Fri, 22 Sep 2023

Top-ranked Iga Swiatek is the overwhelming favorite to win the French Open women's title among oddsmakers and the public.

The Polish star is the -105 favorite at BetMGM and leads the draw with 46.5 percent of the bets and 74.1 percent of the money backing her to win. The next closest is second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, who has accounted for only 4.0 percent of the money wagered on the women's champion.

Sabalenka, who can leave Paris with the No. 1 world ranking, has not advanced past the third round of the French Open and is coming off a first-round loss in Rome.

"I'm not focusing on that," she said in her pre-tournament press conference. "Because every time I'm focusing on something like that, like points, ranking, results, and I'm not playing my best. So I'm trying to focus on myself, on my game and make sure I bring my best tennis, and then we will see after these couple of weeks what's going to happen."

After opening at 450, Swiatek has emerged as the biggest liability for the sportsbook in the women's draw. Second is Spain's Paula Badosa, who has been backed by 5.8 percent of the total bets.

Swiatek has even shorter odds at -125 at BetRivers, despite being only 2-2 in finals appearances this year. Sabalenka is 500, followed by Elena Rybakina at 550. No other woman has shorter than 2000 odds to win the title (Barbora Krejcikova and Jelena Ostapenko).

Jessica Pegula enters the tournament as the No. 3 seed, but her 3000 title odds don't make her the favorite among the American women at Roland Garros. That distinction belongs to sixth-seeded Coco Gauff (2700), who lost to Swiatek in last year's final.

Swiatek withdrew from her quarterfinal in Rome due to a thigh injury but said she's healthy entering the French Open, where she begins her title defense against Spain's Cristina Bucsa on Monday.

"Luckily, nothing serious happened, so I had a couple of days off," the two-time French Open champion said. "I'm still recovering from the thigh injury, but I'll be good for my first round. That's the most important thing for me."

Swiatek said the extra few days of rest after withdrawing in Rome were beneficial in her preparation for Roland Garros.

"Having this time to reset and think about other stuff and just calm down for a couple of days was really helpful," she said.

"And to also analyze what happened during the whole clay season. It's a nice way to go to the last tournament of the clay season with all the knowledge that I gained."

Swiatek, Sabalenka and Rybakina have each won titles on clay this year, with Rybakina claiming the title in Rome.

"It's nice to have somebody constantly kind of watching you," Swiatek said. "We played so many matches against each other that tactically we know our games pretty well.

"But we also have to kind of come up with some different solutions sometimes, which is pretty exciting because I never had that yet in my career. I think this is what the Big Three (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic) had to do for sure when they played like 30 matches against each other, or even more."

--Field Level Media

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