The second tennis Grand Slam of the year is set to begin over Memorial Day Weekend. The top players from across the globe will descend on Paris, France, for the 2021 French Open. While the men’s singles tournament has been dominated by one man for nearly two decades and counting, the women’s draw has been as unpredictable as ever in recent years. The defending Roland Garros champion is the pre-tournament betting favorite, but there are a whole host of capable challengers behind her.
The following article serves as a comprehensive betting preview for the 2021 French Open. Read on for a look at the betting odds to win, previous winners, key details regarding the playing surface and betting picks to consider ahead of the women’s tournament.
Refer to the table below which contains the betting odds to win the French Open across three major U.S. Sportsbooks. The top 20 players in terms of odds are included.
Recent French Open Women’s Winners
- 2020: Iga Swiatek
- 2019: Ashleigh Barty
- 2018: Simona Halep
- 2017: Jelena Ostapenko
- 2016: Garbine Muguruza
Clay Court Surface Handicapping Notes
Clay court surfaces slow the ball down on volleys when compared to their hard and grass court counterparts. As such, big servers are prone to losing some of their advantage on a clay surface. The big hitters might not be able to dominate points or even entire matches like they could on other surfaces.
When handicapping the French Open, consider players whose games are better suited to playing on a slower clay surface. The direct opposite surface of clay in terms of speed is grass, the surface of the third annual Grand Slam at Wimbledon.
French Open Women’s Outright Picks
Ashleigh Barty (+550 at BetMGM)
If you are searching for where Ashleigh Barty finished in last year’s French Open, do recall that she pulled out from playing because of virus concerns. That means that the last time she competed in Roland Garros, she took home the women’s championship. Barty enters this year’s tournament ranked number one in the world. The Aussie has played well during the clay-court prep season, including taking home the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix title last month. It’s impossible to pass up odds of 5-1 or longer on the current World No. 1, especially since she never technically defended her 2019 French Open title.
Petra Kvitova (+2400 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
Czech player Petra Kvitova falls right in that next tier of challengers capable of going all the way at the French Open. The 24-1 outright odds on her to win really don’t do her skill justice. A semifinalist just last year, Kvitova is still seeking a championship at Roland Garros. She won the Qatar Open on a hard court surface back in March and also reached the quarterfinals of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix. Kvitova has the experience and technical savvy to hang with anyone on a clay surface. Don’t count her out as a legitimate French Open contender.
Longshot Betting Pick
Sofia Kenin (+5500 at FanDuel Sportsbook)
Last year’s French Open runner-up enters this year’s tournament with odds as long as 55-1. Given the form Kenin has displayed thus far in the 2021 WTA season, it comes as no surprise that she has been relegated to longshot status ahead of Roland Garros. She hasn’t advanced past the second round of a tournament since the Miami Open back at the end of March. Kenin will also have to contend with a former Roland Garros champion in Jelena Ostapenko right out of the gates in a First Round match. The road won’t be easy, but then again, this is the French Open. Nothing will come easy for any player in the women’s draw. But if Kenin does pass the early test, she has proven before that she can navigate the clay courts and hang around over the long run.
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