Women to watch out for in the French Open

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May 22, 2019 09:46 AM EDT

We're just weeks away from the start of the French Open and defending champion Simona Halep enters the tournament as the favourite according to Roland Garros 2019 odds on Betfair. There are a number of top-quality tennis players who are ready to try and take her crown away from her, but whether or not they will succeed in doing so remains to be seen.

The women's game tends to be a lot more open to different winners than the men's game, which has made it harder to predict who the winner will be. We've taken a look at some of the contenders.

Serena Williams

Where better to start than arguably the greatest women's tennis player ever? Serena Williams has won 23 Grand Slam singles titles in her career so far, and she'll be fully prepared to make that 24 when the tournament begins.

Although odds of 10/1 suggest that Serena is likely to be one of the main contenders for the trophy, the fact that she's only won the tournament three times, the fewest out of all of her Grand Slam titles, suggests that she is more likely to suffer a shock defeat at Roland Garros.

There will be pressure on her to succeed on a court she has so often struggled with, but if there's one thing we all know about Serena Williams, she doesn't give up and doesn't bow to pressure.

Kiki Bertens

One of the less familiar names with tennis fans is Kiki Bertens, who is currently the second-favourite to win this year's French Open at a price of 8/1. She is currently ranked at number four with the WTA, although she is yet to have reached a Grand Slam final.

Her best result across all the Grand Slams was a semi-final appearance in the 2016 French Open, which she lost to Serena Williams in straight sets. She might not be the most well-known player, but having climbed up to fourth in the rankings, there is something about her that makes her one of the best, maybe she can finally end her Grand Slam drought.

Sloane Stephens

The 26-year old American has had something of a meteoric rise in the last few years, firstly by winning the 2017 US Open and then following that up with a runner-up result in the 2018 French Open.

The American is currently eighth in the WTA rankings and a good result at the French Open would propel her up the standings. There is no doubt that she has talent, but whether or not she can be consistent is another matter. She could only manage to reach the fourth round in the Australian Open earlier this year, suffering a defeat to unseeded Russian, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Simona Halep

When discussing the women to watch out for this summer, the defending champion Simona Halep needs to be mentioned. She is ranked number two with the WTA, but has only ever won one Grand Slam title - the 2018 French Open. Her lack of Grand Slams doesn't mean she should be discounted, after all, she has made the final at Roland Garros on two previous occasions, losing to Maria Sharapova in 2014 and Jeᶅena Ostapenko in 2017.

Halep is always a strong contender, regardless of the tournament she's competing in. An aggressive baseline player, she is notoriously hard to play against. While the world number two might not be unbeatable, there's no doubt that she'll be right up there come the end of the tournament.

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