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2021 French Open WTA Early Bird Picks

Say her name!

It’s Iga Swiatek.

Poland's Iga Swiatek returns a backhand to US Cori Gauff during their semifinal match of the Women's italian Open
Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP

The still-blossoming 19-year-old heads into the WTA portion of the upcoming 2021 French Open as the prohibitive favorite after claiming last year’s crown. More importantly, the unassuming Polish star cemented her status as such and has the look of a player that won’t be beaten easily — if at all — in her bid to repeat at Roland Garros.

Four other players look like they’re going to challenge Swiatek for the win at the year’s second major. With the 2021 WTA French Open odds on fire in the BetUS online sportsbook, let’s find out who makes my top five picks to win and cash in

WTA Tour Odds to Win 2021 French Open

  • Iga Swiatek +350
  • Simona Halep+650
  • Ashleigh Barty +500
  • Aryna Sabalenka +700
  • Garbine Muguruza +900
  • Naomi Osaka +1400
  • Bianca Andreescu +1800
  • Serena Williams +1800
  • Elina Svitolina +2000
  • Petra Kvitova +2000
  • Victoria Azarenka +2200
  • Sofia Kenin +2500
  • Karolina Pliskova +2800
  • Elise Mertens +2500
  • Maria Sakkari +2800
  • Cori Gauff +2800
  • Jelena Ostapenko +5000

Will Rafael Nadal repeat as the four-time defending champion and odds-on-favorite to win the 2021 ATP French Open title?

Five For The Win

Karolina Pliskova

Pliskova is 14-9 on the year and 10th in the WTA Tour rankings. The 29-year-old Czech Republic native hasn’t won a title this year but comes into the French Open off an impressive run to the finals in the WTA 1000 Premier event in Rome last week. Sure, Pliskova was smacked around in the finals, but she reached the semis here in 2017 and looked great in Italy last weekend. I believe Pliskova’s confidence is sky-high. At +2800, she’s worth a shot.

Elina Svitolina

Svitolina is 19-9 and sixth in the WTA rankings. The 26-year-old Ukrainian hasn’t won a tournament, but she also looks solid after reaching the semis in Stuttgart in April and the quarterfinals in Rome last week.

Svitolina took out world No. 12 Garbine Muguruza in the round of 16 and has the kind of complete, all-surface game that can carry her deep into any slam. Svitolina reached the quarters of last year’s French Open and reached the quarters in 2015 and 2017. At +2000, Svitolina is a solid value pick to pull off the upset.

Simona Halep

It’s funny, you just don’t hear much about 29-year-old Halep, but the fact of the matter is that she hasn’t gone anywhere. Still, third in the world rankings, Halep is 11-5 on the year with no wins, but I still have her as a top title contender to win the 2021 French Open for several reasons.

First, Halep is 36-10 all-time at Roland Garros (76.0%). Then, there’s the fact that she has reached the finals here three times and won it all two years ago. Halep has reached the fourth round or better in five straight appearances and reached the quarters in the 2021 Australian Open. Halep has also beaten Swiatek once this year in three sets in the round of 16 Down Under.

Did You Know: Did You Know, there have been six different WTA Tour winners in the last six French Opens?

Aryna Sabalenka

Now, fourth in the WTA rankings, Belarus native Aryna Sabalenka has the look of a dangerous player and a must-bet pick at +700. The 23-year-old has gone 25-7 on the year with two big titles. One of the biggest hitters on tour, Sabalenka won in Abu Dhabi in January while beating three Top 20 opponents.

More recently, the powerful 6-0 star took home the title in the Madrid 1000 Premier a few weeks back by beating world No. 1 Ashleigh Barty in the finals. Sabalenka did lose to Coco Gauff in the round of 16 in Rome, but I expect her fire and desire to be completely refueled.

Iga Swiatek

Not only is Swiatek 19-5 on the year, but she has the look of a damned near lock pick at +350. The 5-9-inch native of Warsaw has won twice in her last five tournaments.

First, Swiatek won her second career title at Adelaide International in February. Arguably the craftiest player in the women’s game today, Swiatek did not lose a set along the way and lost just 22 games total in what has been the most dominant title run of the 2021 campaign.

More recently, Swiatek took the title in Rome last weekend, although she had a fight on her hands in more than one match. Swiatek was down 1-4 in the first set to Alison Riske in the first round but battled back to survive.

In the second round, she had to come from 3-5 down and save three set points in the first set against American Madison Keys. In the third round, Swiatek had to save two match points to get past Barbora Krejcikova, 3-6 7-6 (5) 7-5 .Swiatek dispatched Gauff in two mostly competitive sets in the semis before going bonkers against  Pliskova in the finals 6-0, 6-0 in a stunning 46-minute thrashing. You can say her name now or you can say it later, but either way, Swiatek is a real threat to repeat and that makes her a logical pick at +350.

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