French Open quarter-finals: Ivanovic and Safarova are shouts for semis
With defending French Open ladies’s singles champion Maria Sharapova bowing out in round four, the field should fancy their chances in the lower half of the draw.
Lucie Safarova (10/1 tournament chance with Coral), the conqueror of the Russian racket star, takes on young Spanish starlet Garbine Muguruza (an 8/1 shot), while 2008 Roland Garros winner Ana Ivanovic (also 8/1) meets Elina Svitolina.
Seventh seed Ivanovic has a perfect six wins out of six against Svitolina, so is a firm odds-on 4/9 favourite to win. Two of those victories have come on clay, including at last year’s French Open and again this campaign at the Madrid Masters.
Both wins were in straight sets, so Ivanovic looks an outstanding 11/10 shout to repeat that exact result here. Svitolina is a real 7/4 outsider, but has recorded her best ever showing at a Grand Slam here.
It’s an initial encounter between Muguruza and Sarafova here, and the young Spaniard is a narrow 4/5 match favourite, because this is her preferred surface.
Compatriot Carla Suarez Navarro was expected to figure at the business end of the French Open, but Muguruza has instead flown the flag for Spain with notable wins over Angelique Kerber and Italy’s Flavia Pennetta to reach the quarters.
Safarova, an even-money chance to be in the Roland Garros semi-finals, has been no less impressive in her run to the last eight. Prior to stunning Sharapova, she knocked out former Wimbledon finalist Sabine Lisicki.
Odds of 5/1 say the first or second set shall go to a tiebreak, and Czech Republic player Safarova has won one of these in both of her last two French Open fixtures.
With such skill and potential on show in her encounter with Muguruza, this quarter-final could well go the distance. Safarova is a tasty 10/3 to win in three sets.
Coral betting tip: An awesome 11/10 price for Ivanovic to beat Svitolina 2-0 is well worth a punt.