The 2023 French Open gets underway this Sunday with world number ones Carlos Alcaraz (6/4) and Iga Swiatek (4/5) favourites for victory in the Men’s and Women’s Singles at Roland Garros.
14-time winner Rafa Nadal misses the tournament for the first time since 2005 and, with Novak Djokovic injury-hampered and inconsistent so far on the clay court swing, this represents a real chance for a member of the new guard to get their hands on a Grand Slam.
Carlos Alcaraz is rightfully at the front of the queue after a blistering start to 2023, but his second-round loss to world number 115 Fabian Maroszan in Rome wasn’t an ideal preparation.
Defending women’s champion Iga Swiatek may be odds-on but she feels a lot more mortal this term than last and we’ll be taking her on with a player who appears to solved the Pole’s puzzle.
French Open Winner Tips
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French Open Men’s Singles – Daniil Medvedev to win @ 9/1
Favourite Alcaraz appears to have been handed the dicier half of the bracket in Paris, with his Rio clay conqueror Cameron Norrie likely to be lying in wait in the fourth round, followed by a potential quarter final against Stefanos Tsitsipas and a last-four date with Djokovic.
Conversely, the toughest opponent Medvedev can face before the quarters is Jannik Sinner, who he has bested in all six previous meetings. He could take on Holger Rune or Casper Ruud in the semis, but the winner of their clash is bound to have endured a tough day’s work.
Medvedev’s career body of work on dirt is not hugely impressive, but this is easily his best campaign to date thanks to his victory in the Rome Masters.
He took out the world number five Tsitsipas and number four Ruud in the semi-final and final respectively, both with 7-5, 7-5 scorelines that underlined the consistency and grinder’s mindset required to prosper on clay.
The Russian’s head-to-head with Alacaraz is tied at one apiece with the pair let to face-off on this surface. At 9/1 he looks to have a very strong chance of making the final and if he does his each-way backers will already be in the money.
French Open Women’s Singles
When world numero umo Swiatek surged to victory at Roland Garros last year she recorded her 35th successive victory and third clay tournament win in a row in the final against Coco Gauff.
This time around the Pole has been in more mortal form, winning just one of the three dirt warm-ups on her itinerary, with that success in Stuttgart being the lowest profile tourney of the trio.
At 4/5 she has to be taken on given she’s in the tougher half of the draw in Paris. Gauff could in opposition, intent on revenge in the last eight, while her choice of semi-final adversaries includes Elena Rybakina, Petra Kvitova and Ons Jabeur.
There can be little debate on which of that trio she’ll want to see least. Rybakina holds a 4-1 lead in their career head-to-head, winning her last four encounters with Swiatek.
The most recent of those saw the Pole retire injured just after her opponent had squared their Rome Masters quarter-final at one set all. Rybakina went on to triumph in the Italian capital.
She’s made the final in two of her last three Slams now, winning Wimbledon and finishing runner up in the Aussie Open earlier this year. Like Medvedev, she’s available at an each-way price and her bogey status for the world number one gives her every chance of making it to the championship match.