Shane Lambert looks ahead to the Ladies French Open tennis and he likes Carolina Garcia and Barbora Strycova to win their quarters after the draw has been released.
Agnieszka Radwanska is a player that I have little faith in when it comes to the 2016 French Open. She might be the World No. 2 and second seeded at Roland Garros this year, but her recent results suggest that she could be in coin tosses early in the tournament. Radwanska skipped Rome, went out in the first round in Madrid, and lost to Laura Siegemund in Stuttgart. Those aren't the kinds of results that you want in order to back a player heading into a Grand Slam tournament.
Radwanska acknowledged her challenges in a May 11th article that she wrote:
"The biggest issue for me on clay is movement. I don’t really like sliding on clay….On a hard court, you can slide, but you can also stop quickly and change direction. I can’t do that on clay.”
Looking at the draw, Radwanska has tough matches right from the start. She'll face Bojana Jovanovski in the first round before likely facing Caroline Garcia. Surviving that, Radwanska would face Barbora Strycova in the third round and maybe Sloane Stephens or Sara Errani in the fourth. Garcia and Strycova are players that would really challenge Radwanska for the right to advance.
Radwanska debuted at the French Open back in 2007, making this year her 10th appearance at the Slam. She has just one quarterfinal appearance in the major, that coming in 2013 when she lost to Errani.
For betting odds, Radwanska is 6/1 with bet365 to win her quarter. However, I think Radwanska's chances of simply making the fourth round are only about 25% - 30%. Even from there she would still have two matches to win that could be hellish for her. I see this player as one that needs some luck to go her way in order to do some damage at Roland Garros. Upsets to other key players or even a key walkover would definitely help but can't be counted on.
Simona Halep is the same quarter but the Romanian is priced short at 3/2 (Totesport). If you're going to back Halep to go that deep, might as well just go each-way for her to win the title at 6/1 with bet365.
But I'd prefer having Caroline Garcia at 22/1 to win the quarter, a player that has come on strong of late. She's in the final in Strasburg this weekend so she's certainly building some confidence on clay. That she might pick up an injury in that final or just tire herself out is a point to consider and it's enough reason not to bet the French player big. However 22s looks good on her at this moment and entering a home tournament.
For a backup, I'd go with Strycova way out at 66/1 with Totesport. This is a player that struggles with consistency but she was also looking very sharp in Rome, winning three matches in straight sets before battling with Madison Keys to a quarterfinal finish. With Strycova and Garcia backed, chances are you will have someone in the fourth round at long odds to advance only two more after that.
1.5-pt bet on Caroline Garcia to win her quarter at 22/1 with bet365
1.5-pt bet on Barbora Strycova to win her quarter at 66/1 with Totesport