Paris is a moveable feast, but it did not follow Novak Djokovic – a favorite of those betting on tennis – anywhere he went. Au contraire, the Serb had to return to la scène du crime; Stade Roland Garros, where he won his career Grand Slam. Accompanied by new coach Andre Agassi, the No. 2 seed made short work of Marcel Granollers on Monday to move on to the second round of the tournament. Djokovic has not won any major titles since defeating Andy Murray in the 2016 French Open final, but the Scotsman had the last laugh when he bumped the Serb off the No. spot in the world rankings.
Nole lost in the third round at Wimbledon, which marked his earliest exit of in a Grand Slam in seven years. then he was eliminated in the first round at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, made the final of the U.S. Open, and was again ousted early at the Australian Open. Djokovic hired Agassi as the Mr. Miyagi to his Daniel-san in an attempt to become the first racketman in the Open Era to win each of the four majors two times. What are the odds of that, wonder people who bet on tennis. Djokovic parted ways with coach Marian Vajda at the start of the month. “I’ve changed everyone, but I will not change my wife,” Djokovic joked with a smile. Guess that puts the kibosh on a tennis-centric Wife Swap episode.
Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal is on a quest of his own; namely, to win his 10th French Open – a feat that no man or woman has ever achieved in the Open Era. The Nadster went through Benoit Paire 6-1, 6-4, 6-1. The Nadman put on a clinic with only 18 unforced errors. The favorite of people betting on tennis was in the second round in less than two hours. If you were a Richard Mille ambassador like Nads, you would have been able to time it with your $725,000 wristwatch – which kind looks like Ironman’s watch if he wore one. And perhaps someday you’ll be able to afford it too, if you bet on tennis wisely.
“For me, it’s important to serve a little bit better than what I did today,” El Naderino said. “I feel that some moments I was not serving that well. The rest of the things I am happy with.” The Spaniard won his 10th Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, 10th Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell, and fifth Mutua Madrid Open in the last two months. His win on Monday improved his record to 18-1 during this year’s clay-court season and to 73-2 all-time at the French Open. The No. 4 seed Nadal will go up against Dutchman Robin Haase in the next round. “I know him very well and he knows me very well. He’s a dangerous opponent,” Nadal said of Haase. “He hits the ball very hard. So I need to be very focused on the serve because returning him can be tough.” Nonetheless, Nadal will be the favorite of people betting on tennis in that matchup as well.