Following the French Open womens’ singles draw the four top seeds have been dealt quarters of the bracket that differ in terms of difficulty, with Serena Williams arguably the chief beneficiary of the whims of fate. Third seed Victoria Azarenka also looks to have a fair chance of reaching the final, but fourth ranked Agnieszka Radwanska may struggle to reach the last eight.
Williams – who has shortened in to 11/10 for tournament victory after the draw announcement – comes into Roland Garros unbeaten on clay this season and looks to have been granted a magic carpet ride to the final by the draw gods.
It seems the toughest test she could potentially face before the final is Angelique Kerber, who enjoyed such a fine run to the quarter finals here last year.
The pair’s head-to-head ledger is two-to-one in favour of the American and while Serena will likely face a tough match against her German foe she can look forward to an easier time of it against Radwanska in the semis.
Clay has never been the Pole’s favourite surface and this season she seems to be finding it particularly taxing, winning one match across two tournaments so far.
Laura Robson easily overcame her in the second round in Madrid, whilst she tamely gave up a set lead in losing to Simona Halep on her sole outing in Rome.
An 80/1 price about victory seems pretty damning for a fourth seed, but Radwanska has never progressed beyond the fourth round at the French Open and given she could well face 2012 finalist Sara Errani in the quarters she may have to settle for exiting at the same stage once more.
Looking at Azarenka’s route to the final it’s hard to write her off, with her highest ranked potential quarter final opponent (the usually very awkward) Na Li seeming to have hit a wall on the dirt of late. Li has been knocked out in her first or second match in her last two clay tournaments amidst a landslide of unforced errors.
Defending champion Maria Sharapova likely awaits her in the semi-finals, but Azarenka has held the edge over her Russian rival recently, winning six of their last nine clashes. With Sharapova having withdrawn from the Rome tournament through illness, the number three seed must fancy her chances of reaching the showpiece.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publication