French Open women’s final: Muguruza may stop Serena in gripping Roland Garros game
Jamie Clark, Sports Editor | June 3, 2016
Serena Williams v Garbine Muguruza
- 2016 French Open women’s singles final
- Saturday, June 4th
- Scheduled on court: 14:00 BST
- Roland Garros, Paris
- Live on ITV and Eurosport
Only Muguruza magic can slay Serena
The 2016 French Open women’s singles final is a repeat of last year’s Wimbledon grass court Grand Slam decider as WTA world number one Serena Williams battles fourth seed Garbine Muguruza.
While all-time tennis great Serena is the defending champion at Roland Garros, the younger Williams sister lost her only previous encounter with Venezuelan-born Muguruza on clay.
That came here in Paris two years ago in the second round, so Serena must prove she can defeat the Spaniard on this surface. Williams, with all her experience of big occasions like this, is Coral’s inevitable odds-on 4/7 favourite for more Grand Slam final glory.
Victory in their sole meeting on a clay court does make Muguruza tempting at 11/8 to dethrone Serena and win her first tennis Major, however.
Consistent clay campaigns from both
Both women have dropped just a single set during their Roland Garros runs to this French Open final, though. Serena slipped against quarter-final competitor Yulia Putintseva, while Muguruza has been virtually flawless since the first round.
Williams wobbled in her semi-final fixture with plucky Paris performer and Dutch player Kiki Bertens, having to save set points and rally to a tiebreak victory in the opener. Serena was also broken again in the second set, but bounced back.
Muguruza, meanwhile, was rarely troubled by Australia’s 21st seed Sam Stosur, dropping just six games en route to a straight sets progression to what a second Grand Slam final for her.
Muguruza may be more composed than last summer
Looking back to the 2015 Wimbledon women’s final, 6-4 6-4 to Williams didn’t really tell the full story. Muguruza is no longer new to such a massive stage and, based on current form, should give a better account of herself her at Roland Garros.
Punters must decide whether the strong serve and power of Serena almost one year on from their last encounter are still as potent as fellow big-hitter Muguruza, who is 11 years her junior.
First set should be key
Although Muguruza is 3-1 down on Williams in overall head-to-heads, she has taken the opener 6-2 in two of their last three battles. A tasty 10/1 price on the rising Spanish star recording that result in the first set again is available.
It is bold to bet against Serena, but there is very little in the betting between Muguruza and her to win in three sets. Should you side with Williams to win 2-1, then odds of 11/4 are on offer.
Muguruza isn’t much longer at 7/2 to record that precise result so, if repeating the last Roland Garros game where she slew Serena, that could be a persuasive punt.
Coral’s top tip: Over 2.5 sets in the French Open final at 6/5 is fantastic value given the history between these two on clay. Muguruza may finally outmatch Williams here at 11/8.