Without Rafael Nadal this year, the “King of Clay” may now reside in the women’s draw.
Iga Swiatek has captured two of the last three Roland Garros titles on the women’s side and, as a heavy French Open odds favorite, looks poised to compete for yet another here this spring, though some recent results have the world just the slightest bit skeptical as to whether or not that’ll happen.
With two strong challengers in Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina, the slightest misstep could cost Swiatek the title this year, and there are some trending players behind those two with plenty of past success at Roland Garros.
Without further ado, let’s break down the tennis odds and serve up free betting picks in our 2023 French Open women’s preview.
|Player||Odds to win|
Odds courtesy of DraftKings as of May 24, 2023.
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Iga Swiatek (-135)
The World No. 1 has had a run of dominance over the last year and a half, the likes of which we haven’t seen on the WTA Tour in some time. With that said, might it be coming to an end, or at the very least a pause?
Swiatek is 12-2 on the dirt this year and must be considered “hot” entering this tournament, but a thigh injury suffered in the Rome final has everyone talking. The ailment forced Swiatek to retire, marking her second consecutive loss in a final this month.
Still, she has won this tournament two out of the last three years and is a deserving favorite here given here insane results during clay season, aside from those two finals. She took home the trophy in Stuttgart and has her eyes on a third title in 2023.
Aryna Sabalenka (+700)
It’s Sabalenka — not Swiatek — who was the latest to win a Grand Slam, and there’s little in her way of adding a second straight trophy to her mantle after a commanding win over Swiatek in the final of the Madrid Masters.
Sabalenka has tailored her game more towards the clay this year, with a 9-2 run on the surface heading into Roland Garros, which includes the title run in Madrid, where she defeated Swiatek and Maria Sakkari. It’s clear she’s the second-best player in the world right now, and she’s looking even more dangerous than she did on the hardcourts last fall and this winter.
Elena Rybakina (+700)
Rybakina was Sabalenka’s final victim in Australia and has followed that up with a stellar season which has seen her go 30-7 across all competitions. Like Sabalenka, clay hasn’t always been the best surface for the big-hitting Kazakh, but there no longer seem to be many doubts about her ability to play on the dirt following a win at the Rome masters.
If Sabalenka isn’t the second-best player in the world it’s surely Rybakina, and the gap following those three is somewhat significant. She’s as dangerous as anyone heading into this tournament, with a win at Wimbledon last year already under her belt, and her head-to-head success against Swiatek could come into play down the road.
Jelena Ostapenko (+2,500)
It’s easy to forget considering it happened six years ago, but Ostapenko is a former French Open champion. She hasn’t had much success since then, but she’s playing arguably her best tennis in at least a year right now.
The Latvian reeled off four straight wins over quality opponents (Cirstea, Rrejcikova, Kasatkina, Badosa) en route to the Rome semifinal, and will enter this fortnight brimming with confidence.
Coco Gauff (+3,100)
A finalist here a year ago, it’s certainly possible that Gauff could make another run given she’s been a player at almost every Grand Slam she’s entered. With that being said, she’s gone just 3-3 on the clay this season with a tough loss in her last match to Maria Bouzkova. She’s struggling with the mid-card of the WTA Tour right now, which makes a push to the top of the card seem unlikely at the moment.
Ons Jabeur (+3,100)
It’s true that Jabeur technically won an event on clay in Charleston, but her trip to the red clay in Europe didn’t go so well. She took out Ostapenko in Stuttgart before running into Swiatek in the semis and retiring with an injury, and she popped up weeks later at Rome only to lose her first match to Badosa. She’s on a two-match losing streak now heading into Roland Garros, where she’s never been past the Fourth Round.
Maria Sakkari (+4,200)
Sakkari just may be the Tony Finau of tennis, always seeming to hang around the world’s Top 10 despite very few wins. She has lifted just one WTA trophy in her long career, which would make a win at the French Open seem improbable, but she did go to the semifinals here a couple of years ago and remains one of the 10 best clay-courters in the world.
The Greek was impressive in Madrid before falling to Sabalenka in the semis and could wind up going deep here if the draw breaks right.
Caroline Garcia (+5,500)
Her level has fallen off following an elite close to the 2022 season, but we know two things to be true here: Garcia is good on clay, and Garcia is French.
The combination might have Garcia very much in the mix at Roland Garros, and after a strong showing at the US Open last year it certainly isn’t hard to envision. She’s been very flat on the clay to this point, going 3-3 this year, but after an 11-3 clay-court season a year ago a run here is possible.
Jessica Pegula (+4,000)
She may be the World No. 3, but on clay, Pegula simply isn’t elite. She’s lost her last two matches on the surface to inferior competition, and her counter-punching style simply doesn’t translate to this surface. Many will point to her quarterfinal run last year as proof that this is feasible, but it was a rather easy path through the first four rounds.
Pegula is now 17-7 on the clay over the last two seasons which certainly isn’t bad, but it’s not good enough to get her to the podium here.
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