With the US Open done for another year, Grand Slam tennis quickly turns its attention to the French Open which kicks off next week.
Such a short space of time between two tennis Majors is unheard of, but the clay at Roland Garros is such a specialised surface that the same old faces tend to come to the fore.
That is certainly the case in the men’s event, with clay king Rafael Nadal a dominant force. The mighty Mallorcan has lifted the Paris Grand Slam 12 times from just 15 appearances in the event, and there were legitimate excuses for his three failed attempts too.
Nadal skipped the US Open in order to focus on the Major he has made his own and he makes his return to action in this week’s Italian Open in Rome, a tournament he has also dominated having won on nine occasions.
Quite simply, if Nadal is fully fit then he ought to win but odds of 5/6 are short enough given the lack of recent match practice.
However, challengers on the clay are few and far between, with Novak Djokovic and Dominic Thiem seemingly the only two who can trouble him on his terrain.
Thiem to win - BET NOW
The draw is going to play a key part but it is easy to see why Thiem is fancied after winning his maiden Grand Slam crown at the US Open. He looks a better bet than 3/1 second favourite Djokovic, who has won just one of his 17 Majors at Roland Garros and has failed to make the final in his last three visits.
Djokovic’s surprise disqualification in the US Open fourth round made Thiem’s task in New York an easier one but he still had to topple the likes of Marin Cilic, Felix Auger Aliassime, Daniil Medvedev and Alexander Zverev to get his hands on the silverware.
Given Thiem’s favoured surface is clay and his recent record at Roland Garros, the Austrian is Nadal's biggest challenger.
Thiem was a semi-finalist in 2016 and 2017 and he has finished runner-up to Nadal in each of the last two years, taking the Spaniard to four sets in the latest of them.
The Austrian ace has reached both Grand Slam finals this year and victory at Flushing Meadows must have filled him with plenty of belief after three narrow Major misses. If Nadal has any rustiness to his game, expect Thiem to capitalise.
Stephens to win - BET NOW
While the men’s competition is fairly straightforward, the women’s event is anything but, with Simona Halep unsurprisingly heads the market.
The Romanian was champion in 2018 and has also finished runner-up at Roland Garros in two of the last six years.
However such is the competitive nature of the women’s game - 11 of the last 13 Grand Slams have been won by a different player - taking a short price about anyone would be unruly.
Recent US Open heroine Naomi Osaka has not gone beyond the third round at Roland Garros and has yet to show her liking for the clay, while Serena Williams has won only three of her 23 Grand Slam titles here.
Ashleigh Barty is to skip her French Open title defence, so someone who could outperform her odds is 2018 finalist Sloane Stephens.
The American, who also reached the quarter-finals in the French capital last season, had seen her form tail off but she showed more signs of encouragement at last week’s US Open.
Stephens was knocked out in three sets by Serena Williams in the third round but there was enough in her performance to suggest she is back on the improve after reuniting with coach Kamau Murray, the mastermind behind her 2017 US Open triumph.
She has proven her liking for this surface and with a bit of luck with the draw, could go well at a big price.
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Rafael Nadal is the favourite to win the men's French Open, while Simona Halep is the women's favourite.