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French Open 2015 – Women’s Draw and predictions

It is difficult to forecast who will win each round and come up with predicted quarter finalists but if you are looking for who is worth a bet in the outright markets you need to have a go. It is especially difficult in the WTA.

So many players are either injured or not playing their best tennis that it looks even more open than usual.

 

Section 1

Serena Williams heads this section. Lots of doubts about her and at times she has looked vulnerable. Despite that her loss to Kvitova in Madrid remains her only loss of 2015. She

doesn’t have an easy draw. A likely third round meeting with Azarenka won’t be easy. They had a tough battle in Madrid with Serena winning in a third set tie break. If she gets through and Heather Watson doesn’t find a way to beat Sloan Stephens in the second round the superstar and the wannabe superstar will meet in the 4th round.

Wozniacki is the other top player in this section. She could have a tricky third round with Jankovic. JJ retired last week but I am not reading much into that as she has retired or withdrawn before a match every time she has played Strasbourg.

wozniackifopenI think the surprise of this section could be McHale. A second round meeting with Petkovic could scupper this prediction but Petkovic isn’t 100% right now. If McHale gets past her which could be by way of retirement she could come up against Errani who is struggling with her serve. McHale beat her in Rome in straight sets.

Difficult to pick anyone but Serena and Wozniacki barring any upsets. Azarenka is probably the only serious contender.

Predicted quarter final: S Williams v Wozniacki  (Semi final, S Williams)

 

 

Section 2

Some strong players in this section. Kvitova has to get past a few banana skin matches if she is to reach the quarter finals. She can implode at any time  but has looked strong on the clay this season. Her first real test will probably come in the 4th round unless Begu catches her on a bad day in the third.  Bacsinszky should get past Smitkova to face the kvitovafopenwinner from Bencic v Keys. Bencic has been far from her best in 2015 and Keys withdrew last week. Lots of ifs, buts and maybe’s in that one but I think Keys’ withdrawal was to ensure she is as fit as possible for Paris. Bacsinszy is stronger on clay and I’d expect her to be Kvitova’s opponent in the 4th round.

The other half of this section is where we find Kuznetsova. Hopefully she has recovered from her excellent run to the final in Madrid. She doesn’t have an easy first round with Bertens who has been good on clay this year but was disappointing in her last match. Schiavone and Schmiedlova can probably make Kuznetsova work for her supper but should prevent the Russian making it to the 4th round .

Bouchard seems to raise her game for the slams but raising the Titanic might be easier right now. There were signs of life in Rome. A first round meeting with Mladenovic could go Bouchard’s way as Mladenovic is playing the final in Strasbourg today and will have heavy legs next week. Bouchard should be able to over power Schmiedlova if they both reach round 3.  That would put her up against Kuznetsova assuming Kuznetsova beats Pliskova which of course is anything but certain.

Predicted quarter final: Kvitova v Kuznetsova     (Semi final, Kvitova)

 

 

 

Section 3

A strong section and perhaps the most open. Ivanovic reached the third round last year but her form this season suggests a repeat of that won’t be easy. She doesn’t have the worst draw but there are enough strong players ahead of her who can take advantage of a poor match from her. Shvedova in the first round could be uncomfortable for her. Doi in round 2 (assuming she gets there) should be straight forward but then a third round with halepfopeneither Jovanovski or Garcia will be a real test. Jovanovski has found some recent strong form from nowhere and Garcia had had an excellent season so far.

Makarova could face Ivanovic in the 4th round although if Ivanovic meets Garcia in round 3 her progression is very uncertain as she has already lost 3 times this season to Garcia. I think if Ivanovic DOES meet Garcia again the winner of that will go on to the quarter final.

The other half of this section has Halep, Radwanska, Vinci and Svitolina. Svitolina has been playing well but has fallen short against the top players. She is likely to meet Radwanska in the third round.

Halep could meet Vinci in the third round although I’m not sure how long Vinci will last as she plays the final in Germany today and doesn’t have an easy first round match with Cornet. Halep’s first real test will probably come from Radwanska in the 4th round.

Predicted quarter final: Garcia v Halep   (Semi final, Halep)

 

 

 

Section 4

Another strong section. This one has defending Champion Sharapova. Her first test is likely to come from Stosur in the third round assuming the Aussie has enough energy to get there after her long run this week. sharapovafopen

Lisicki could have real problems with Gavrilova in the second round and I think she will come out second best.  A win for Gavrilova would earn her a third round meeting with Safarova who I think will be too strong for her.

Muguruza reached the quarter finals last year.  I will be amazed if she manages the same feat this time. her 2015 clay form hasn’t been great and a second round meeting with Giorgi could be a real test. if she gets through that its probably Kerber who will be waiting for her in the third round.  If she finds a way to get through that one (which I doubt) then Suarez Navarro  or Pennetta will be waiting. On recent form I expect Suarez Navarro to get the better of Pennetta in the third round.

Predicted quarter final: Suarez Navarro v Sharapova     (Semi final, Sharapova)

 

My mens preview will be up later today.

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22nd May 2015

Just 2 days until the French Open starts. I plan to cover every match in my daily Trading Advice email. Quite a commitment as there are usually 64 matches each day during the 1st round!

Predictions, previews and trading advice for every match. Sign up HERE

 

 

ATP Geneva Open, 11:00 – Bellucci v Giraldo

Bellucci leads their head to heads 4-3 (4-2 on clay). They played twice on clay last season and Bellucci won both in 3 sets.bellucci9

Bellucci won his opening set with Ramos 6-0 but then lost the second 1-6. Lots of errors from both players and they were struggling with the uneven bounce on a poorly maintained court. In his 2 previous matches Bellucci had served well.

Giraldo beat Cilic in the last round in straight sets. He didn’t face a single break point. Cilic hasn’t impressed me recently. His serve stats weren’t bad but he still faced 11 break points and was broken 3 times. Only Youzhny was able to break Giraldo this week.

I think this goes to 3 sets. I give a slight edge to Bellucci. He starts around 1.54 .

 

 

 

WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg, 14:30 – Mladenovic v Razzano

Mladenovic leads their head to heads 1-0. That was last season on clay and she won in straight sets.

mladenovic9Mladenovic moved into the semis when Keys withdrew. She made a slow start to the week with a 3 setter against Parmentier but played really well to beat Riske in 2 sets. . Her serve stats for that match  were excellent.

Wild Card Razzano had a break in the first round when Barthel retired injured. She has taken full advantage with a straight sets win over Schiavone and she came back from losing the first set to Vesnina in the quarter final losing just 2 games in sets 2 and 3. Both the sets in their previous meeting were close and I won’t be surprised to see this go to a deciding set.

I’ll back Mladenovic if she goes an early break behind.

 

 

 

ATP Geneva Open, 15:00 – Delbonis v Sousa

Delbonis leads the head to heads 1-0. That was in 2013 on a clay court and he won in 2 sets.delbonis 9

Wawrinka’s stats for his match with Delbonis aren’t bad at all yet he was broken 4 times. Having said that winning a higher percentage of points on second serve compared to first serve isn’t ideal. You have to also consider whether Wawrinka wanted an extra day’s rest before starting in Paris.

Delbonis has been playing well this week and has dropped just that one set to Wawrinka in a tie break.

Sousa is also having a good week and dropped his first set in the quarter finals. He beat Andujar in a third set tie break.

Delbonis is priced too low but I do expect him to win this one. I need a price above 1.65 before backing though.

 

 

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21st May 2015

WTA Internationaux de Strasbourg, 14:00 – Keys v Mladenovic

What a bizarre match yesterday between Keys and Lucic Baroni. Lucic Baroni was a set and 5-0 up but Keys pulled back to serve for the set at 6-5. She was broken but won the tie break. She took the third in another tie break.

Mladenovic was more solid in her win over Riske . She faced just 1 break point which she saved. She has found a little more consistency this season.

Keys is priced too low as this should be very close. Keys is a hard player to predict at times as her level of play fluctuates so much from match to match. I will lay whichever player takes an early break lead. Mladenovic has a good chance of the win especially if Keys serve is a little off. Keys was broken 8 times in her last match.

 

 

 

WTA Nurnberger Versicherungscup, 16:30 – Arruabarrena v Witthoeft

Witthoeft leads 1-0. That was in 2014 on an indoor hard court and she won in straight sets.

Great win for Arruabarrena over Lisicki in a third set tie break.She did well to keep her focus after a lengthy rain delay.

Witthoeft was comfortable in her last match and whilst she was always ahead she struggled a little on her second serve.

It is very hard to separate these two and I think it will be a very close match. Three sets looks likely. I give a slight edge to Witthoeft as she is at home and that last match must have taken a lot out of Arruabarrena.

Back Witthoeft if she goes a break behind.

 

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