Tennis Picks: French Open Offers Attractive Odds, but is it a Trap?

Nikki Adams

Monday, May 4, 2015 2:58 PM GMT

Wondering if Serena will remain the bookies' fave for the French Open come May? Don't bother. Usurping the American on the French Open odds board is no mean feat.

Serena Williams Is Player To Beat
As the WTA clay-court swing traipses towards its ultimate destination, the 2015 WTA French Open in Paris – the pinnacle of all clay court season –  there's little change, if any, on the tennis odds board. Serena Williams remains the player to beat, while defending champion Maria Shaparova duly trails in her shadow.

Serena Williams is matched as the +275 favourite to win outright, exactly the same as she was when we first previewed the French Open odds board in February, a full month ahead of the clay-court swing's start date.  

It's somewhat curious that the market on Serena hasn't changed; that is, shortened at all.  When she's enjoying stellar form behind a 20-0 start on the season, exacting domination over the women's field not unlike her World No.1 counterpart on the ATP Tour. Consider Djokovic's odds have improved from +165 (also in February) to -110 to win outright and, at the same time, he's usurped nine-time champion Nadal as the top favourite. This in spite of never winning the French Open. Serena has two titles to her credit. As recently as the 2013 French Open, when she beat Maria Sharapova in the final.  

There are those tennis bettors that would accuse bookies of using different measuring sticks for the men's and women's game. That wouldn't be entirely incorrect. The men's field has been dominated by the Big Four over the last decade and each has taken a turn at the top of the tennis odds board at major events, depending on form and surface advantage. On the women's front, when Serena Williams is involved, she's invariably the player to beat. So exclusive is her domination, particularly at the majors.

Of course, this doesn't explain why her tennis odds haven't budged for the French Open up to now.

The explanation to that is partly down to her lack of clay-court games this season. This year, she passed on her usual trip to Charleston. And she didn't play any alternative tournaments in the clay court swing either; save for a couple of Fed Cup matches against Italy last month, both of which she won, mind, she's had no viable tune-up results to justify a move on the tennis odds board. That said, she's playing in the Madrid Open this week. A title if she were to win would surely constitute a  re-evaluation of her tennis odds across sportsbook platforms.

Plenty can happen between now and May, obviously. Yet, as things stand, she's a value tennis pick at her current +275 tennis odds and backing her now could yield a tidy sum by the time the book closes on the French Open.

Compare Tennis Betting Odds Trading for Grand Slam Events: French Open, US Open & More

Women's French Open Is Wide Open
To be fair, Serena's French Open account is the least successful of all her major accounts.  Therein lies another reason, perhaps, why her tennis odds for the Parisian crown are so large in comparison to her tennis odds for other grand slams.  The 19-time grand slam champion has enjoyed success in Paris only twice, with the titles over a decade apart. That fact alone makes betting on the women's French Open the most interesting of all the slams, and it leads some tennis bettors to consider it still a wide open affair, regardless of Serena's formidable form this season even.

Maria Sharapova has won the French Open twice in the last three years and she was a finalist in the year that she lost it to Serena. Three straight finals since 2012 makes her a viable alternative to Serena Williams on your tennis picks, don't you think?

 At +400 tennis odds, the Russian starlet strikes an attractive pose. What's more, if there were a surface on which she has a shot to beat Serena, it might be clay. It's Serena's least favoured surface.

 

Outsiders Are In Play
Others worth noting right now are Simona Halep, also matched at +400 tennis odds. She was the finalist last year and gave such an inspired account in the final that roused the Parisian crowd to a standing ovation.

Victoria Azarenka at +800 and Petra Kvitova at +1400 both have two grand slams titles to their credit, marking championship credentials to appeal to punters on their tennis picks. As well, 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic at +2500. Although she's really a long shot  right now.

Outside tennis picks include champions-in-waiting Caroline Wozniacki and Agnieszka Radwanska, who have the counterpunching game to be successful on clay.  Karolina Pliskova, who's making strides on the WTA Tour and strikes an attractive +5000 pose as an outside bet. And Garbine Muguruza at +1400 tennis odds, who beat Serena Williams last year and could be an outside bet to shake up her section of the draw, but winning the title itself might be too overzealous.  

As mentioned above, it's a ways yet to the French Open. A lot can happen. What's more, there's still the Madrid Open and Rome's BNP D'Italia to look forward to on the WTA schedule this month, before honing in your tennis picks. That said, some early wagers on these delightful options could prove profitable when the French Open arrives.

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