Darkhorse a serious contender following Clijsters’ shock exit

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Maria Kirilenko has been handed a stroke of luck in the French Open draw with the shock exit of Kim Clijsters and we expect the Russian to fully capitalise.

Kirilenko was scheduled to face Clijsters in the third round but will instead face Aranxta Rus and the Russian is the 2/5 favourite to beat the Dutch 21-year-old.

The two have never met but Kirilenko is ranked 84 place s higher than her opponent and while Rus knocked out the world number two in the second round, Kirilenko will be a much tougher task than an out-of-sorts Clijsters.

Rus’ second round victory was a real shock considering she hadn’t been past the first round in her last four tournaments, and we expect Kirilenko to cruise through 2-0 at 11/10.

Andrea Petkovic vs Jarmila Gajdosova

Kirilenko will take on the winner of this match in the fourth round and Gajdosova will have to reverse January’s Brisbane International form if it is to be her.

Petkovic won comfortably in Brisbane and she is 2/5 to add to her two wins over Gajdosova.

Gajdosova has beaten Petkovic previously but that was back in 2005 and punters should stay away from the 7/4 for the Gajdosova to win.

The two met in the 2007 French Open when Petkovic ran out the 2-1 winner and we fancy the German to do the same again at 13/5.

Yanina Wickmayer vs Agnieszka Radwanska

In the tightest battle of Saturday’s French Open action we’re struggling to call the winner in a match which must go the distance.

Radwanska is the 4/6 favourite with Wickmayer available at 11/10 but punters should take both the 11/4 for Radwanska to win 2-1 and the 10/3 for Wickmayer to win 2-1 to return a tidy profit.

A £10 double on Petkovic and Radwanska both winning in three sets would return £340. Sign up here to take advantage of a free bet worth up to £30.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.