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French Open Women's Preview

French Open Women's Preview

French Open women's preview: Who has the best value?
By Jon Campbell

Unlike the men’s side, there is no clear-cut favorite among the women to win the French Open - or most other tournaments these days.

Oddsmakers currently have world No. 1 Dinara Safina listed at +375 to win Roland Garros and there are no fewer than nine other ladies set at +1500 or lower.

As you might expect, this has all made for some great drama. The action on the court isn’t bad either.

You may have heard some of the cat calls hissing around like Serena’s “We all know who the real No. 1 is” and Dinara’s “I guess they’re just jealous that I’m so young and No. 1.”

Fantastic stuff.

I guess if there isn’t an obvious rivalry, you might as well make one. Now Serena will have to back up her words on the court and the possibility of that remains a question mark for a few reasons.

With that, let’s take a quick look at a handful of the favorites. Please feel free to analyze anyone I’ve missed in the comments below and give us your thoughts on who will win:

Safina (+375) – She’s 14-1 on clay in 2009 and won in Rome and Madrid. That makes her tough to argue with if she’s your girl. But she can be a total spaz when it’s all on the line. (See Australian Open final when Serena waxed her).

Jelena Jankovic (+500) – Hard to believe she was No. 1 for a bit last year the way she started out. She’s the sleeper sweetheart of many this year thanks to her 14-3 record on clay but she’s only played one top 10 opponent this year and lost in straight sets in the quarterfinals in Rome to Svetlana Kuznetsova. Another downfall is that when her serve goes bad, it really goes bad. I don’t like her chances.

Svetlana Kuznetsova (+600) – Has done no worse than the quaterfinals at Roland Garros in the past three years and Kooz is in great form. She won the title at Stuttgart beating Safina in the finals and then finished runner up to her in Rome. She’s a fighter even when she isn’t at her best so definitely worth considering.

Serena Williams (+700) – Serena has been balling out the WTA for “forcing” her to play through a nagging leg injury lately. She could have forked out 75 grand and skipped a couple tourneys, but she chose to tank in the early rounds instead and whine about it later.

Her reasoning? She said she doesn’t have the cash to go writing those kinds of checks in these economic times. After all, the girl who has won over a couple mil just on the court this year couldn’t furnish most of her house for that kind of dough.

Seriously folks, she actually says this stuff out loud.

In any event, this is Serena we’re talking about. You never know what kind of health she’s in and she could win at any time if her desire is there. Might be a great value play because I don’t think her recent play means squat.

Ana Ivanovic (+1000) – Highly unfortunate but last year’s hottie champion is suffering from a knee injury and we probably won’t get to see much of her.

Venus Williams (+1200) – She’s never been past the quarters at the French but at 28, I gotta think Venus knows her time is running out. That’s sad, but that’s tennis. I think she’ll be on a mission here and I have a funny feeling about her. I’m putting a small wager on her.

Maria Sharapova (+1500) – Always a popular perv choice among bettors but think with your wallet and stay away. She’s hardly played this year following shoulder surgery and the French Open is the only grand slam not in her collection.

Caroline Wozniacki (+2000) – I like Sweet Caroline’s chances and at +2000, she’s almost too good to pass up. Besides, if you bet on her it will give you more excuses to Google this 19-year-old bomb shell from Denmark. She’s starting to overcome her nerves as she gets deeper in tournaments and she’s beaten some quality opposition this year including Elena Dementieva (twice). Wozniacki is also coming off a runner up appearance in Madrid.

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