WTA French Open Picks: Sharapova to Lift the Title?

Lee Phelps

Thursday, May 21, 2015 7:09 PM GMT

The Women's side of the French Open looks wide open this year, with plenty of potential winners. William Hill's Lee Phelps has been at the top four in the betting and their odds for his free pick.

The Women’s French Open is wide open this year with eight clay-court tournaments played and only one woman has won twice: Angelique Kerber at Charleston and Stuttgart.

Let’s look at the favorites in the betting to see if we can pick a winner.

 

Serena Williams
Williams started the season superbly, winning her sixth Australian Open. Her trademark speed and power has taken her to a 25 and 1 record so far. Williams reached the semi final round of Indian Wells before being forced to withdraw due to injury. But she returned a couple of weeks later to win the Miami Open.

Williams hasn’t quite been as dominant on clay, though. She reached the last four of the Mutua Madrid Open, where she fell to Petra Kvitova in straight sets.

The World No. 1 then withdrew from her Round of 16 match against Christina McHale in the Italian Open due to another injury. She has actually withdrawn in three of her last six tournaments, raising concerns about her ability to last the fortnight.

Her consistency at Roland Garros is another worry, with her 2013 win surrounded by early exits in 2012 and 2014.

 

Maria Sharapova
Those two years were won by Sharapova and she made the final in 2013 too, so she has plenty of course and distance form on these courts.

The slower pace on the clay court complements Sharapova’s aggressive baseline game well. She has the patience to wait for the killer shot too and has already bagged a clay win this season in Italy, with a semi final loss in Madrid too.

 

Simona Halep
Halep’s 2014 clay season was superb with a 12 and 2 record, losing in the French Open final to Sharapova and at Madrid to the same player. So far this season it’s three wins and two losses. The defeats came against Carla Suarez Navarro, who is ranked eight in the world and more worryingly Alize Cornet who is 29 in the WTA rankings.

She is certainly used to winning this season, away from clay she has picked up wins in Dubai and at Indian Wells, as well as a quarter final appearance at the Australian Open and a semi final on clay in Rome.

 

Victoria Azarenka
Finally let’s look at the world number 27’s chances. Following her 2013 semi final appearance when she lost to Sharapova, 2014 was a disappointing year, having to withdraw from the slam with a foot injury.

Her return to the surface has seen her meet Serena and Sharapova in Madrid and Rome, losing to both.

I think she’s undercooked here going into such a big tournament.

 

Tennis picks
There are enough worries about Williams’ fitness for me to pass her over for the win here. For my tennis picks, I’m with Sharapova to lift the title at 6.0 (5/1) on the tennis odds, given that she has won two of the last three and been to three successive finals in Paris.