As the women get set to descend on Paris for the 2013 French Open, the story that is being written centres exclusively on one woman, on the hot odds-on favourite Serena Williams and the high probability that she’ll win the title. Find out if she is indeed the best tennis pick of the lot.
Review my early French Open Womens Betting Guide
Williams draws lucky
Serena Williams must be doing a jig right
now as she thanks her lucky stars. Not that the American needed any help from
the draw; it’s the trimmest and fittest Serena Williams we’ve seen in some time
that arrives in Paris, flush of three straight titles in Charleston, Madrid and
Rome and brimming with confidence. Nonetheless, the tennis gods smiled down on
her, delivering Victoria Azarenka and Li Na – two of the other short-odds-on
favourites to win the title – into Maria Sharapova’s half and sending threats
such as Sara Errani, Angelique Kerber and Agnieszka Radwanska into her half.
Interesting to note, since the draw came
out, Serena Williams’ odds moved up, over even money to -110 from where they
were just a few days ago at +125. Clearly, bookies like her chances now even
more so than before – kudos to those that jumped on her earlier tennis odds.
Before placing your bets, let SBR's 'French Open Betting Odds & Preview' help you find the best tennis odds on offer.
Williams’ quarter: Now it’s not all great news and
champagne bubbles for Serena. Not just yet. Her draw might be devoid of some of
the favourites for the title but it isn’t devoid of threats entirely, though
the early rounds are straightforward enough. The R16 with big hitting Anastasia
Pavlyuchenkova could be tricky and the quarterfinals with lefties in Laura
Robson and Ekaterina Makarova or top-ten threat Angelique Kerber (+3300 at
William Hill) or former French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova (+6600), the
last three of which have beaten Serena Williams in the past, even trickier. If an upset were to happen, it would come in
these early rounds surely. Kerber has the best shot on paper, she trails 1-2
lifetime against Serena, which includes a 1-1 record on 2012.
quarter: With the world No. 4 Radwanska (listed at
betting odds of +3300) and World No.5 Errani in the same quarter, it’s a tossup
between them as far as whose quarter it really is. Based purely on form it’s
Errani’s quarter and, by the same token, she’s the best bet to emerge into the
quarterfinals, if not the semis – she’s trading at +2200 to win it all at
William Hill. Having said that the section is latent with depth and talent and as
such anything could happen. The pressure to replicate the runner-up finish of
last year and go one better might be all too much for the Italian. And with Venus Williams (+10,000), Ana
Ivanovic (+6600), Sabine Lisicki and Nadia Petrova all lurking, to name a few,
this quarter could deliver a surprise.
quarter: Although Li Na (+1000 to win it all) book
ends the other side of this quarter it otherwise leaves something to be
desired. Granted, some solid French threats are contained within. Marion
Bartoli (+10000) and Alize Cornet theoretically could make a decent run of it.
As well, good clay-courters like Maria Kirilenko (+15,000), former French Open
champion Francesca Schiavone (+6600) and lesser known Lucie Hradecka could take
advantage. But this section really should deliver a Li Na and Victoria Azarenka
(+700 tennis betting odds at William Hill) showdown in the quarterfinals, what
should be the marquee matchup in this section and a rematch of the Australian
Open final that more than a few tennis enthusiasts would love to see go the way
of the veteran Li Na. A bit of revenge for the heartbreaking Aussie defeat.
quarter: Of the entire women’s draw, this section
is one of the toughest – if not the toughest. Big hitters such as Sloane
Stephens, Tamira Paszek, Petra Kvitova (+2500) and Samantha Stosur (+2000 at
William Hill) are all packed in tightly along with solid clay-courters in
Jelena Jankovic and Dominika Cibulkova (+10000) and veteran Daniela Hantuchova
interspersed in their midst. This section could deliver several surprises in
the earlier rounds, never mind waiting for the quarterfinals. FYI: Sharapova’s
odds have increased from +350 to +400 over the last few days at William Hill.
Betting Verdict: Undoubtedly, Serena Williams is
the best bet to win the French Open and not just on paper. She’s known to front
up for big events and play some of her best tennis when it matters the most.
Seen it all too often. Sure, Sloane Stephens beat Serena in the Aussie
quarters. All that did though was to shake her up and make her take notice; she
won’t be so remiss this time around. So go ahead and bank on her if you are so
For those looking for that major upset, if
it’s going to come and have Serena’s name all over it, it’s going to come from
an established player such as Kerber or a former great such as Kuznetsova in
the quarterfinals or not until the final and only if she faces against a strong
competitor that has beaten her before such as Azarenka (+700), Stosur or Li Na
(+1000). The value play would be Li Na, obviously. Not just because her odds
are tempting but also because she’s won the French Open before and her draw is
relatively good and her form is encouraging. Moreover if she faces Azarenka in
the quarters, she has a score to settle there – something that if she pulls off
successfully could propel her all the way into the final. So on that note, here
are the (perhaps outlandish) tennis picks for your consideration.
Free Picks: Serena Williams over Sara Errani and Li Na over Samantha Stosur in
the semis; Li Na over Williams in the final