2023 French Open Women’s Draw | Tips, Preview & Stats Analysis

Andy Watson in Tennis Betting Tips 27 May 2023

Iga Swiatek is the red-hot favourite to make it three Roland-Garros titles in four years. Can anyone in the women’s draw prevent the Pole from cementing her legacy on the Paris clay?

The credentials of the world number one are certainly very strong. The purpose of the analysis in this preview is to establish how strong her form is in various areas and whether there are any factors for concerns. After all, Swiatek is odds on for the crown, does she justify this betting price?

What of the other key contenders? Something approaching a Big Three has been established on the WTA Tour this year. Aryna Sabalenka won the Australian Open, and has beaten Swiatek on clay in Madrid. The Belarusian is a player to consider.

Elena Rybakina was the beaten finalist in Australia but has since gone on to win at Indian Wells, made the Miami final, and, most notably for this event, won in Rome. That tournament is often seen as the key warm-up event for Roland Garros.

Former Roland-Garros champions Barbora Krejcikova and Jelena Ostapenko are also in the draw, and both have had their moments this season as well.

It isn’t a particularly scientific point, but it is perhaps worth noting that no woman has won back-to-back Roland-Garros titles since Justine Henin won three in a row between 2005 and 2007. Something that Swiatek is now looking to achieve.

The top sixteen seeds, and a few interesting outsiders, have been analysed. The factors taken into account in this analysis are:

  • 2023 Clay Court Record
  • Career Clay Court Record
  • Roland Garros win/loss record
  • Recent form
  • Recent form vs Top 10 ranked players
  • The last three French Opens

French Open 2023 Women’s Draw Betting Tips

Elena Rybakina 1.5pt 6/1 @ Skybet

Marketa Vondrousova 0.25pt EW 28/1 @ Skybet

Qinwen Zheng 0.25pt EW 66/1 @ Skybet

Belinda Bencic 0.25pt EW 100/1 @ Skybet

Karolina Muchova to win Q3 10/1 @ Bet365

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Event In Focus: French Open Women’s Draw

The players have been building up to this for at least a few weeks now, but there is a real paucity of quality WTA Tour clay court tournaments. There are two this week, but they are very late in the calendar when considering preparation for this tournmament. WTA events in Stuttgart, and cross-tour events with the men in Madrid and Rome, are the only European main tour events on the calendar. Compared to the ATP Tour this is a pretty poor showing and doesn’t give many players the opportunity to find their feet on the surface.

Ranking Analysis

There is no surprise to see that Iga Swiatek sits at the top of all of the rankings. The bookmakers make her the most likely winner of the event, and by a distance, she is odds-on across the board. This means that the bookmakers rate her chances of winning the event better than everyone else in the field combined.

In terms of players that seem to be more comfortable on the clay than their general ranking suggests Ons Jabeur has a high level of clay wins, fitness is the Tunisian’s main enemy at the moment. Also, Veronika Kudermetova’s run of back-to-back semi-finals in this clay swing has really helped her clay rating. Similarly to Rome finalist Anhelina Kalinina, who defeated Kudermetova, Haddad Maia, and Madison Keys on that run.

It is a surprise to see Barbora Krejcikova’s clay rating so low, though her Roland-Garros title was two years ago now. Beatriz Haddad Maia, Victoria Azarenka, and, especially, Liudmila Samsonova, will have to triumph against the odds with their clay rating being particularly poor against their WTA rankings.

2023 ATP Tour Clay Court Form

As mentioned above, there isn’t a big sample size to go off for the women, especially if they depart the tournaments early. There are a lot of players that have a poor to average win percentage because of so few tournaments. Indeed, only 4 players have played 10 or more clay court matches on the main tour ahed of Roland-Garros.

Having said that, we can still see that Swiatek’s data is incredible. She just demolishes opponents on this surface. Her break percentage is over 40% and service holds at almost 90% in 2023. This is the reason why we see so many bagels and breadsticks (6-0 and 6-1 set scorlines) from Swiatek.

Sabalenka and Jabeur are also running at an impressive level of games won, over 110 each. This new-found consistency from the Belarusian took a bit of a knock with her surprise defeat early in Rome against Sofia Kenin. Jabeur suffered a similar fate in Rome, being thrashed by Paula Badosa, a player with a better pedigree perhaps, but still concerning for Jabeur.

Marketa Vondrousova’s data is incredible for a player of her ranking. However, the ranking plays a part in this as she is playing qualifying matches and first round matches, whereas a lot of the top seeds will get byes through those rounds. The Czech hasn’t actually had a deep run in any of the clay tournaments despite her data looking so strong.

Career Clay Court Analysis

Swiatek’s career record mirrors her 2023 record in it’s dominance. She is miles ahead of any other player in the sample.

There are a few other players who break the magic 110 mark on clay in their careers. Some of them are fairly surprising, with Victoria Azarenka actually have the second best games won record in the field. Petra Kvitova, Daria Kasatkina, and Coco Gauff are over 110 and Qinwen Zheng’s start to her clay court career has been very promising indeed, given that the Chinese tend not to play much junior tennis on clay.

Liudmila Samsonova is the only player in the sample to have a losing record on the WTA Tour on clay.

Form & Roland Garros Record

Over 20 wins and 2 losses for Swiatek adds up to an over 90% win rate on the Paris clay, Nadal-style levels, albeit still very early in Swiatek’s career.

Petra Kvitova is notable for an over 70% win rate here over a long period of time, but the Czech veteran has struggled for fitnes after her remarkable Miami triumph. Poor Samsonova is notable again for the wrong reasons, no main draw win yet for the Russian.

Another notable piece of form is that Elena Rybakina has the best recent form, but also the best recent form against fellow Top Ten players. She has won eight of her last ten against top ten players and will hold no fear in playing anyone in her current form.

This is something that neither Jessica Pegula or Coco Gauff can say. Both players seem to have a real problem in getting the better of other top players. It is usually the case that you have to beat at least two members of the top ten to win a Grand Slam, exceptions do exist, but the champions definitely have to beat opponents that are playing well. Neither Pegula or Gauff have a recent history of being able to do that.

French Open Women’s Draw

Roland-Garros, like all Grand Slams, has a 32-seed, 128-player draw.

French Open Betting Tips

The whole statistical analysis has proven how strong Iga Swiatek is. It almost feels counter-intuitive to go against her, but there are some compelling reasons to do so. Her price at odds-on is very short indeed, especially when she is drawn in the same half as key rival Elena Rybakina. This means that Swiatek has to beat Rybakina and then, possibly, Sabalenka to win the title.

The problem is more mental than on ability, Swiatek has not been the title winning machine that she was in 2022. Indeed, she has only won twice this season, in Stuttgart and Qatar. Defeats to Rybakina, Krejcikova, Sabalenka, as well as retirements and withdrawals cause enough doubt to swerve Swiatek at the prices

Elena Rybakina 1.5pt 6/1 @ Skybet

The confidence that Rybakina is playing with is now transferring onto the clay. Even though her Rome semifinal victory over Swiatek only came through retirement, the Kazakh showed enough that she can trouble Swiatek. It is in these battles that the world number one has not risen to the occasion in the recent past.

Rybakina is a proven big event player now after her Wimbledon triumph, her Australian Open runner-up spot, Indian Wells title, Miami runner-up and Rome title. This is a more impressive recent CV than anyone else in the draw and she deserves backing for this at the prices.

Marketa Vondrousova 0.25pt EW 28/1 @ Skybet

Despite reservations over the quality of her data, the Czech former Roland-Garros runner-up has been granted something of a peach of a draw. In the same mini-section as Daria Kasatkina and Jelena Ostapenko, both of whom are inconsistent, Vondrousova has the capability to outplay the seeds in her section and make a deep run.

Qinwen Zheng 0.25pt EW 66/1 @ Skybet

Qinwen finds herself near the bottom of the draw near to Aryna Sabalenka. Sabalenka has departed from the French Open at the third round stage in the last three years. Qinwen has shown potential on clay and has the power of serve and groundstrokes to get Sabalenka on the move and rush the Belarusian. Qinwen reached the round of 16 in her first attempt at the tournament last year.

She is a big price but is worth a small stake each way.

Belinda Bencic 0.25pt EW 100/1 @ Skybet

Bencic hasn’t played a tournament since Charleston, which means that she has had no competitive European red clay court tennis. But she is in a good section of the draw and if she can play herself into fitness and form then she could make a mockery of her price.

Karolina Muchova to win Q3 10/1 @ Bet365

This bet could be short lived as Muchova takes on Maria Sakkari in the opening round, but Muchova is often strong early in tournaments and has comparable data to the Greek. If she defeats Sakkari then Muchova could be close to favourite for the quarter.

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