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World No. 6 Kiki Bertens Finally Given French Open Odds (14-1); Is There Value?

Kiki Bertans
Kiki Bertans is hoping to change her fortunes at the French Open. Photo by Steven Pisano (Wikimedia Commons) [CC License].
  • Kiki Bertens is now the No. 6 player in the world
  • She’s never been passed the semifinals at Roland Garros
  • Bertens was 13-3 in clay court matches last year

Kiki Bertens has opened a few eyes as she’s ascended to the No. 6 ranking in the WTA. The clay-court specialist now has odds on the board for the 2019 French Open, but is she a good bet for the event?

2019 French Open Odds

Player 2019 French Open Odds at Bovada
Simona Halep +500
Serena Williams +650
Naomi Osaka +900
Elina Svitolina +1000
Garbine Muguruza +1000
Sloane Stephens +1100
Petra Kvitova +1200
Kiki Bertens +1400
Angelique Kerber +1600

*Odds taken 04/01/19

Bertens is Under the Radar

A lot of people will be looking at some bigger brand names at the French Open. There’s Naomi Osaka, who has won the last two Grand Slams. There’s Serena Williams, who is almost always the favorite. And there’s Simona Halep, who is the defending champion and is the second-ranked player in the world.

However, another name is flying under the radar: Kiki Bertens. She’s had a pretty good start to 2019, winning the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy while making it to at least the fourth round in five separate tournaments.

She’s now the No. 6 player in the world and now that she’s in play, she’s been given odds to win the French Open. She’s been posted at +1400.

Strong Track Record on Clay, Few Tournament Wins

The first thing to look for with any player when handicapping the French Open is their success on clay. Bertens has a fairly strong track record, going 13-3 on the red surface last year and 22-5 in 2017. She’s mostly known as a clay-court specialist, but the problem is that while she performs well, she rarely wins events.

Bertens did win the Volvo Car Open last year and also made it to the final of the Mutua Madrid Open. At the same time, she also lost in the first round at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, and in the third round of the French Open. That’s a concern.

Bertens Struggles at the French Open

Taking a look at Bertens’ track record at the French Open, it’s not encouraging. We’re talking about a player that has only once been past the fourth round and has never been further than the semifinals.

Bertens has only once been past the fourth round at the French Open, and has never been further than the semifinals.

As a whole, Grand Slams are a challenge for her as she rarely lasts deep into the second week. Outside of her 2016 semifinals appearance at Roland Garros, she also had a quarterfinals appearance at Wimbledon last year. Other than that, though, she has only been past the third round once while posting an overall record of 26-27 at Grand Slams.

Pass on Bertens to Win Roland Garros

Here’s the reality: she’s capable of winning this event, but I’d rather pass. Unless Bertens tears up through the upcoming clay court season, I see no reason to invest here. She doesn’t play well in Grand Slams and while she does well on clay, she rarely wins events outright.

The last point to add is that Bertens isn’t a young pup. If she were in her teens or early 20’s, I’d say it’s possible that she’s still on the rise. At age 27, she is who she is. She’s typically good for one clay-court event win per year along with a couple of deep runs in smaller tournaments, but that’s about it.

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For over 15 years, Dave has been working in mainstream media and sports betting. He hosted a station on Sirius Satellite Radio for four years, and is currently a senior writer for AskMen. He's interviewed hundreds of hundreds of high-profile sports stars like Shaquille O'Neal and Floyd Mayweather.