he’s already arrived.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing