French Open winner predictions: Each-way plays against Alcaraz & Swiatek

The French Open men’s draw is unusually open while Swiatek is worth taking on

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4 weeks ago

The French Open first round begins on Sunday May 27 at Stade Roland Garros in Paris’ 16th arrondisement, with Carlos Alcaraz (2/1) favourite to take the men’s title and Iga Swiatek trading at just 4/5 to win the clay court slam for the fourth time in five years.

Both favourites look worth taking on. The men’s is draw wide open thanks to injury troubles and indifferent form amongst the top players, while Swiatek’s susceptibility to one rival in particular was reinforced at a recent dirt tournament in Stuttgart.

French Open winner picks

Men’s outright tip – Casper Ruud to win @ 9/1 (each-way)

Women’s outright tip – Elena Rybakina to win @ 8/1 (each-way)

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Fly Norwegian in most competitive men’s outright market in years

Scrolling down the French Open men’s outright odds question marks abound. Carlos Alcaraz (2/1) exited at the quarter-final stage in Madrid, the sole tournament he’s contested in the main clay swing, while Novak Djokovic (11/4) has yet to win a tournament this season.

Jannik Sinner (9/2) is the clear form horse having won his first Grand Slam in Australia earlier this term and all bar two of his 32 outings in 2024. However, he pulled out of his Madrid QF injured and hasn’t played since.

Alex Zverev (6/1) won in Rome without having to face a top-10 world ranked opponent, while Stefanos Tsitsipas (7/1) appears to have peaked early, failing to go beyond the quarters in Rome and Monte Carlo after reaching finals in Monte Carlo and Barcelona (winning the former).

In a year where it’s so hard to gauge the state of the front-runners, course and distance form looks a great place to start for our each-way angle – Casper Ruud (9/1).

The Norwegian has been a losing finalist at Roland Garros in each of the last two campaigns, and already has some decent dirt form to his name this season having beaten Tsitsipas in Rome and lost to him in the decider in Monte Carlo.

There are doubts over many of those ahead of Ruud in the betting and that could be enough to see the Norwegian over the line for a first Slam title on clay that clearly suits him well.

Tip: Casper Ruud to win @ 9/1 (each-way)

Rare ability to unsettle Swiatek makes Musovite the each-way play

Iga Swiatek (4/5) is quite rightly an unimpeachable favourite to win the French Open women’s championship given she boasts a 51-4 record on clay across the last seasons.

Poland’s world numero uno arrives in Paris on a 12-match dirt streak that has seen her land the Madrid and Rome WTA events. She beat world number two Aryna Sabalenka in both finals and KO’d world number three Coco Gauff in the semis in Italy.

However, 4/5 is no kind of price to back a player in a tournament that features 128 players in the main draw, even a player of Swiatek’s dominance.

Instead, Elena Rybakina is the selection for the second year running, after being forced to withdraw from the 2023 tournament at the third-round stage due to injury.

The rationale is simple, Rybakina is the top-10 player that’s proven most capable of consistently troubling or beating the Pole.

Swiatek dominates the career head-to heads with Sabalenka (9-3), Gauff (10-1), world number five Jessica Pegula (6-3) and six Marketa Vondrousova (4-0)

Rybakina on the other hand leads her head-to-head with the world number one 5-2 and has been responsible for the reigning French Open champion’s last two defeats on clay. The most recent of those came in Stuttgart back in late April.

That alone marks her out as easily the best bet at the prices in Paris.

Tip: Elena Rybakina to win @ 8/1 (each-way)