Women’s 2022 French Open Odds & Predictions: Don’t Be Scared of Betting Swiatek
Robert Prange/Getty. Pictured: Iga Swiatek practices before the 2022 French Open.
The year’s second Grand Slam event has arrived as players get ready to compete in Paris for the 2022 French Open title.
While the entire field would love to have 2021 singles champion Barbora Krejcikova’s success on the red clay of Roland Garros, there is a much smaller group of players this year with a realistic shot to win the title.
Read on for outright predictions for the 2022 Roland Garros women’s field.
Iga Swiatek (-120)
Yes, I know that it can be scary to bet an outright tournament winner on a -120 favorite. However, Swiatek has been that good.
The Pole has won 28 matches in a row, including all nine clay-court matches this season. Swiatek has also won 14 sets in a row and 42 of her last 43 sets dating back to Indian Wells!
During this stretch of matches, Swiatek has beaten top players such as Aryna Sabalenka (three times), Maria Sakkari (twice), Anett Kontaveit, Simona Halep, Naomi Osaka and Ons Jabeur.
Swiatek’s game has been incredibly solid. She hits her spots on serve, has a massive, heavy forehand that can allow her to control the baseline and moves incredibly well on the dirt.
The world No. 1’s backhand is solid and she can get good depth from that wing as well.
Swiatek return has also been outstanding. In Rome, Swiatek broke serve a combined 30 times in five matches.
There are no real weaknesses to Swiatek’s game and she deserves to be an even bigger outright favorite than she is.
With that said, Swiatek’s draw is a bit of a concern. As Kaia Kanepi, Danielle Collins, and Liudmilla Samsonova have shown this season, the way to challenge Swiatek in her current state (if your name is not recently-retired Ashleigh Barty) is to try to lower your margins and aim to hit through her.
A potential battle again Dayana Yastremska awaits in the second round, as does Samsonova in the third round, Ostapenko in the round of 16 and Ekaterina Alexandrova or Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals.
Swiatek will have to be wary of a redlining, aggressive opponent.
However, Swiatek’s form and her ability to consistently handle the mounting pressure on her shoulders has been immense.
It would be foolish to expect anyone else to win this title.
Ons Jabeur (+1300)
What if Swiatek happens to lose? Who can be there to pick up the pieces and win the title?
Ons Jabeur is my top choice to do so. It doesn’t hurt that the Tunisian and Swiatek are on opposite halves of the draw.
Jabeur has had a very successful clay-court season, with a 17-3 record on the dirt in 2022. This includes a title in Madrid, along with finals in both Charleston and Rome.
While Jabeur can be thought of as a fast-court player at times, she has won 72% of her matches on clay during her career. Jabeur’s game translates to any surface.
Jabeur has done a great job of hitting her spots on serve and aggressively using her forehand to control the baseline.
When she has sufficiently pushed her opponents back in the court, Jabeur surprises them with a perfect drop shot.
Jabeur’s backhand slice is also a big factor in her success. The slice stays low to the court and remains out of her opponents’ strike zones.
In addition, Jabeur’s physicality has been suspect in the past, but she has done a much better job recently of hanging in there during long matches.
As I mentioned earlier, Jabeur is on the other side of the draw compared to Swiatek. That gives her a major boost to make the final, and it gives Swiatek more rounds to potentially trip up.
Jabeur’s first few rounds against Linette and (likely) Trevisan should not give her trouble. The seed she would potentially face in the third round is Petra Kvitova, a player not known for her clay-court success, especially at this stage in the Czech’s career.
Potential round of 16 matchups include Angelique Kerber and Emma Raducanu – neither of which flourish on clay – despite Kerber’s run in Strasbourg this week.
The road would likely get tougher for Jabeur from there. Likely opponents include Anisimova, Bencic, or Sakkari in the quarterfinals.
However, getting +1300 on the second-most in-form player in the draw with a relatively easy run until the second week is a strong play.
Anett Kontaveit (+5000)
The bottom quarter is the weaker quarter on the non-Swiatek side of the draw.
Perhaps the best-suited player to take advantage of this and go on a run is Anett Kontaveit.
I know this is a random-looking outright pick and Kontaveit has only gone 2-2 this season, so hear me out.
First off, while the Estonian has struggled on clay this season, she’s still won 67% of her career matches on the dirt and made WTA clay-court finals.
It’s really about the ease of her quarter with this play. Kontaveit gets an injured Tomljanovic to start and the seed in her mini-section, Elise Mertens, has not looked like herself since coming back from an injury in Istanbul.
Mertens has been erratic from the baseline, consistently leaving balls short.
The two seeds that would potentially be Kontaveit’s round of 16 opponent are Garbine Muguruza and Coco Gauff. Muguruza has been in poor form, losing five of her last seven matches, including a 6-2, 4-6, 1-6 defeat to Martina Trevisan in Rabat. Meanwhile, Kontaveit should be able to exploit Coco Gauff’s poor forehand if they were to meet.
Krejcikova is the number two seed that is a potential quarterfinal opponent for Kontaveit, but Krejcikova hasn’t played since Doha and is just 2-2 on the season.
And while Victoria Azarenka is also in this quarter and might have been a good play a few years ago, I don’t trust her to keep control of her groundstrokes long enough to reach Kontaveit in the quarterfinals.
If Kontaveit can get out of this quarter and gain confidence, who knows how far she can go.
When she’s playing well, she still has excellent controlled aggression from both wings and the pressure will not be on her shoulders.
Leave: Simona Halep (+1000)
Halep is the player closest to Swiatek in terms of betting odds, but I don’t think she’s a good bet in this tournament.
The former French Open champion struggled against Danielle Collins in Rome, falling 6-7(1), 3-6. Her backhand can do a lot of damage on the dirt, but she looked underpowered against the American.
Halep’s draw is also horrible for her chances of winning.
Not only is Halep in Swiatek’s quarter, but potentially facing Jelena Ostapenko in the third round is a worrisome matchup.
We saw in 2017 how Ostapenko was able to hit Halep off of the court in the Roland Garros final. This time around, the Latvian will come into this match with confidence and and belief in herself.
With a potentially tough power player in Ostapenko in the third round and then Swiatek in the round of 16, it’s hard to see Halep making it out of this quarter, let alone winning the title.