French Open Women's outright predictions: Sabalanka to shine
- Aryna Sabalenka has made two finals in current clay-court campaign
- Veronika Kudermetova was semi-finalist in both Madrid and Rome
- Recommended bets:
- Back Aryna Sabalenka to win
- Back Veronika Kudermetova each-way
World number one Iga Swiatek is chasing a third French Open title in the space of just four seasons, but a recent injury scare may mean she is not quite at her best in Paris.
Preparations appeared to be going swimmingly for Swiatek, who won a clay-court event at the expense of Aryna Sabalenka in Stuttgart in April before finishing runner-up to the Belarusian in Madrid.
However, the Pole was forced to withdraw when locked level at 1-1 with Elena Rybakina in the quarter-final in Rome last time out, citing a right thigh injury for her retirement.
If able to shrug aside those concerns then Swiatek would take some stopping in her title defence in Paris.
But there is plenty of competition to Swiatek’s supremacy and she is in a tough half of the draw alongside Rybakina, Paula Badosa and former French Open champions Barbora Krejcikova and Jelena Ostapenko.
Sabalenka well-placed to follow up Australian heroics
Few have been able to lay a glove on Swiatek on her favoured slower surface but Sabalenka has looked up to the challenge this season.
It has already been a breakthrough year for the Belarusian, who claimed her maiden Grand Slam title at the Australian Open in January.
And if the Polish phenomenon is below her best then there is every chance that Sabalenka can follow up with another Major title in Paris.
It was feared that clay left Sabalenka at her most vulnerable but those concerns have been proven to be a myth this season.
The world number two played second fiddle to Swiatek in Stuttgart last month before going one better with a title victory over the Pole in Madrid, a tournament which also saw her defeat Maria Sakkari in the semi-final.
In making the final in Stuttgart, Sabalenka had recorded impressive wins over Badosa and Krejcikova so not only has she been one of the players of the season so far, but she has also been one of the standout performers during this clay-court campaign.
The Belarusian was a second-round casualty in Rome most recently but that may be no bad thing with her able to prepare properly for Roland Garros.
At 25 years of age, Sabalenka already has 13 titles to her name and should no longer be feeling the pressure of breaking her duck at Grand Slam level after her triumph in Melbourne.
At 5/1 with LiveScore Bet, there is value to be had in backing the brilliant Belarusian.
Kudermetova looks a lively outsider
If Sabalenka fails to deliver in the bottom half of the draw then Veronika Kudermetova could be a big price to capitalise.
The Russian was a French Open quarter-finalist last year, having bumped into Daria Kasatkina, but at 26 years of age is still improving and capable of better.
The 11th seed has been a model of consistency so far this year, particularly since the season transferred to clay.
Kudermetova has made consecutive semi-finals in Madrid and Rome, which highlights her excellent form and suggests she could be a dark horse for French Open glory.
With last year’s runner-up Coco Gauff struggling to put her best foot forward and Jessica Pegula having been defeated by Kudermetova in Madrid, a semi-final spot looks well within reach for the Russian, who is 40/1 to win the French Open outright with LiveScore Bet.