French Open Women’s Betting Preview: Halep Tops Wide Open Field

Unlike the men’s draw, there is no strong favourite for the women’s 2018 French Open, which has been won by four different players in each of the last four years. This one will be hard to call.

Simona Halep goes to Roland Garros as the world number one, top seed and narrow favourite in the betting odds, but quite remarkably the Romanian is still yet to win a Grand Slam. Close behind her is the in-form Elina Svitolina, whose record at major tournaments is even more mediocre. She has never been beyond the quarter-finals at one of the top four events.


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Defending champion Jelena Ostapenko came out of nowhere to claim the title last year, beating Halep in the final despite dropping the opening set, but the Latvian has been unable to follow up on that success in the last 12 months.

The draw has a few big hitters too, with Serena Williams always going to be one of the players to beat, even though the American is working her way back to fitness following pregnancy. Williams is unseeded and, despite a lack of recent form, she will be a major threat.

Williams is a three-time winner on the red clay – and another multiple champion to look out for is Maria Sharapova, who has also had time away from the court, albeit for a different reason.

Sharapova reached three finals in a row between 2012 and 2014 at Roland Garros and she certainly cannot be discounted from consideration. It’s a wide-open field, but which of the players in the running offer the best value for the women’s French Open title? That is the question we’ll be attempting to answer while also taking into consideration the outright betting odds on the top women in tennis.

2018 French Open Women’s Odds

Below, we compare the prices across three reputable tennis bookmakers so you can get the best odds possible for your French Open picks. These are all safe places to bet on tennis, but as you can see, the odds vary from one site to the next. One of our long-running pieces of advice is to make your pick(s) first and then see which bookmakers offer the best odds.

ComeOn.com William Hill 888Sport
Elina Svitolina 15/4 4/1 4/1
Simona Halep 9/2 9/2 19/4
Petra Kvitova 9/1 8/1 8/1
Maria Sharapova 11/1 12/1 10/1
Garbine Muguruza 12/1 12/1 12/1
Serena Williams 14/1 14/1 14/1
Karolina Pliskova 18/1 16/1 20/1
Daria Kasatkina 20/1 16/1 17/1
Caroline Wozniacki 20/1 22/1 17/1
Kiki Bertens 25/1 25/1 20/1
Caroline Garcia 25/1 28/1 25/1
Angelique Kerber 28/1 33/1 33/1
Anett Kontaveit 33/1 33/1 33/1
Sloane Stephens 40/1 40/1 40/1
Elise Mertens 40/1 33/1 30/1
Naomi Osaka 40/1 40/1 50/1
Julie Goerges 50/1 50/1 50/1
Coco Vandeweghe 66/1 66/1 80/1
Ashleigh Barty 66/1 100/1 80/1
Madison Keys 80/1 50/1 66/1
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Halep and Svitolina Seeking First Grand Slam

The two favourites in the betting odds, Svitolina and Halep, have not won a Grand Slam title yet and this is one of the major reasons tennis fans could be put off from backing them.

While they deserve to be listed among the favourites, Halep in particular has displayed a mental frailty when she gets to the big stage. Leading Ostapenko by a set in the final last year, when she was expected to beat the teenager, looked set to be her time to break that duck. But somehow Halep lost to the Latvian – and she also lost this year’s Australian Open final.

Halep needs a strong run at the French Open to hold on to her number one ranking, with five players: Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova and Caroline Garcia all in the running to supplant her.

Svitolina beat Halep in the final at Rome recently and the Ukrainian would be confident of a similar result were the duo to meet again in Paris. Svitolina also seems to have a clear path through to at least the quarter-finals of the event. But there are a lot of other contenders too.

Tough First Slam test of 2018 for Williams

Serena Williams would have liked a more straightforward match as she prepares for her first Grand Slam match of the year, but facing another unseeded player in Kristyna Pliskova means she could well be beaten in the first round.

Clay has never particularly suited Williams and she opted not to play any of the pre-match warm-up events, which means she could be a touch rusty at Roland Garros. But Williams can never be discounted and at odds of 141, she will be a tempting option for a lot of fans.

Sharapova (12/1) is a possible fourth-round opponent for Williams, who has dominated the head-to-head between the pair, so that match would not scare the 36-year-old. Williams has only ever lost one first-round match in Paris, so many will expect her to come through and book a clash against either Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Ashleigh Barty, both of whom are big talents.

This quarter is packed with talent and Muguruza may fly under the radar. The Spaniard has to take on the 2009 champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in her first match, which is probably the pick of the opening matches in the draw. But if she progresses, she looks a solid bet at 12/1.

Opportunities Abound in Bottom Quarter

Those seeking shocks and value should turn to the bottom corner of the women’s draw, which features Petra Kvitova and the world number two Caroline Wozniacki, neither of whom are particularly known for being strong on clay.

Kvitova is in good form but the her semi-final appearance in 2012 feels a long time ago, while Wozniacki has never been past the last eight at Roland Garros. While the duo are scheduled to meet in the quarter-finals according to the seeding, this is not necessarily going to be the case.

Australian Open champion Wozniacki has the better draw of the two but even though Kvitova is at 9/1 with the Dane at 22/1, but there are better options to be found elsewhere.

Instead, perhaps US Open and Miami Open champion Sloane Stephens has a chance to come through this section, although another dangerous threat will be Anett Kontaveit, the 25th seed who has semi-final appearances in Rome and Stuttgart under her belt in the last few weeks.

Stephens can be backed at as big as 40/1 with some bookmakers, with up-and-coming Estonian starlet Kontaveit on offer at around the 33/1 mark.

Yet another player to keep an eye on in this part of the draw is Daria Kasatkina, who won at Indian Wells but has been badly struggling for form since the biggest success of her career to date. The Russian can be backed at 20/1 and she has the game to make a splash here.

All the Top 10 Have a Chance

What is going to make the French Open so interesting to watch is that there are so many potential winners in the field.

Svitolina and Halep are hoping to break their Grand Slam ducks, while previous winners such as Williams, Sharapova and Muguruza have to be in the conversation as well.

A mention is necessary for world number six Karolina Pliskova – best price 20/1 – although she has landed in the same quarter of the draw as Muguruza, with the Spaniard preferred.

The biggest home hope is Caroline Garcia, a potential quarter-final opponent for Halep, who could also usurp the Romanian at the top of the WTA rankings if things go her way here. Garcia is offered at around the 28/1 mark in the French Open betting.

What is clear from the odds and the names in the running is that almost anyone has a chance to win here. While this will make the tournament very exciting to watch, it means bets should be restricted to small stakes as it is very difficult to call who is going to come out on top.

French Open Women’s Best Bets

Rome finalists Svitolina and Halep top the billing but their lack of Grand Slam titles is a good enough reason to look elsewhere, with Muguruza instead preferred at about 12/1.

The Spaniard won here a couple of years ago – beating Serena in the final – and she is certainly good enough to do it again, although her form in 2018 so far has not been consistent.

Williams herself has to be in with a shot too, although it would be an amazing story for her to win her first major since returning to the tour after giving birth. At 14/1, Williams is very tempting.

Kasatkina’s 20/1 is another bet worth considering despite the Russian’s poor results of late, while at an even bigger 28/1 there are a lot of reasons to like Garcia’s chances.

Fans could go for Kiki Bertens, who got to the semi-final of the French Open in 2016 and can be backed at 25/1. The Dutch star was a finalist in Madrid and has a game well suited to clay.

And last but not least, 40/1 on US Open winner Stephens is full of value.