Wawrinka looks value to reign in Spain
Murray not at home on clay
Rafael Nadal has dominated recent events on his favoured clay surface and the resurgent Spaniard could be difficult to stop spurred on by home support in Madrid.
The clay king - a four-time winner in the Spanish capital - has surged to success in the Monte Carlo Masters and the Barcelona Open within the last month and is in excellent shape ahead of a tilt at clinching a tenth title at Roland Garros.
However, there’s little juice in his price and with last year’s champion Novak Djokovic and three-time semi-finalist Kei Nishikori housed in his section, it may pay to target the top half of the draw.
Djokovic parted company with his coaching staff this week in a bid to arrest his worrying slump in form and it’s difficult to see his decision taking immediate effect, while Nishikori's chances are constantly plagued by injuries.
World number one Andy Murray headlines the top section and has reached successive finals in Madrid - landing a touch at 20-1 two years ago - but he’s not at his best on the red dirt and needs to overturn a recent defeat to Dominic Thiem in Barcelona.
Thiem is respected following his semi-final victory over the Briton and he has the potential to scale great heights on a clay surface.
However, top seeds have dominated this event and it’s difficult to see why Stan Wawrinka can be supported at a similar price.
The third seed must overcome a second-round exit to Pablo Cuevas in Monte Carlo but he’s a French Open victor, something only a handful of men have achieved in Nadal’s era.
The Swiss sensation has enjoyed most of his success on his favoured hard court but he’s clinched six titles on clay and is difficult to dismiss when in prime shape.
Wawrinka skipped the recent Barcelona Open to focus on Madrid and is housed in the weakest quarter.
The Swiss ace leads fellow-seeds Marin Cilic (11-2), Tomas Berdych (11-5) and Jack Sock (1-0) in their personal battles and is yet to taste defeat against any of them on this surface.
1pt each-way 11-1 bet365