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French Open - Tennis: Women's Preview

Thursday's women's French Open draw threw up some intriguing first-round contests, with all eyes set to be on one player in particular when the action gets under way in Paris on Sunday.

Iga Swiatek is unsurprisingly the red-hot favourite to take the title at 10/11 after dominating the clay-court season on the WTA Tour, but punters should not completely rule out the likes of Tunisian ace Ons Jabeur, who is 12/1, or the experienced Simona Halep - who is available at 14/1.

It is sure to be a fascinating tournament, with all the action available on our Sports Live Streaming platform.

Swiatek the player to beat

We are seeing something pretty special from young Pole Iga Swiatek right now, but her current domination of the women's game can surely not be taken seriously until she has multiple Grand Slam titles under her belt.

To date she has only one Grand Slam crown to her name, but that did come in Paris two years ago and she looks ready to add a second.

Swiatek goes into the Paris major on a 28-match unbeaten streak and, since February, she has won the Qatar Open, Indian Wells Masters, Miami Open, Stuttgart Open and Italian Open.

She is unsurprisingly top seed in the draw and should avoid a shock in the early rounds. Swiatek is set to take on a qualifier in round one, with Alison Riske or Dayana Yastremska awaiting in the second round.

It is also worth noting she has made the round of 16 at the French Open three times on the spin.

Even punters averse to backing short-priced favourites cannot dispute she is the obvious pick and a title triumph for the 20-year-old may well mark the start of a new era in women's tennis.

Jabeur's clay success not going unnoticed

If anyone is going to rival Swiatek for the title, it looks like being Tunisian talent Ons Jabeur.

Drawn in the third quarter, Jabeur is enjoying a strong campaign on clay which may have received more attention had it not been for Swiatek's success.

Jabeur won the Madrid Open recently and also came close in Rome, finishing runner-up to Swiatek in the Italian Open. Before that she also made it to the final of the Charleston Open back in April and is possibly the second-best player on the WTA Tour in 2022.

Magda Linette is her opponent in the first round and Jabeur is 1/9 to prevail, while she is in a relatively soft quarter, but could still have to contend with former Grand Slam winners in Emma Raducanu, Angelique Kerber and Petra Kvitova.

Fitness a problem for reigning champion

Czech star Barbora Krejcikova made history last year when she became the first woman to secure both the singles and doubles French Open titles in the same year since Mary Pierce back in 2000.

And, despite having been out for around two months with an elbow injury, she has still been placed as number two seed in Paris this month.

She heads up the fourth quarter as a result and will take on French teenager Diane Parry in her opener, with fifth seed Anett Kontaveit a player she will surely be keeping an eye on.

Ultimately it will be fitness concerns which could put punters off backing the defending champion, who is available at 33/1 to win the title again.

Related French Open News

French Open - Tennis: Men's Preview

French Open - Tennis: All You Need To Know

French Open - Tennis: Five players to look out for

Badosa looking to build on 2021 show

At 18/1, Spanish ace Paula Badosa is one many punters will be monitoring, given it was at the French Open last year where she reached her first ever Grand Slam quarter-final.

On that occasion, Badosa was beaten by Tamara Zidansek but she has continued to show signs of improvement since then.

She made the fourth round of the Australian Open earlier this year and has enjoyed a fairly modest clay season, while having also progressed to the last four of the Indian Wells Masters and the quarter-finals of the Miami Open.

The Spanish star should be wary of Danielle Collins and Aryna Sabalenka in particular in her quarter and she still looks a little short of Grand Slam-winning quality.

Halep hopes to replicate previous success

Being drawn in the same quarter as the red-hot Swiatek is far from ideal for Simona Halep, but the former French Open champion should not be underestimated in Paris and is among the market leaders at 14/1.

Halep has two Grand Slam titles to her name, having followed up her 2018 triumph in France with a Wimbledon title the following year, but more recently she has looked a threat on clay.

She also won ten games against Swiatek in a semi-final loss at the Indian Wells Masters in March, before reaching the last eight at the Madrid Open earlier this month.

Jabeur got the better of the Romanian on that occasion, but Halep nonetheless overcame Badosa and American starlet Coco Gauff in the Spanish capital and is worth keeping an eye on in the coming weeks.

Osaka not helped by tricky opener

It has not been plain sailing for Naomi Osaka in the last year or so and she is 66/1 to win this year's French Open.

She showed renewed signs of promise in April's Miami Open, swatting aside the likes of Belinda Bencic and Danielle Collins on her way to the final, in which she lost in straight sets to Swiatek.

But the former world number one will need to hit the ground running in Paris with Amanda Anisimova, who beat her in the third round of this year's Australian Open, her first opponent.

Garbine Muguruza is another with a tough opener as she takes on Estonian Kaia Kanepi.

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