Women’s French Open 2014 – Betting Preview & Tips
After being forced to withdraw at the quarter-finals stage of the Madrid Open with a thigh injury, Serena Williams then went on to claim the Rome Masters title
in imperious fashion to make it just one defeat in 38 matches on the clay since losing in the first round of the 2012 French Open.
After defeating Andrea Petkovic, Varvara Lepchenko and Shuai Zhang in straight sets and dropping just 11 games, the American was given her first real test in the semi-finals against Ana Ivanovic. It had looked as though it may be a routine win but the Serb came back to take the second set 6-3 before Williams powered away to win the decider 6-1. Then in the final the world number 1 trounced an injury-hit Sara Errani 6-3 6-0.
Maria Sharapova was the lady to profit most from Serena’s withdrawal in Madrid as she went on to claim the title with a 1-6 6-2 6-3 victory over Simona Halep in the final there. The Russian had previously won the Stuttgart Open in her only other appearance on clay this year, but then lost in the third round in Rome to Ana Ivanovic – who she beat in the Stuttgart final.
Ivanovic has also been in good touch on the clay this year, losing only to eventual finalists or winners – Williams (Rome), Halep (Madrid), Sharapova (Stuttgart) – in the three tournaments she has participated.
2011 French Open champion and current world number 2 Li Na hasn’t done much to shout about on the clay so far in 2014. She stumbled to the quarter-finals of the Madrid Masters where she lost to Sharapova and was then eliminated at the quarter-finals in Rome by Sara Errani in her two clay court appearances. This after only reaching the second round of the 2013 French Open when defending her title here 12 months ago.
Serena Williams is a fully deserved short price favourite in pretty much any tournament that she enters right now. In a gruelling two-week long Grand Slam on the dirt, such as the French Open, she’s even more deserving of her favourite tag and I see no reason why she won’t oblige with a third French Open title this year.
Of the chasing pack, I like the look of Ana Ivanovic at odds of 16/1. The Serb appears to be getting her game together again this year following a long barren spell. She has shown, by reaching the final in Stuttgart and taking Serena to a deciding set last week, that she is back to mixing it with the best at the business end of tournaments, and I fancy she may be a good each-way bet here.