Betting on the 2009 French Open Men - Rafael Nadal is the favorite, has to defeat Roger Federer and Andy Murray

The French Open is a major tennis tournament held every year in the two between the middle of May and the first week of June. It is held in Paris, France at the Stade Roland Garros. There is a huge interest worldwide in the French Open. Millions of fans watch it on television and people from every corner of the world log on to Internet websites to place bets on the French Open. There is the French Open Men and the French Open Women. This year the French Open tournament will be from 24th of May to 7 June.


While there will be many tennis players participating, most of the betting will be on the favorite. The favorite in the 2009 French Open Men is Rafael Nadal. The odds being offered on him are 1.25. This means if you bet $10 on his winning and you're proved right, you get $12.50. This may not be much of a return but it's because Rafael Nadal is considered a safe bet and the most likely to win by the bookmakers.

Next is Andrew Murray who has played excellent tennis this year. The odds being offered on Andrew Murray are 9 to 1. For every $10 bet on him you can win $90.

Long odds are being offered to those betting on several players who're expected to get eliminated quickly in the 2009 French Open Men. This includes Marcos Baghdatis, Janko Tipsarevic and Mario Ancic, all of whom are available at odds of 200 to 1. If you bet $10 on one of them, in the unlikely event of the player you have backed winning the tournament, you'll get a payoff of $2000. This is almost never going to happen. Let's look at the most serious contenders for winning this tournament and why they're the likeliest to win.

Rafael Nadal is a Spanish player who established himself as the World No 1 since August 18, 2008. So far he has won six grand Slam singles titles and also the 2008 Olympic gold medal in singles. He has won the French Open consistently since 2005. He won the title in 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 and seems set to win it this year too. In 2005 he played the French Open against Mariano Puerta. Since 2006 he has been playing against Roger Federer. He also won the Wimbledon Open last year against Roger Federer and the Australian Open this year against Roger again. The rivalry of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer is very fierce. Many consider Federer to be better than Rafael. If the results of the French Open over the last few years are any indication, it does seem to be so. The odds on Roger Federer winning the 2009 French Open Men are much longer at 8 to 1. A $10 bet on Roger Federer will return $80 if Roger wins. Yet he is clearly the closest competitor of Rafael Nadal. Rafael Nadal plays better when he is on clay courts. He has a 23–1 record in tournament finals held on clay courts and has been undefeated in 45 best-of-five-set matches on clay. Sometime back Rafael had one of the longest single-surface winning streaks by a man by winning 81 consecutive tennis matches on clay in the period from April 2005 to May 2007. He is widely accepted as the best clay-court player of all time. Anyone who has to win the 2009 French Open Men has to defeat Rafael Nadal.

Roger Federer, a Swiss player is the current World no 2. Federer has won 13 Grand Slam singles titles so far including 3 Australian Open, 5 Wimbledon and 5 US Open. Federer and Rafael Nadal are the only two men in the open era who have played each other in 7 Grand Slam finals. While Rafael Nadal is considered the best on clay courts, Federer is seen by many as delivering his best on all courts. Speaking about Roger Federer, Jimmy Connors said that "In an era of specialists - you're either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist or a hard court specialist... or you're Roger Federer".

In 2009, preparing for the Australian Open, Roger Federer played two exhibition tournaments and one official tournament. He lost to Andy Murray in the Capitala World Tennis exhibition in Abu Dhabi. He also lost in the ATP World Tour 250 series tournament in Doha, Qatar to Andy Murray in best-of-three matches. In two tennis matches Federer lost 6-2 to Andy Murray. Roger Federer defeated former World No. 1 Marat Safin in the third round in the Australian Open, 6–3, 6–2, 7–6. In the fourth round   he defeated Tomas Berdych 4–6, 6–7(5), 6–4, 6–4, 6–2. In the Australian Open Final, Roger Federer was defeated by Rafael Nadal in five sets. The match lasted over four hours with Nadal victorious in five sets. Roger Federer broke down in tears during the trophy presentation and struggled to make his runner-up speech. He attributed the defeat to a lack of rhythm in his first serve.

Andy Murray is the third serious contender for winning the 2009 French Open Men. Andy Murray started the year 2009 by beating both Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal and also James Blake to win the 2009 Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. He then defended his title at the Qatar Open in Doha. He lost the Australian Open in the fourth round to Fernando Verdasco. Andy Murray also won the ABN AMRO Tournament where he once again beat Rafael Nadal in the final after beating him earlier in the 2009 Capitala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi. Andy Murray chose to withdraw from the Marseille Open, which he won in 2008 and attributed this to an injury to his right ankle. He then competed in the Dubai Tennis Championships, reached the quarter-finals and withdrew due to a virus infection. He also withdrew from Great Britain's Davis Cup tie against Ukraine due to this virus. Andy then played the first two Masters Series events of the year and in Indian Wells he lost to Rafael Nadal. At Miami Masters he won the tournament defeating Novak Djokovic in the final. Andy Murray has shown good form this year and it is possible that he may just spring a surprise on both Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer to win the 2009 French Open Men.

Roger Federer is a very capable Tennis player and the 2009 French Open Men is clearly a tournament between these two players. The possibility of someone else trouncing these two tennis greats is very slim. Andy Murray seems to only other serious contender in the 2009 French Open Men. If you're in Europe or in any part of the world where sports betting is legal (It is not legal in India) you can consider backing one of these three.