Another year, another French Open that begins with Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams heavy favourites to land the Grand Slam honours.
The 2016 edition sees the world number ones 17/20 and 11/5 for outright glory and, as usual, it’s difficult to back one of their more appealingly-priced rivals with much conviction.
However, that’s where the quarter-winner betting comes in, with its promise of a payout if punters’ selections can go five matches deep at Roland Garros.
Post-draw analysis reveals three particularly choice bets, at prices to suit all tastes.
The Romanian is doubtless the best player across sections seven and eight, despite not being the foremost seed.
Agnieszka Radwanska takes that particular honour, but the Polish grinder has been uninspiring on clay over the past two campaigns, losing in the first round in Paris last year and winning only two of her four outings on dirt since.
Halep remains inconsistent, following up an impressive victory on the orange stuff at the Madrid WTA with a first-match loss in Rome.
However, that recent tournament triumph puts her in by some way the best nick of those in her quarter and she should be all the more fastidious for her sobering defeat in the eternal city.
Reigning champion Stan ‘The Man’ Wawrinka, is the market leader to boss Q3, but his clay form hasn’t been particularly convincing this term.
Raonic’s dirt exploits have been only marginally superior, reaching the quarter-finals in Monte Carlo and Madrid, but he started the campaign like a man going places on hard court, winning three of his five tournaments on that surface as well as reaching the Australian Open semi-final.
Wawrinka was overcome in five sets on the last mentioned incursion and the Canadian has now prevailed in his last two clashes, with the Swiss.
Garbine Muguruza-Blanco is considered ‘woman most likely to’ in Q3, but her middling clay showings this year (something she has in common with second-favourite Petra Kvitova) mean she looks worth taking on.
ICB has made bold showings at both the Madrid and Rome WTA tournaments, where she reached the quarter finals and semis respectively, only losing to the eventual winners Halep and Serena in each case.
Along the way she showed she has the game to trouble the bigger guns on dirt in besting Muguruza and Victoria Azarenka and taking a 6-0 set off her aforementioned Romanian compatriot.