It’s not often that we see a woman with a chance to win back to back Grand Slam events, but here on the clay courts of Roland Garros, we might have the same upset winner in French Open betting action this year as we did last year. No. 5 Francesca Schiavone is the top seed remaining in this tournament, and she’ll look to avoid the upset bid on Thursday of No. 11 Marion Bartoli.
Bartoli remains the sentimental favorite to claim glory here at the French Open, as she can become the first French woman to win this event since 2000 when Mary Pierce got the job done, and the second since 1967. In that stretch, there has only been one Frenchman to claim the French Open as well, Yannick Noah in 1984 (and he was the only male to win this leg of the Grand Slam since 1946). Bartoli is still just 26 years old, but this is her 11th French Open. She had never made it to the second week of this event, and had only made it to the first weekend once, in 2007. Still, Bartoli is only getting stronger and stronger as this event moves on. She blew through Svetlana Kuznetsova 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 in the quarterfinals on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and she will make her fourth appearance on Court Philippe Chatrier in the semifinals on Thursday. Surprisingly, the win against the Russian was the first straight sets win in this tournament for Bartoli, who needed three sets to dismiss her first three foes and won via Gisela Dulko retiring in the second set in the fourth round.
Schiavone is a hero in her homeland as well, as she was the first Italian woman to ever win in Paris last year. Yes, believe it or not, she has already won a dozen matches in a row here on the French Open odds, something truly impressive for a woman who was eliminated in the first round in this tournament back in 2009 and was bounced before the quarterfinals ever started in her previous eight attempts at claiming glory in France. Things really could have gone a heck of a lot differently for Schiavone had she not found a way to pony up and win two tight sets in a row against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Tuesday. The Italian had a tough time in the first set against her Russian foe, losing 6-1, but she stormed back and managed to win 7-5, 7-5 in the second and third sets respectively, and her last break avoided what could have been a very, very lengthy third set finale. Still, this was the second straight grueling third set battle that Schiavone has had to endure here after three straight very easy matches to start off, and she has to be growing weary.
Home court advantage is going to be the key in this one. Bartoli is just riding this tremendous wave of momentum, and she is starting to really become a darling in her own country. She’s got at least a 50/50 shot of getting the job done and moving on to the finale this weekend, and for that, we have no choice but to take Bartoli +135 for our French Open picks.
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is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.
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