Iga Swiatek can win the French Open again
Iga Swiatek can win the French Open again

French Open women's singles betting tips: Preview and best bets for Roland Garros

Andy Schooler is finding it hard to look past favourite Iga Swiatek in the French Open women’s draw – but he’s got a way of backing her at 7/2.

Tennis betting tips: French Open women's singles

3pts Iga Swiatek to win the title without losing a set at 7/2 (General)

0.5pt e.w. Madison Keys at 125/1 (Sky Bet)

0.5pt Anhelina Kalinina to win the second quarter at 33/1 (Paddy Power, Betfair)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

French Open

  • Roland Garros, Paris, France (outdoor clay)

The 2024 French Open marks 17 years since the last triumph at Roland Garros of Justine Henin.

The Belgian won in Paris four times in five years, a record which ensured she would go down among the all-time greats on clay.

On the women’s side, no-one has dominated in such a way since – until the arrival of IGA SWIATEK, that is.

The Pole arrives in France this year having the opportunity to match Henin’s four-in-five feat and it would take a brave person to bet against her.

While slightly bigger than the diminutive Henin, Swiatek’s frame hardly dominates the court but her skills are ideally suited to this surface with excellent movement and speed key factors in her success.

An ability to take the ball early allows her to dictate points, often from the outset, and she’s now built a fearsome reputation on the red dirt, one which must give her a mental advantage over some players before they have even stepped on court.

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I’ve already pointed out Swiatek’s efforts in Paris have seen her win three of the last four titles – for the record, Maria Sakkari was the player who prevented a run of four in a row – but her dominance has stretched across the regular tour too.

Including her maiden Grand Slam title at Roland Garros in 2020, Swiatek has won nine of the last 15 claycourt tournaments she has contested, putting together a 70-6 win-loss record.

Two of those titles have been claimed in the past month.

The world number one won the two big warm-up events, the first in Madrid and the second – where conditions are in tune with Paris – in Rome.

On each occasion, Aryna Sabalenka was the player she beat in the final, with the Belarusian getting very close to victory in Madrid in a match which will go down as one of the year’s best.

But if the Australian Open champion couldn’t find a way there, where the quicker conditions favour her big-hitting game, where can she beat Swiatek on clay?

It was much more one-sided in Rome and if the Big Two progress to a final here, the Pole will go off a firm favourite.

Thursday’s draw kept Swiatek in the opposite half to the only player to have beaten her on clay this year – Elena Rybakina – and that saw her shorten up a little.

Aside from that, the draw actually threw up some potentially tricky clashes in the earlier rounds.

Swiatek could meet former world number one Naomi Osaka in round two. Then could come Veronika Kudermetova.

The 2021 champion Barbora Krejcikova or Ekaterina Alexandrova, a player who beat Swiatek comfortably in Miami in March, will likely await in the last 16, with the in-form Danielle Collins a possible quarter-final foe.

The route through the draw could certainly have been easier which makes it harder to judge how much value in left in the Swiatek price which has now gone into 4/6.

That’s about the limit of how low I’m generally prepared to go, although I do feel the top seed is by far and away the most likely champion.

However, the value way of getting with Swiatek is to back her to win the tournament WITHOUT LOSING A SET.

She managed that in Rome where no-one across six matches was able to get her into a tie-break, while one of her Roland Garros titles (in 2020) was won this way.

The Pole’s last two successes here saw both saw only one set dropped; in short, she doesn’t lose sets very often here – in total, Swiatek has played 30 matches at Roland Garros and won 25 of them in straight sets.

It’s 7/2 about a straight-sets triumph in 2024 and backing that is my recommendation.

Sabalenka solid but value limited

I’ve already mentioned most of those closest to Swiatek in the market and, of course, they are not without hope.

Sabalenka has played some good tennis of late with those two final runs and has been a model of consistency at the Slams in recent times.

She’s made the semi-finals or better at the last six majors, winning two, including January’s Australian Open.

However, she’s had a few chokes during that time in the big matches, including here last season when she lost her semi-final to Karolina Muchova from match point up.

Throw in her struggles against Swiatek, who now leads their head-to-head 8-3, and I’m not really interested in quotes of around 5/1 – although I have no doubt some will still be happy to back her each-way in the hope she makes the final, which could well happen.

Aryna Sabalenka
Aryna Sabalenka

Rybakina’s win over Swiatek in Stuttgart is worth noting, albeit that event is held indoors at the start of the clay swing.

However, she’s since been hit by an illness about which we don’t know a great deal and that’s somewhat off-putting for those who were considering siding with the former Wimbledon champion at 11/1.

It’s something we’ve seen in the past too, Rybakina heading to a Slam under an injury or illness cloud and then duly disappointing. Last season she withdrew here mid-tournament.

She’s a player more naturally suited to a faster surface too so isn’t for me.

Coco Gauff is last player to make up the top four in the market.

The reigning US Open champion has been a tad disappointing since Australia where she was the player to push Sabalenka the hardest in Melbourne, losing their hard-fought semi-final.

The American has been to the final here before – in 2022 – but the signs of a repeat haven’t really been there and she’ll need to find a higher level to do it again.

The good news is she’s landed in what looks a fairly soft quarter of the draw, albeit she’s also in the same half as Swiatek.

I’ll come back to Q2 shortly but first I want to mention a couple of in-form players, who will be looking to continue strong recent performances.

The aforementioned Danielle Collins has, at time of writing, won 21 of her last 23 matches, a run which has taken in titles in Miami and Charleston, the latter on clay.

Announcing her retirement in January appears to have lifted pressure from her shoulders and a player who is a real warrior looks determined to leave it all out there in 2024.

It took Sabalenka to stop her in both Madrid and Rome – she made the semis of the latter event – and prior to Thursday’s draw I was keen to side with the 2022 Australian Open finalist.

However, landing in Swiatek’s quarter isn’t good and given how keen I am on the favourite, I don’t fancy Collins’ chances there.

Keys worth one more try

Now into 22/1 following her good run, Collins could have represented some value on the other side of the draw; as it is, I’m more inclined to side with MADISON KEYS, for my sins.

As long-term readers will know, she’s a player I’ve backed a few times at the Slams in the past – I’m still gutted she lost in the Australian Open semis after I put her up at 100/1!

Essentially, I’ve never got her across the line – I wasn’t on when she was a surprise finalist at the 2017 US Open – but perhaps this year’s French Open offers one more chance.

Form is very good with Keys having made the semis in Madrid and quarters in Rome, on each occasion only losing to Swiatek.

She admitted in Rome that the clay “takes away from my attributes” but she’s still managed to beat some good claycourt players in recent weeks – Liudmila Samsonova, Gauff and Beatriz Haddad-Maia among them.

Few hit the ball harder than Keys and she’s subsequently capable of beating anyone on her day.

Unsurprisingly, such a high-risk game does have the potential to collapse but I’m still surprised to see her at a three-figure price given the matches she’s won of late and the fact that she’s on the opposite side of the draw to the only player who has beaten her on the European clay this season.

Keys is in the Sabalenka section – the pair could meet in the last 16 – but it’s worth remembering how close their US Open semi-final was last season (Sabalenka prevailed in a final-set tie-break having lost the opener 6-0).

At 125/1, Keys is 25 times the price of Sabalenka here and that just seems wrong – a small each-way bet is the suggestion.

Finally, let’s return to that second quarter where I’m looking to take a punt on the semi-finalist to emerge from it.

The seedings – and the market – have it as Gauff. Ons Jabeur is the next highest seed; former champion Jelena Ostapenko next in the betting.

However, none makes great appeal given recent form and I want to take them on.

Haddad-Maia has potential, although she suffered a miserable loss in Strasbourg on Thursday,

Instead, I’m going with 33/1 long shot, ANHELINA KALININA.

The Ukrainian was the runner-up in Rome last season, her second tour-level final on clay after Budapest in 2021. Other strong results on the surface include quarter-final showings in Charleston and Madrid.

While she’s yet to enjoy such results in 2024, at time of writing she’s fought her way into the last eight in Strasbourg, beating former Roland Garros finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the process.

Having won many titles at ITF level on her way up to a peak ranking of 25 – achieved last season – Kalinina is quite happy on this surface and, if she’s able to come through a tricky opener against Maria Camila Osario, she looks a player who could take down the out-of-sorts Jabeur and make a deep run.

Some small change on Kalinina to win the quarter at 33s looks worth a try.

Posted at 1220 BST on 24/05/24

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