French Open Tennis Betting - Women's Favourites
"This is the most incredible memory I'm going to have looking back on my career." So said six-time winner of the French Open, Steffi Graf, after her 1999 triumph. The 2019 French Open - taking place at Roland Garros from Sunday, 26th May to Sunday, 9th June - will represent the pinnacle for the best tennis players in the world. So as we look ahead to the showpiece, who are the competitors shaping up as top contenders for the Women's Singles crown?
The two ladies with the most French Open pedigree expected to be in the draw are three-time winner Serena Williams 15/2*, and two-time champion Maria Sharapova 33/1*. Despite being 37, 23-time Grand Slam winner Williams is still a force to be reckoned with. Serena's erratic playing schedule affects her world ranking, and consequently it is likely that she will not have the privilege of a potentially easier route which the top seeds enjoy in the draw. Nevertheless, should Serena make it further than last year's fourth place finish, who would bet against her going all the way? On three of the four occasions Serena has made it to the final, she has walked away with the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.
While Williams is still regularly mixing it at the top table in Grand Slams, having reached two finals in 2018, Sharapova is searching for the spark which drove her to five top titles. The former world number one is now ranked 28th, but could the memories of past Roland Garros glory inspire her to conjure up a special performance? Sharapova made it to last year's Quarter-Finals.
Hang your hat on Halep?
Simona Halep 9/2*, the reigning French Open champion, has made it to three of the last five French Open Finals. However, last year's triumph remains the Romanian world number two's solitary Grand Slam title. Favourite Halep has proven her aptitude on the clay courts, and could take a step to greatness by becoming the first lady to retain the French Open since Justine Henin in 2006.
They came From The East
Eastern Europe has certainly become a hotbed of women's talent over the years, and at the 2019 French Open, aside from Halep there are several other convincing contenders for the tournament. Elina Svitolina 11/1* of Ukraine underlined her pedigree with a win at the 2018 WTA Finals, the climax to the year for the WTA Tour, featuring the world's top ranked players. The world number six was undefeated on her way to glory in Singapore, brushing aside the likes of defending champion, Caroline Wozniacki, Petra Kvitová, Kiki Bertens and Sloane Stephens on her way to a career-best win. What is lacking from Svitolina's resume are convincing Grand Slam performances, so could Roland Garros provide the perfect platform to build on her recent momentum?
Then there is Petra Kvitová 12/1*, the Czech world number three, who won this year's Sydney International before making it all the way to the Australian Open Final. Kvitová is a two-time Wimbledon champion, but has typically found the clay surface more challenging. But with a successful start to the year under her belt, could 2019 be her breakthrough year in Paris?
Kvitová's country woman Karolína Plíšková 14/1* is another lady in form, having reached the 2019 Australian Open Semi-Final, and picking up a tournament win at the Brisbane International. Plíšková reached the Semis in 2017 - could she go even further this time out?
Spanish King and Queen?
Spain's Garbiñe Muguruza 20/1* has to go a long way to compete with Rafael Nadal's 11 French Open titles - ten more to be exact! But the winner of this April's Monterrey Open in Mexico has proved she has what it takes for victory at Roland Garros. Muguruza beat Serena Williams in straight sets to take the title in 2016, before going all the way at Wimbledon the next year. Muguruza's consistency in Paris, where she has reached at least the Quarter-Finals since 2014, give hope to Spain that they could claim both singles titles this year - which would be the first time both winners have hailed from the same country since Spaniards Sergi Bruguera and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario in 1994.
One better for Sloane?
The USA's Sloane Stephens 14/1* reached last year's Final, and should certainly be considered a threat. The 2017 US Open winner is yet to win in 2019, but has proved she has the stomach for the largest stage, and as an all court player, can be relied upon to negotiate the clay well.
Osaka's clay curse
Why leave the current world number one until last? Well, despite being the reigning US and Australian Open champion, new sensation Naomi Osaka 11/1* has never been further than the third round at the French. Of course, there is plenty of time for the 21-year-old to make her mark on the tournament, but the hard court specialist openly admits the clay surface is a challenge, saying: "For me, it's a little bit different because I can't hit as flat and you have to change the way you spin the ball."
There's some food for thought as you weigh up who to bet on at the tennis for outright winner of the Women's Singles. The great thing about the ladies' game at present is the broad mix of talent, making it fascinating to see who emerges as the 2019 French Open champion.
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*All odds correct at the time of writing.
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