Who will win Roland Garros?

Over the last 9 Grand Slam tournaments there have been 6 different winners on the ladies tour; Serena Williams, Angie Kerber, Garbine Muguruza, Sloane Stephens, Jelena Ostapenko and Caroline Wozniacki. The ladies game is so open at the moment which is fantastic so let’s have a look at who could be there?

Simona Halep 💪🏻

The world number one has a lot of pressure on her shoulders. She has been playing some good tennis over the last few weeks but the real pressure will come in the second week as it will increase match by match but staying in the moment is vital for the Romanian.

Caroline Wozniacki 😕

The world number two has not been in great form for a while. Her clay court season has been sat at 2 wins and 1 loss for every tournament she plays. She usually does get to grips with Roland Garros quickly and adjusts but that consistency in matches can just disappear at times. Watching Caro win the Australian Open was a beautiful moment for her and tennis but I don’t see her pushing for this one.

Garbine Muguruza 🤨

I don’t really know what to expect from Garbine. I said in a piece not long ago she can turn up with little momentum and still do well. Even in her defeat against Gavrilova in Rome a week ago she hit her ground strokes well just her game plan seemed confused. Contender? I think so but she needs to start matches good!

Elina Svitolina 😎

Watch out for Elina. Her game is looking solid right now. She seems composed and confident and her wins against Kasatkina, Kontaveit, Kerber and Halep have put her in a contenders bracket for Roland Garros. She doesn’t have that big Grand Slam experience but it will only come with performances on the big stage. I think she will be one to watch out for. Her attitude and commitment in her match against Halep was exceptional.

Jelena Ostapenko ☹️

Defending champion. Do I think Jelena will defend her title? No.

I don’t really see what Jelena has done since winning the title to convince me that she will replicate that. Her attitude has been a problem in matches and she just seems contempt with this game style which is a bit hit and miss!

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Karolina Pliskova 🧐

You wouldn’t usually put Pliskova’s game down as a clay court game but her form on clay since the beginning of last year has been very good. Pliskova plays a style of tennis which on its day is difficult to stop. She does move better now but I think there are better players on clay but I wouldn’t rule her out going far here.

Petra Kvitova 🏆

Form player this year. I’ve always enjoyed watching Petra but it has emotion and feeling attached after her horror attack. The issue with Petra is consistency and sometimes there is those random performances where things just go wrong. Since making the semi-final of Roland Garros in 2012 she hasn’t been back in the second week. Surely this is her year?

Angie Kerber 🤩

Don’t count Angie out, she turns up at the big stage and her game suits all surfaces and this year she has built up her ranking once again especially after a write off 2017 season. Seeded at 12 she could face a tricky draw and likely to face a top player in an early round.

Maria Sharapova 🏅

I don’t think Maria will win Roland Garros but I think she will provide a challenge especially following her run in Rome where she played her best tennis since returning over a year ago. The experience and stubborn style of tennis will be tough and if you are going to beat Sharapova you will have to bring you’re A game if she plays as she did in Rome.

Vika Azarenka 😎

Vika is on route around the world now with her son however she was quickly knocked out by Osaka in Rome. Vika has a presence which is so infectious and the crowd gets behind her. I hope Vika puts on a good performance and should be looking at the second week.

Serena Williams 👑

Where else do I end? Serena is playing her first major since giving birth. Since returning to the tour in March a plan and programme has been put in place to work on things that need improving and as her coach Patrick says she plays to win. Just the fact of playing Serena Williams can be a daunting prospect.

Who takes it? I don’t know, what I do know is it will be a fortnight full of stories, surprises, emotion and at the end achampion!

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Garbiñe Muguruza – 16/8 win loss, odd game plan & lack of confidence 🤔?

Garbiñe Muguruza is not a two time Grand Slam champion by fluke. The Spaniard is having a tough year but it just hasn’t changed all season!

She will go into Roland Garros on a win/loss of 16/8 with no momentum generated at all this season and three retirements to her name but a title in Monterrey following the sunshine double.

Against top 25 ranked players she is 2/4 for the season and lost three matches against players ranked outside the top 50.

I watched back her match against Gavrilova and I didn’t really find a game plan, I found parts of a number of different ones trying to gel together but it was messy.

The best part of her game came from the backhand which was hit with pure frustration and became a weapon. Her defence was a bit shaky, net play was odd especially the overheads and drive volleys I didn’t get it and I’ll take a look.

The first one is messy, the drive volley is straight at Gavrilova who panicked but Garbiñe made it difficult for herself the open court is there. Gavrilova as I said panicked and should have looked up the line or cross court and pulled the angle but hit straight at Muguruza who put away.

This one here was odd. Down break point and the drive volley with panic in it was messy. Game plan went out the window and she hit the drive volley out and that sealed her fate.

I don’t think the confidence is there at the moment and hasn’t been majority of the season. The title win in Monterrey felt more like a relief than an achievement.

However I wouldn’t rule her out at Roland Garros. She produced one of the great upsets against Serena a few years ago in Paris and I think the longer turn around between matches helps her.

Who will win Roland Garros? I’ve narrowed it down to 9…

Roland Garros is in full swing, the weather has been good, the tennis has been amazing but we are still nowhere near to knowing who will win the year’s second major but who are the contenders?

Elina Svitolina

Svitolina seems to be one of the favourites and that is a lot of pressure to take. She has never been in a final before but has two Premier Mandatory titles to her name this year and is top of the table in the Road to Singapore. The Ukrainian isn’t a player who will let her feet come off the ground and get carried away she will take it match by match and we’ve seen a lot happen so far this week so don’t rule anything out…

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Karolina Pliskova

I don’t think it will be too long before Karolina wins a major but I don’t see it happening in France. I’d love to be proven wrong but I believe there are better clay court players in her last match I didn’t get the game plan as the tournament goes on and you come up against better players chances will need to be taken.

Simona Halep

Injury was a concern after falling in Rome but the Romanian looks fit and so far has been very impressive in her first couple of matches, she seems to be more focused and less frustrated on the court these last few weeks and has her feet on the ground, she has been a former finalist before amazingly three years ago now!

Other contenders…

Venus…

20 years at Roland Garros but never a champion however at the age of 37 nothing looks like stopping her anytime soon!

Kuznetsova…

A former champion back in 2009, Kuznetsova has found some exceptional tennis over the last year and could she etch her name on that trophy once more?

Muguruza…

Last year’s winner who admitted it was the best and worst thing that happened to hear. Her year went down hill after, expectations and pressure got too much and on court confrontations with her coach have been the talking point this year but if the backhand is firing she is a contender.

Wozniacki…

Still searching for that first major, she is back around the top ten but I wouldn’t say she has gotten out of third gear this year it’s been good but not great and it is something she will need to find if she is going to win in Paris, she was in an unforgiving mood against Abanda winning 6-0 6-0 but I wouldn’t write her off.

Radwanska…

With respect, you kind of forget she is playing here in Paris. Since winning the WTA Finals in 2015 it hasn’t happened and I said a while ago tennis moved on and it felt like she stood still and now has a long way to climb. She has eased her way through so far but no top 10 wins this year and just 4 in 19 months it would take something special.

The field is wide open but picking a winner is incredibly tough. Out of the ones above I fancy Svitolina to go far and will be interested in a Svitolina v Halep quarter final but also don’t rule out Mladenovic!