French Open: Women’s Winner | 27th May – 10th June 2018
TENNIS analyst Mark Stinchcombe take s a look at the women’s French Open outright market, picking out his favourite fancies.
With Grand Slam champions Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Viktoria Azarenka all playing in a Slam for the first time in two-and-half-years the standard of the competition is at a high compared to some recent Slams.
World number one Simona Halep leads the betting at 6.50 in quarter one but it’s difficult to part with money on someone who regularly feels Slam pressure. Still yet to win a Slam despite a finalist here twice, she’s crashed out early in two of the last three years (round four and round two).
Just one clay final this season where she lost 6-4 6-0 to Elina Svitolina in Rome, she’s only won one title which came at the beginning of the year in Shenzhen.
Quarter two is the Quarter of Death with Garbine Muguruza, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Karolina Pliskova all in. Muguruza retired in Stuttgart with a lower back injury, and since as suffered two defeats at short prices. She also faces a tough opener in former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Serena Williams comes into Roland Garros unseeded having taken a prolonged period off tour to have a baby despite being world number one at the time of her leave. She’s only played four matches this year and none since March having been beaten by Naomi Osaka and sister Venus.
With no clay court matches she’ll be rusty but could play herself into the tournament as she can’t face a top ten player until round four.
Maria Sharapova came into Madrid on a career-equalling four match losing run but made the quarter-finals then backed that up with making the semis in Rome. Her hold/break % this year is only 109%, well down on leader in Rome champion Elina Svitolina with 121%.
It’s mainly her service games that are letting her down, particularly with double faults.
Quarter three sees reigning champion Jelena Ostapenko and Svitolina. Ostapenko is only posting a hold/break % of 98% this year, is just 5-5 v top-10 opponents over the last 12 months and has not been past the quarters of a clay court tournament this year.
Svitolina has the best serve/return game figures as mentioned, winning Brisbane, Dubai and Rome along the way. She should have made the semis last year but collapsed from a set and a double break up v Halep. Having been 9.0 last year, 7.0 looks about right.
Australian Open champion Caroline Wozniacki has been drawn in quarter four but she’s only made one semi since winning Down Under, going 6-3 on the clay and has never made it past the quarters here.
Also in Q4 is Petra Kvitova who’s the form woman. She leads the tour in titles this year (4), wins (30), top 10 wins (7) and three set victories (12). She’s posting a healthy 115% hold/break stats and is a former semi-finalist.
At 15.0 each-way she looks the pick at the prices in a soft quarter in the opposite half of a tough section. Her draw reads Wozniacki in the quarters against whom she leads their head-to-head 9-5 including the last four, then Svitolina in the semis who she leads 7-1 including the last seven.
She should come in fresh having skipped Rome in preparation.