Men and women’s French Open draw announced: Seven Brits in action
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | May 20, 2016
Murray leads a seven-strong British line-up
A total of seven Brits have made it to the 2016 French Open main singles draws, three in each the men’s and four in the women’s, and all automatically thanks to their top 100 world ranking status.
Andy Murray is once again the best chance of success out of his compatriots, as he has shortened from 4/1 to 7/2 with Coral to lift a first title at Roland Garros, as he’s been handed a fairly favourable path to the final.
The Scotsman will go up against a yet-to-be-confirmed qualifier first, and has avoided King of Clay and La Decima-chasing Rafael Nadal and dominant world number one Novak Djokovic at least until the final.
Possible opponents for Murray
- 1st round: Qualifier
- 2nd round: Mathias Bourgue (WC)
- 3rd round: Ivo Karlovic
- 4th round: John Isner/Kyle Edmund
- Quarter-final: Kei Nishikori
- Semi-final: Stan Wawrinka
- Final: Novak Djokovic
With Roger Federer pulling out of the event due to a back injury, it means that the likes of Kei Nishikori, Stan Wawrinka, Milos Raonic and Marin Cilic are all on Murray’s side of the draw.
There is a chance that fellow Brit and Davis Cup-winning Kyle Edmund could face the Scot in the fourth round, if the South African-born Yorkshireman can come through a qualifier and then potentially John Isner and Benoit Paire too.
Aljaz Bedene, the third male British representative, has also been drawn a qualifier but is unlikely to get further than the third round where Djokovic should await.
Djokovic handed easy run to semis in bid for Career Grand Slam
Talking of the Serb (5/6 from 4/5), he has been handed a relatively straightforward run at least until the semis. After his first opponent Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan, only David Ferrer poses any real threat to him, until a possible showdown with Nadal for a place in the final.
The Spaniard (5/1 from 9/2), meanwhile, is going for an unprecedented 10th French Open title, and kicks off his campaign with a potential tough challenge against big-serving Aussie Sam Groth. Nadal could face in-form Dominic Thiem as soon as the fourth round, and then one of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Goffin in the quarters.
There are a few crunch clashes to look out for in the fist round, including Vasek Pospisil v Tomas Berdych, Nocolas Almagro v Philipp Kohlschreiber, Andreas Seppi v Ernests Gulbis, Gilles Muller v Marcos Baghdatis, Grigor Dimitrov v Viktor Troicki, Fernando Verdasco v Alaxandr Dolgopolov and Kei Nishikori v Simone Bolelli.
It is difficult to see Swiss number two Stan Wawrinka (10/1 from 12/1) defend his title, but he goes up against Lukas Rosol, who he played in the Geneva Open semis on Friday.
Williams favourite to defend women’s title
In the women’s section, rapid riser 20th seed Johanna Konta (80/1 from 66/1 for the title) takes on German Julia Gorges up first, while fellow Brits Heather Watson and Naomi Broady face unseeded Americans Nicole Gibbs and CoCo Vandeweghe respectively.
Serena Williams is the defending champion, and will be aiming for her 22nd singles Grand Slam title (37th overall). Her favourite odds of 2/1 have stayed the same since the draw was announced.
Slovakia’s Magdalena Rybarikova represents the American superstar’s opening opponent, while the likes of Ana Ivanovic (80/1 from 50/1), Carla Suarez Navarro (50/1 from 28/1), Victoria Azarenka (13/2 from 11/2), Angelique Kerber and sister Venus are also in the 34-year-old’s half of the draw.
Agnieszka Radwanska (25/1, halved from 50/1) is seeded second for this event, and has been handed Serb Bojana Jovanovski first up.
Simona Halep (5/1 second-favourite, from 11/2), still after her maiden Grand Slam crown despite her high promise, should be able to see off Japan youngster Nao Hibino.
Other big names to look out for include Garbine Muguruza (9/1 from 10/1), Lucie Safarova (still 33/1) and Petra Kvitova (20/1 from 22/1), who are all in the bottom half of the draw.