SPORTS

Rafael Nadal, Serena Williams picked as French Open favorites

TAGs: french open, grand slam, rafael nadal, Roland Garros, serena williams, sports, tennis

Rafael Nadal and Serena WilliamsRafael Nadal and Serena Williams headline a loaded field of elite tennis players that will compete at the 2012 French Open. And with the tournament at Rolland Garros set to begin this week, a lot of sports books have already listed their lines for the 2nd Grand Slam tournament of the year.

To no one’s surprise, Nadal is the clear-cut favorite to win his seventh men’s title at Rolland Garros while Williams has been pegged as the favorite to win her second French Open women’s title.

Over on the men’s side, parity isn’t so much an issue because it really doesn’t exist. You have the Big Three in Djokovic, Nadal, and Federer and then there’s everybody else. The odds certainly reflect gap between these three players and the rest of the field as Nadal’s 4/5 line is followed closely by Djokovic’s 2/1 odds and Federer’s 8/1 odds.

The next players on the totem pole? Juan Martin del Potro at 12/1 and Andy Murray at 20/1. Everybody else, beginning with David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych at 33/1 odds is in “lotto-ritory”: put in a small wager with hopes of cashing in big should the stars align in your favor.

Meanwhile, the women’s side is where the parity’s at, especially when you consider that a lot of the top contenders are dealing with a variety of injuries, including tournament favorite Serena Williams – 5/2 odds – who is nursing a nagging lower back injury. Likewise, world number one Victoria Azarenka – 7/2 odds – didn’t even make it to the Italian Open because of a shoulder injury. Same goes for Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova – 9/1 odds – and her abdominal strain.

One contender that appears to be peaking at the right time is Maria Sharapova. The long-legged hottie has been penciled in at 6/1 odds, followed by Kvitova, Li Na (10/1), Sam Stosur (12/1), Agnieszka Radwanska (16/1), and Caroline Wozniack and Angelique Kerber both getting  (25/1).

While the women’s tournament figures to be a crap shoot, the men’s tournament is looking like it’s Nadal’s to lose. Right now, all we know is that we’re gearing up for an intense two weeks of clay tennis action.

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