- World No. 2 Simona Halep is the tournament favorite and is vying for her second French Open title
- Three-time French Open Champion Serena Williams will be looking to tie Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 Grand Slam singles titles
- First round coverage begins Sunday, September 27th, at 5:00 am EST. See the odds for the top contender and our prediction for the tournament winner below
This year’s French Open is the final Grand Slam of the 2020 season.
Traditionally played in late May, officials rescheduled the world’s premier clay-court tournament to late September due to coronavirus concerns.
Recently, the French Tennis Federation decreased the amount of fans permitted, with Philippe Chatrier allowing 5,000 spectators within the stadium and not anywhere else.
Another major change this year is the introduction of the retractable roof over Court Philippe-Chatrier, as well as lights on the four main show courts.
Qualifying is currently underway and first-round coverage officially begins on Sunday, September 27th, at 5:00 am EST.
French Open Women’s Singles Odds
Odds taken Sept 24 at DraftKings
Simona Looking for Second French Open Title
Simona Halep of Romania, the 2018 French Open champion, comes to Paris this year as the top seed and heavy favorite to win again at Roland Garros. A winner of two Grand Slam titles in her career and a former World No. 1, Halep was also a finalist at Roland Garros in both 2014 and 2017.
Several big names are skipping the final major championship of the season. Defending champion and current World No.1 Ashleigh Barty of Australia will not play this year due to the pandemic while recent US Open Champion Naomi Osaka is also out with a lingering hamstring injury. In addition, another top 10 player, Bianca Andreescu of Canada, has been out all season with a variety of injuries.
French Open Women's Singles Draw pic.twitter.com/Y9F2l7cIM2
— Serena Williams is GOAT (@Mapulamoshe) September 24, 2020
Halep is currently riding a wave of momentum with 14 straight match victories and recently winning the Italian Open – her third women’s singles title of the 2020 season. Earlier this year, she claimed victories on the hard courts in Dubai and on the clay courts at the Prague Open.
Perhaps the stars are aligned for Halep as well? The last two times she made the final in Rome, she also made the final in Paris.
Two years ago, Halep proved she could handle the pressure. She entered the French Open as World No. 1 and the top seed in the event and rallied to defeat American Sloane Stephens in the Roland Garros final 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
Halep has been drawn into the first quarter and is favored to come out of her group. She does have a potential matchup against Amanda Anisimova looming in the third round, an opponent who defeated her in the quarterfinals of this event last year.
The highest seed she could face in the quarterfinals this year is either No. 5 Kiki Bertens or No. 9 Johanna Konta.
Serena Racing Against Time
Although clay is not her strongest surface, Serena Williams will again attempt to win her 24th career Grand Slam title and equal Margaret Court’s all-time record number in major championships. However, is time catching up with her? Her last Grand Slam win was the 2017 Australian Open.
The soon-to-be 39-year-old was recently ousted in the US Open semifinals by two-time Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka, 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. Williams injured her Achilles tendon during the final set.
The two could actually meet in a rematch in Paris as early as the round of 16 depending on how things play out. She could also meet sister Venus at the same point in the tournament.
Considered one of the greatest of all-time, Williams is a three-time French Open champion with wins in 2002, 2013 and 2015. The American superstar’s last appearance in the Roland Garros finals was in 2016 and she has not been able to get past the fourth-round the last two years.
Seeded sixth, Williams could potentially meet one of the top four seeds in the quarterfinals, where she is known for flourishing as the underdog. In this case, that could be the current No. 3 seed Elina Svitolina. Williams is 5-1 lifetime against Svitolina, last beating her 6-3 6-1 at last year’s US Open semifinals. Williams also defeated her in the round of 16 at the 2016 French Open, 6-1 6-1.
French Open – Last Five Winners
|2019||Ashleigh Barty (Australia)|
|2018||Simona Halep (Romania)|
|2017||Jeļena Ostapenko (Latvia)|
|2016||Garbiñe Muguruza (Spain)|
|2015||Serena Williams (USA)|
On the other side of the draw is No. 2 seed Karolina Pliskova in the fourth quarter, who recently lost to Simona Halep at the Italian Open finals. The Czech athlete was blitzed in the first set 6-0 and then was forced to retire early on in the second set with a left thigh injury. Will she recover and be 100-percent healthy for the grueling two weeks at Roland Garros?
Pliskova’s best performance at the French Open came in 2017 when she reached the semifinals.
There could be a potential rematch of the Italian Open final with Halep however; it will be interesting to see how Pliskova fares early on after her recent injury.
Last year’s finalist at Roland Garros and Pliskova’s fellow countrywoman, Marketa Vondrousova, is one to keep an eye on. Vondrousova seeded No. 16 plays well on clay and recently enjoyed an impressive run to the Italian Open semifinals. She’s drawn into the first quarter and plays Poland’s Iga Swiatek in the first round. She would though have to go through Halep most likely in the round of 16.
Another to watch is Spain’s Garbine Muguruza who also has a prowess for clay. Although seeded No. 12, the former World No. 1 reached the semifinals in Rome last week, falling 6-4 in the third set to eventual champion Simona Halep.
She’s 27-6 in her career at Roland-Garros but could face challenging opponents such as Aryna Sabalenka and Sofia Kenin to get out of the third quarter.
Among her seven career victories on the WTA Tour are victories at Wimbledon in 2017 and the French Open in 2016.
Best Bets: Simona Halep (+220), Garbine Muguruza (+800)
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