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French Open previous men's winners

The French Open is the only one of the four Grand Slams to be played on clay and is, therefore, a specialist tournament which tends to be dominated by a small pool of players.

Although having been staged since 1891, it took until 1968 for the tournament to become an Open and that was when professional players were first introduced to the competition. 

There have been many multiple male winners in the French capital down the years with Bjorn Borg winning the event six times between 1974 and 1981, although his achievements have since been overshadowed by the superiority of 14-time champion Rafael Nadal

Nadal's dominance means there have been only four different winners of the French Open since 2004 and he is also the defending champion having defeated Norwegian ace Casper Ruud in last year's final. 

Despite having been absent from competitive action since the Australian Open in January, Nadal will be hoping he can celebrate his return with a record-breaking 15th clay-court Major. 

However, his Spanish compatriot Carlos Alcaraz, the game's rising star, and two-time champion Novak Djokovic are just two players that may have something to say about that.

What2023 French Open
WhereParis, France
WhenSunday 28th May - Sunday 11th June 2023
How to watchbet365 Sports Live Streaming and Eurosport
OddsMen's Outright: Carlos Alcaraz 5/4, Novak Djokovic 11/5, Rafael Nadal 4/1

Nadal's army of fans face an anxious wait

For a long time Nadal has been considered the King of Clay as he is widely regarded as the best player to ever grace the surface. 

The Spaniard grew up playing on the red dirt as a youngster and has carved out a style of play that has allowed him to dominate on the slower terrain. 

Nadal first rose to prominence in Paris in 2005 when he defeated Mariano Puerta to take his first French Open title as a 19-year-old. 

The Mallorcan went on to win eight of the next nine French Open titles, only failing to oblige in 2009 when exiting in the fourth round, and it was Roger Federer that capitalised to win his only ever title in Paris. 

Nadal failed to go beyond the quarter-final in 2015 and 2016 - he withdrew injured before his third-round clash with Marcel Granollers in 2016 - but he quickly recovered to take four more titles between 2017 and 2020. 

The Spaniard looked on course for more French success in 2021 but suffered a surprise four-set defeat to Djokovic in the semi-final. 

The Serb went on to land the silverware by coming from two sets down to defeat Stefanos Tsitsipas in that title decider, becoming only the second duel winner of the French Open alongside Nadal since Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten in 2001. 

However, you can't keep Nadal down for long, particularly in Paris, and he regained his crown last year, beating Ruud in the final. 

The 36-year-old had earlier overcome Felix Auger-Aliassime, Djokovic and Alexander Zverev in the French capital and he is 4/1 to extend his dominance this season. 

That means Nadal has won on 14 of his 18 visits to Paris but his army of fans face an anxious wait to see if their sporting hero will be fit enough in time to compete for a 15th French Open title. 

The Spanish veteran has not been seen since losing to Mackenzie McDonald in the second round of the Australian Open in January, so has lost seven of his last 10 matches. 

With Nadal being plagued by injury this season and lacking match sharpness, it would go down as one of his finer achievements were he to prevail in Paris again this year.

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Djokovic pursuing Paris hat-trick 

Djokovic and Nadal are locked together on the all-time record list with 22 Grand Slam titles apiece, and how the Serb would love to take the mantle all for himself by winning a tournament Nadal has dominated. 

Only two of Djokovic's 22 Major wins have come in Paris and they came five years apart, with him beating Andy Murray in the final in 2016 and then taking care of Tsitsipas in the 2021 title decider. 

To his credit, Djokovic has made at least the quarter-final stage of the French Open in 16 of his 18 previous visits, finishing runner-up on four occasions, three of those defeats of which came against Nadal. The 35-year-old is 11/5 to record a third success in the event this year.

Super Swiss duo deserve plenty of praise 

Federer has won all four Grand Slam titles - he is a 20-time Major champion - but he did well to tick off the French Open given Nadal's achievements. 

The Swiss maestro conquered the Parisian clay way back in 2009, when he defeated Nadal's conqueror Robin Soderling in the final. 

It was the least Federer deserved given he had finished runner-up to Nadal in three consecutive years prior to that and then bumped into the Spaniard again in 2011. 

Federer winning the French Open in this era of tennis is one thing but the achievements of his compatriot Stan Wawrinka should not go unrecognised. 

Wawrinka defeated Djokovic in an epic four-set final to be crowned French Open champion in 2015, making him one of only four players to claim the prize since 2004.

French Open winners (Open Era)

1968Ken RosewallRod Laver
1969Rod LaverKen Rosewall
1970Jan KodešŽeljko Franulović
1971Jan KodešIlie Năstase
1972Andrés GimenoPatrick Proisy
1973Ilie NăstaseNikola Pilić
1974Björn BorgManuel Orantes
1975Björn BorgGuillermo Vilas
1976Adriano PanattaHarold Solomon
1977Guillermo VilasBrian Gottfried
1978Björn BorgGuillermo Vilas
1979Björn BorgVíctor Pecci
1980Björn BorgVitas Gerulaitis
1981Björn BorgIvan Lendl
1982Mats WilanderGuillermo Vilas
1983Yannick NoahMats Wilander
1984Ivan LendlJohn McEnroe
1985Mats WilanderIvan Lendl
1986Ivan LendlMikael Pernfors
1987Ivan LendlMats Wilander
1988Mats WilanderHenri Leconte
1989Michael ChangStefan Edberg
1990Andrés GómezAndre Agassi
1991Jim CourierAndre Agassi
1992Jim CourierPetr Korda
1993Sergi BrugueraJim Courier
1994Sergi BrugueraAlberto Berasategui
1995Thomas MusterMichael Chang
1996Yevgeny KafelnikovMichael Stich
1997Gustavo KuertenSergi Bruguera
1998Carlos MoyáÀlex Corretja
1999Andre AgassiAndrei Medvedev
2000Gustavo KuertenMagnus Norman
2001Gustavo KuertenÀlex Corretja
2002Albert CostaJuan Carlos Ferrero
2003Juan Carlos FerreroMartin Verkerk
2004Gastón GaudioGuillermo Coria
2005Rafael NadalMariano Puerta
2006Rafael NadalRoger Federer
2007Rafael NadalRoger Federer
2008Rafael NadalRoger Federer
2009Roger FedererRobin Söderling
2010Rafael NadalRobin Söderling
2011Rafael NadalRoger Federer
2012Rafael NadalNovak Djokovic
2013Rafael NadalDavid Ferrer
2014Rafael NadalNovak Djokovic
2015Stan WawrinkaNovak Djokovic
2016Novak DjokovicAndy Murray
2017Rafael NadalStan Wawrinka
2018Rafael NadalDominic Thiem
2019Rafael NadalDominic Thiem
2020Rafael NadalNovak Djokovic
2021Novak DjokovicStefanos Tsitsipas
2022Rafael NadalCasper Ruud

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