French Open Underdogs and Sleepers in 2019
The clay court at Roland Garros is sacred ground to millions of tennis fans across the world. As one of the four Grand Slams, the French Open is the place where legacies are built on or strengthened.
And while some of the biggest names in tennis, including the record holder for number of victories, Rafael Nadal, will be gracing the courts this year, there’s always the chance we may witness a surprise winner.
Nitrogen Sports Blog takes a look at the players aiming to further their fame by creating a major offset at the Roland Garros, as one of the French Open underdogs in 2019.
2019 French Open underdogs
Alexander Zverev (+2000)
Zverev is the poster child for the Next Gen of international tennis stars. Despite his capacity for greatness, Zverev’s results in 2019 have been underwhelming.
He went out early of the Australian Open, Indian Wells and Miami. He also lost the Acapulco final to fellow upstart Nick Kyrgios.
He has won five and lost six games on clay this year. Compare this to last year when his overall record was 58 wins and 19 losses in all tournaments. Yes, less than a year ago Zverev looked poised to take on the world as he won the ATP Finals trophy.
Still, don’t sleep on Zverev, who made it all the way into the quarterfinals of last year’s edition of the French Open — only his third singles try at the tournament.
Clearly not an elite player yet, Zverev will hit the clay court at Roland Garros as part of the French Open underdogs in 2019.
Stefanos Tsitsipas (+1800)
Tsitsipas is rapidly becoming a star in the sport. The Greek player proved to be a tough opposition to Rafael Nadal in the Rome semifinals. And, earlier this year, he reached the Australian Open semis.
This future superstar is already ranked sixth in the world and has proven to be a master on the clay court, having won 12 of 16 matches this year.
He’s never made it past the second round at Roland Garros in each of the last two French Opens. Considering his fast development and growing confidence, it’s just a matter of time before he pockets his first Grand Slam title — perhaps as soon as this year’s French Open.
Stan Wawrinka (+3700)
Wawrinka has already made his mark at Roland Garros, winning one of his three Grand Slams in 2015 at the French Open. Wawrinka has yet to win a tournament this year, and is looking to set his career back on track.
A loss to Nadal at the Madrid Open and an embarrassing first round exit at the Italian Open are concerning clues about how the Swiss will fare at the French Open.
He’s also just exited the ATP Top 20 rankings again which will surely come as a disappointment given his comeback in the last 18 months.
But, Wawrinka did well to reach the final in Rotterdam. He may follow it up with a good performance at the French Open as he returns to his favourite playing surface, the clay court.
2019 French Open longshots
Gael Monfils (+7300)
In spite of being ranked in the top 20 and having won the Rotterdam Open this year, few see Monfils as a legitimate candidate in Paris. However, it’s worth remembering, that the Frenchman has an 18 – 6 win ratio this year, with three wins and three defeats on clay.
Fan support will also come in handy as the French player will try to win the trophy for the home crowd.
Milos Raonic (+7500)
Miracles have happened on the big courts and this is just what we would call a title win from Raonic. Making the case for an upset is the Canadian’s almost 70 percent win ratio since becoming a pro. He stands at 11 – 6 this year but has not yet played on clay.
There’s a feeling that Raonic still has something to prove at 28 years of age. He was poised to be one of tennis’ great players after all. If there ever was a moment for confirmation, it would be at the Roland Garros.
The French Open underdogs this 2019 will be in Paris to make things fun at Roland Garros. But they have higher goals than making life hard for the likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic. They’ll be there trying to win the tournament and lift La Coupe des Mousquetaires.
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