French Open round four: All-American affair for Serena with Stephens
Grand Slam great Serena Williams, Coral’s 11/8 favourite to regain the French Open ladies’ singles crown this year, will get the chance to avenge sister Venus, as she takes on her conqueror and compatriot Sloane Stephens.
This all-American encounter is the highlight of the top half of the women’s draw, which has been littered with high-profile players from the WTA circuit making early exits.
Odds are against young pretender Stephens knocking out another Williams sister here, however, as she is a 9/2 match outsider to send Serena home.
Twice a winner at Roland Garros (2002 and 2013), women’s number one Williams is a firm odds-on 1/7 favourite for this fixture because of her dominant display against this opponent at the Madrid Masters earlier in the clay court campaign.
Serena dropped just four games to Stephens, winning in straight sets and whitewashing the 22-year-old in the second. Backing Williams to win without dropping a set again is a more rewarding price for punters at 4/9.
In Grand Slam meetings, however, these two Americans have one win apiece. Should Stephens shock Serena again, then the match is going to go the distance. A repeat 2-1 result against Williams from their 2013 Australian Open encounter is a 7/1 shot.
Elsewhere in the top half of the ladies’ singles draw, 17th seed Sara Errani flies the flag alone for Italy. She faces Germany’s Julia Goerges, who is stepping into previously uncharted territory at the clay court Grand Slam.
It’s two wins apiece from previous head-to-heads, but crucially Goerges defeated Errani at last year’s Australian Open. Another upset here is a 7/4 shout, but Errani is on her favourite surface at Roland Garros and thus makes for a worthy odds-on 4/9 match favourite.
For two-time Wimbledon winner and fourth seed Petra Kvitova to make the quarters of the French Open, she must beat an opponent that she’s never won against before in Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky.
The Czech Republic’s top player is odds-on at 1/2 to get that maiden victory, though. Bacsinszky’s victory over Kvitova came in China earlier this year (13/8 to repeat it), and the 25-year-old is targeting her best ever run at Roland Garros.
And finally, two young rising stars of women’s tennis tackle one another with Romania’s Andreea Mitu meeting the new Belgian number one Alison van Uytvanck. Both ladies are 23 and under, so this will be a hugely athletic contest.
Mitu is the slightly more experienced lady, and is thus made a narrow 4/5 match favourite after stunning veteran Italian Francesca Schiavone. There’s a lot to like about Van Uytvanck, though, and she’s an even-money chance to make the quarter-finals.
Coral betting tip: We can’t resist recommending Sloan Stephens to single-handedly dump both Williams sister out of the French Open, so take nifty odds of 9/2 for her to send Serena home.