Sunday 11th June.
After a strange fortnight at Roland Garros that brought early departures for big seeds in both the Men’s and Women’s draw, Sunday’s showpiece final sees two of this generations top stars do battle for arguably the hardest crown in world tennis.
Both men have been here and done it before while they’ve easily been the most consistent stars over the past couple of weeks. It should be a belter of a contest, and could be a truly historic afternoon too.
You wouldn’t wanna miss it for the world.
Can Stan The Man Make It Two In Three Years?
After ending Andy Murray’s dream in a five set thriller on Friday, Stanislas Wawrinka is now just three sets shy of lifting a fourth Grand Slam title with what would be his second in three years in Paris. While he will be considered the underdog, the 32-year-old can be quietly optimistic.
The world number three has been pretty consistent over the past three years and is now very much part of the sport’s top table. He’ll be looking to emulate what compatriot Roger Federer did in Australia by beating Rafael Nadal in the final to keep up Switzerland’s 100% record in this year’s Men’s Grand Slams. However, it won’t be an easy task.
Wawrinka trails 15-3 on the head-to-heads and has lost six of the last seven on clay. Still, if anyone has shown the ability to overcome Nadal in this tournament, he is the man. The gritty win over Murray, along with the demolitions of decent players including Gael Monfils and Marin Cilic should not be underestimated for a second.
With Wimbledon being the final piece of the career Grand Slam too, it would be the perfect way to build momentum. More importantly, though, it’d mean his won a major title in each of the last four years. But Nadal might have something to say about that.
King Of Clay Gunning For Double Digits
Following a couple of disappointing years in 2015 and 2016, Nadal looks like a rejuvenated star. The 31-year-old went all the way to the final in Melbourne in the year’s first Slam and will be determined to go one better here at his spiritual home. If he does, it would be an incredible 10th crown on Court Philippe Chatrier.
The King of Clay will be firmly fancied, especially after he coasted past sixth seed Dominic Thiem in Friday’s second semi-final. Frankly, if he is in the mood on this surface, he’ll be virtually unstoppable. Wawrinka’s job is to try and stop that rhythm.
Nadal’s aggressive baseline play is perfect for this surface, and the head-to-head dominance provides yet another huge source of confidence. While it won’t be a foregone conclusion, it would be a shock to see the Spaniard mess up here.
Upset or history; either way, we should be in for a treat.
French Open Final Betting: Stan Wawrinka v Rafa Nadal
Unsurprisingly, Nadal enter the final as odds-on favourite at 1/5 with William Hill while Wawrinka is underdog at 7/2.
While Wawrinka has proven himself to be a world star, there’s a good chance that Friday’s semi will have drained him a little. Against the experience, style, and quality of Nadal, anything less than 100% will fail.
In truth, the Spaniard probably isn’t quite the player he used to be. At Roland Garros, though, he is still formidable. We expect him to win with relative ease.
Not only do we expect Nadal to win, but we expect him to make his dominance felt early on as that would crush Wawrinka’s spirt.
It’s a little risk to bet against the Swiss’s serve given the way he has performed over the past fortnight. Nonetheless, Nadal is more than capable of the early break.