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Nic Ladds 1st Jun 2009 - 8:19

Forget the hairy ogre, it’s gotta be Rock on Tommy

Swiss stroke maker Roger Federer heads William Hill's outright betting for this year's French Open at 11/10 as the season's second Major moves into week two.

No doubt bookmakers will be giving it high fives in trading rooms across the world after the shock defeat of cast-iron favourite Rafael Nadal to Robin Soderling (now 20/1 outright). Fiddlesticks we'll wipe the smiles off their faces in the weeks ahead don't worry about that.

Nadal, searching a fifth straight Roland Garros title, staggered like a maimed matador as his 31-match unbeaten run in Paris came to a sorry end in one of the biggest shocks in tennis betting history.

But if you chucked the man with the Popeye biceps into your long odds-on accas who could really blame you?

Last month in Rome on similar clay Nadal showed Soderling no mercy thrashing him 6-1, 6-0.

So prior to Sunday's heat I would personally have bet London-to-a-brick-on (just as well I'm not Boris Johnson) that the Spaniard would take care of the floppy Swede.

Although, that may have been an ingenious way of ridding the capital's streets of gang culture and spiralling knife crime.

But that's sport and punting for you, it rids the world of all evil. And what's more we are now probably staring down at the most open outright betting market at Roland Garros since Marie Antoinette started hurling Mr Kipling almond slices at the gathering mob outside the Palace of Versailles.

If ever you fancied a punt at some tasty odds-against prices on a tennis Major now is the time I'm telling you.

Infact, given Nadal's premature exit to the beaches of Mallorca, I'm not sure whose eyes should light up more, us punters, the rest of the players left in the French Open draw, or Rafa himself as he weighs up that hen party of pale skinned beauties in bikinis from Huddersfield.

My miserable and woefully misguided guess is Rafa but us punters should never be tempted over to the dark side. Women and punting don't mix and I can prove that by revealing my catastrophic evening of wagering at the recent Miss World event. Those beer goggles after 10pm don't do a man any favours whether he is in front of a laptop or a busy bar.

Anyway, back to the Maria Sharapova, sorry tennis.

Scotland's hairy ogre Andy Murray 7/2 is reckoned in the shrewd judgement of Hill's finely tuned odds men to be the most likely winner after Federer.

Given that the Dunblane man is in the opposite side of the draw from Federer you can understand the decision to make him second fav but I feel quarter-final opponent Fernando Gonzalez 8/1 for the outright will have too much clay court nous and power for the Scot.

But with the big jolly Nadal gone I suspect we are going to see a massive price outsider win in Paris this coming weekend.

Step forward Tommy Robredo 66/1, the man whose parents named him after rock band The Who's album "Tommy". The Spaniard has made the quarters in 2003, 2005 and 2007 and clearly has clay court pedigree. With a bit of luck the clay court specialist could make a mockery of those odds.

Men's French Open outright

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