Irrepressible Serena has luck of the draw

26May 2013

Roland Garros


All eyes are on Paris as the French Open 2013 gets underway on Sunday, as Abelson Info analyse the chances of the leading ladies in the game and pick out some value  tournament bets...


Ahead of the draw on Friday, world number one Serena Williams was rightly regarded as the hot favourite to triumph at Rolando Garros over the next fortnight. Having  sealed clay titles in Charleston, Madrid and Rome in recent weeks, the American has been in sensational form and is undoubtedly the one to beat in the French capital.


She received a further boost after the conclusion of the draw, as the most threatening stumbling blocks were all placed in world number two and defending champion  Maria Sharapova's half.


As a result, Serena saw her odds shorten to around 1.99, while the Russian will now have to navigate her way through a tricky second week and she drops back to 6.0. World number three Victoria Azarenka completes the top trio at 8.8 and finds herself in Sharapova's section, as do the likes of 2011 winner Na Li, Petra Kvitova, Sam Stosur and Jelena Jankovic.


On paper, should things go to form over the course of the first week or so, the returning champion may well face Kvitova in the quarter-finals before taking on either  Azarenka of Li in the last four. Meanwhile, Serena will be hoping to avoid another embarrassing first round exit, after she fell at the hands of Virginie Razzano last  year.


It was undoubtedly one of the biggest shocks in recent Grand Slam history, and while she will hope to avoid being fazed by her return to the court she suffered one of  her worst defeats on, she can look forward to a relatively uncomplicated path through to the latter stages.


Among the biggest threats to her chances will be German ace Angelique Kerber who will be confident of making the quarter-finals stage at the very least, while if all  goes to plan fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska would await in the next round.


However, considering the Pole's previous disappointments on this surface, Serbian No.14 seed and former champion Ana Ivanovic will be buoyed by her favourable quarter  of the draw and will be eyeing an extended run.


Williams will be relishing the prospect of getting her bid for a second French Open title underway and she is a red hot favourite to lift the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.


There is little value in backing the American to prevail, so a potential shock winner could arise from Sharapova's half of the draw.


The aforementioned Li remains a threat on clay, and despite struggling for both fitness and form in the build-up to the tournament, she clearly savours the big stages  after reaching the Australian Open final earlier this year. She represents a decent outside bet at 18.5.


Sam Stosur arrives off the back of a quarter-final run in Rome after returning to full fitness, and considering her history in Paris she may also warrant a small  investment.


Elsewhere, Sara Errani captured the imagination of all concerned with her magical run to the final last year, and the Italian livewire will hope to repeat that feat  after looking impressive on clay so far this year.


She will of course have to find a way past Williams to get there, but looking across that half of the draw she is perhaps best placed to do so.


Recommended Bets

Back Li @ 18.5

Back Stosur @ 34.0

Back-to-lay Ivanovic @ 200.0



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Keywords: French Open, Sharapova, Na Li, Petra Kvitova, Sam Stosur, Jelena Jankovic

Source: Betfair

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