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Andy Schooler delivers his stats-based look at the French Open women’s singles. Is Iga Swiatek set to dominate at Roland Garros again?


Iga Swiatek


World ranking: 1

Tournament history (most recent first): W-QF-W-4R

Best Grand Slam performance: Winner, 3 titles (2 at French Open)

2023 record: 28-6 (2 titles – Stuttgart, Doha)

Claycourt form: QF Rome, RU Madrid, W Stuttgart

Swiatek was a French Open winner for BetVictor Blog readers in 2022 but how she can be going off shorter this season than last is beyond me.

Twelve months ago she had racked up a 37-3 record, winning her previous 28 matches. She was barely losing games, never mind sets.

This season she’s already lost six times and while big titles have still been won – think Stuttgart during the current clay campaign – the Pole has also had her problems.

She was beaten by big rival Aryna Sabalenka in the Madrid final and, more importantly for potential backers here, suffered a thigh injury in Rome.

When it comes to an odds-on shot, that’s too much to be worrying about.

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Aryna Sabalenka


World ranking: 2

Tournament history: 3R-3R-3R-2R-1R

Best Grand Slam performance: Winner, 2023 Australian Open

2023 record: 29-5 (3 titles – Australian Open, Madrid, Adelaide)

Claycourt form: L64 Rome, W Madrid, RU Stuttgart

The hard-hitting Belarusian is ticking off plenty of boxes in her bid to become the best player in women’s tennis.

A first Grand Slam title was pocketed at January’s Australian Open and she’s since beaten current number one Iga Swiatek to claim the prestigious Madrid crown on clay.

However, her quote about feeling “exhausted” in Rome is something of a worry heading to a tournament at which she’s never been beyond the third round, and so is her odds collapse – she was twice the price until very recently.

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Elena Rybakina


World ranking: 4

Tournament history: 3R-QF-2R-1R

Best Grand Slam performance: Winner, 2022 Wimbledon

2023 record: 28-7 (2 titles – Rome, Indian Wells)

Claycourt form: W Rome, L64 Madrid, L16 Stuttgart

Rybakina famously earned no ranking points for winning Wimbledon last summer but the fact she plays here at a career-high of fourth in the WTA list says much about her form.

Her serve, one of the best in the business, was a major factor in her Wimbledon success and you’d have thought she might struggle with it being blunted somewhat by the clay.

However, the Kazakh comes in off the back of a major breakthrough on the surface, winning the title in Rome. She’s also been to the quarter-finals at Roland Garros in the past.

Along with Swiatek and Sabalenka, Rybakina has been one of the best players of the season. Her price suggests she’s been a way behind the other two but that’s an unfair assessment and she could offer her backers some value.

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Barbora Krejcikova

World ranking: 13

Tournament history: 1R-W-4R-1R

Best Grand Slam performance: Winner, 2021 French Open

2023 record: 19-9 (1 title – Dubai)

Claycourt form: L32 Rome, L16 Madrid, L16 Stuttgart

A great retriever, Krejcikova rushed back from injury to defend her title here last season but shouldn’t have bothered.

When she did properly recover from her arm problem, the Czech finished 2022 strongly and her start to 2023 – which included victory over Swiatek en route to victory in Dubai – suggested she’d once again be a threat on her favourite clay.

Yet results on the surface have failed to materialise and it feels like the price has gone too short.

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Paula Badosa

World ranking: 29

Tournament history: 3R-QF-4R

Best Grand Slam performance: Quarter-finals, 2021 French Open

2023 record: 17-8 (0 titles)

Claycourt form: QF Rome, L16 Madrid, QF Stuttgart, QF Charleston

Ranked third last year heading into the French Open, this season Badosa is only just seeded which says much about her past 12 months.

Still, having returned to the clay, recent signs have been good with Daria Kasatkina, Coco Gauff and Ons Jabeur all beaten during the current swing on the dirt, while she was only just edged out by Sabalenka in the Stuttgart last eight.

Unlike many of her compatriots who are happy to grind things out on the clay, Badosa has weapons which makes her an aggressive threat too.

May need a few things to go her way but if Badosa brings her best form then she could contend.

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Best of the rest

Coco Gauff (25/1) has struggled so far this season, particularly on the clay, so a repeat of last year’s run to the final appears unlikely.

Her American compatriot, Jessica Pegula, may offer better value at a slightly bigger price (30/1).

She’s been consistent without being spectacular this season and on clay has made the semis in Charleston and the quarters in Madrid.

Preference, however, is for Veronika Kudermetova at 30/1.

A quarter-finalist here last season, she’s been in good form on the clay, reaching the last four of the big warm-up events in Madrid and Rome.

The counter argument is she had fairly kind runs through the draws of both those tournaments and will likely need to beat higher-quality opponents in Paris.

I say likely. This tournament has proved a graveyard for plenty of big names in the past and produced big-priced winners such as Krejcikova and Jelena Ostapenko in recent years.

Don’t rule the Russian out of adding her name to that list.

Best Bets

Leading contender – Elena Rybakina – 8/1

Outside chance – Veronika Kudermetova – 30/1

Odds are correct at the time of posting

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