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Average French Open record reason to oppose favourite Serena Williams

| 22.04.2013

In the past the French Open Women’s Singles title may have been farmed by clay-savvy senoritas such as Chris Evert, Steffi Graff, Monica Seles and Justine Henin (all of whom won it more than three times), but since the latter’s retirement it’s been won by a different competitor every year. World number one Serena Williams – 9/4 favourite in the French Open Women’s Singles betting with Coral – won her home clay tournament at Charleston last time, but she has just one career title at Roland Garros to her name and there could be value in opposing the American with some of her larger priced adversaries this year.

Apart from the fact then when she’s in the mood she’s a cut above any of her rivals in the women’s game Serena Williams is a worthy favourite because of her utterly dominant record against last year’s winner Maria Sharapova. The Michigan native has won the pair’s last 11 clashes, including both their career meetings on clay.

However clay remains her worst surface by a distance, with Williams coming off second best in 29 percent of her outings on the dirt – opposed to 16 per cent on hard court and 11 per cent on grass – and she hasn’t managed better than a quarter final berth since 2003, going out in the first round of last year’s tournament.

At 20/1 with Coral, Italian clay-specialist Sara Errani looks overpriced given she reached not one but two finals at Roland Garros last year – reaching the singles decider and winning the doubles title with compatriot Roberta Vinci. She’s in good nick on the surface at present too, with a 5-0 record in Tour clay events this year.

At 7/1, 2011 winner Li Na could rate another with leading chances now that she seems to have found the form of her title-winning year once more after a down-beat 2012. She’s reached at least the quarter final of every tournament this term, losing to the eventual winner in each case, and went a set up in the Australian Open before succumbing to an injury-hampered defeat.