French Open coming true on predicted unpredictability
It was widely regarded that this year’s Women’s French Open could be the most open and competitive in years, and so far that’s proving exactly true.
Six seeds have already been sent packing on the opening two days in Paris – including world number one Angelique Kerber.
The German has been in dismal form this year, and despite a tough draw lumping her with two-time Slam semi-finalist Ekaterina Makarova, offered little in a 6-2 6-2 exit.
Australian Open semi-finalists Coco Vanderweghe and Mirjana Lucic-Baroni are also already out.
And US Open finalist Roberta Vinci, Lauren Davis, and Daria Gavrilova complete the seeded departures.
But even many of those who did progress didn’t exactly impress.
Venus Williams was pushed hard by world number 50 Wang Qiang, while Caroline Wozniacki, Kristina Mladenovic and Kiki Bertens all required three sets.
Reigning champion Garbine Muguruza looked solid in a 6-2 6-4 win over 2010 champion Francesca Schiavone, and the Venezuelan looks promising so far at 8/1.
Sixth seed Dominika Cibulkova was particularly dominant in her 6-2 6-1 victory versus Spain’s Lara Arruabarrena.
Cibulkova is still considered an outsider at 33/1, but there’s reason to believe the 28-year-old represents excellent value.
The Slovakian is a French Open semi-finalist, and there is little to fear in her draw until a potential clash with Venus Williams.
But she holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over the great American, and though it’s early days, Cibulkova’s price is likely to tumble over the next few rounds with a run to the latter stages on the cards.
So if you’re going to back her for a first Slam success, do it quick.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing