Perhaps more so than any time in the past decade, an underdog has a chance to win the 2015 French Open. While one of tennis’ "Big Four" is still likely to win the major, a few other players could make a deep run in the tournament.
Over the last decade, Rafael Nadal has dominated the French Open with nine wins in 10 years, while Roger Federer won the other title. But Nadal no longer looks like the best player on clay, failing to win the championship in his last four clay tournaments. Federer is certainly a threat to win, but he enters the tournament at 33 years old and he hasn’t even been to the French Open semifinals since 2012.
A few players outside of the elite group have a chance to surprise and win the championship, though it wouldn’t be a total shock. Kei Nishikori has the best chance, and his betting odds (14/1) are even better than Federer’s bid. David Ferrer lost to Nadal in the finals of the 2013 French Open, and a loss to Novak Djokovic, who’s favored to win this year’s French Open, is all that kept him out of the finals in Rome in his last tournament. Stan Wawrinka also has a shot to do some damage at Roland Garros, and his odds are the sixth-best in the entire field.
Gael Monfils is more of a true underdog that would shock the tennis world by winning the French Open. The French native only has 33/1 odds to claim the title, but he’s come close to taking home a 2015 clay championship. At this year’s Monte-Carlo Masters, Monfils reached the semifinals, falling short to Tomas Berdych. Monfils had a few impressive wins during his tournament run, defeating Federer and Grigor Dimitrov. Andy Murray needed five sets to beat Monfils in the 2014 French Open quarterfinals.
Berdych fell to Djokovic in the Monte Carlo finals, and he just hasn’t been able to quite get over the hump in the 2015 clay season. He lost to Nadal in the semifinals in Madrid, and was beaten by Federer in Rome. But he’s made a few deep runs this year, and his 33/1 odds don’t indicate how close he’s come to taking home a title on clay.
Milos Raonic is an even bigger longshot than Berdych or Monfils, having been given 50/1 French Open betting odds. He’s performed well at Roland Garros before, reaching the quarterfinals in 2014. He eventually fell to Djokovic, but perhaps he can make another run if he avoids the favorite to win the tournament this year. He does have a win over Nadal in 2015, though it wasn’t on clay.
Djokovic (4/5) has the best French Open betting odds, while Nadal (9/4) is the second favorite at Bovada.lv.