French Open 2017 Betting: Women’s Final

Jelena Ostapenko v Simona Halep

Jelena Ostapenko has made a name for herself in the past fortnight as the youngster has played with extraordinary freedom to take the game to her higher profile opponents. Nevertheless she comes into this final as a significant underdog in what will be her first meeting with Simona Halep.

It’s been three years since Halep’s one and only appearance in the final of a major when Maria Sharapova denied her in the final here after more than three hours. However, if she breaks her major duck she’ll also have the bonus of topping the world rankings for the first time come Monday.

While major glory has so far eluded Halep her record in Premier level events on clay is second to none in recent years. In her last nine appearances in Madrid and Rome (back to Rome 2013) her record is 29-6 as she’s reached at least the semis six times and the finals on four occasions.

Her record in all finals since 2013 is an excellent 15-6 with four of those losses coming to Sharapova and Serena Williams (twice each), while injury affected her in both the other defeats. Furthermore, her six titles on clay in this time all saw her win the finals by at least five clear games.

Ostapenko will be up into the top 20 on Monday and as high as 12th if she takes the title home. Her relentless barrage of winners eventually proved too much for Bacsinszky in the semi-final, as it did against Wozniacki and Stosur in the two rounds prior.

She can now prepare for a fourth Tour final but she’s lost all three previous ones. Before that she’d lost a couple of ITF finals in 2015 meaning she’s lost her last five finals. In her semi-final her number of unforced errors was 45 while it was 50 in the quarters, and in three of her last four matches her winning percentage on second serve was between just 39 and 43%.

Against a superb returner in Halep that’s going to put her serve under severe pressure and there is a chance her game breaks down with the nerves of the occasion and so many balls coming back from the other end. However, Halep’s serve can also be particularly vulnerable and we’ve seen Ostapenko attack off the return to great success.

Halep made just 14 unforced errors against Pliskova across the three sets of her semi-final and given she’s likely to get a lot more joy on return against Ostapenko that should mean she prevails. The Latvian’s shot-making means she retains a chance of the upset but we think the situation might be too much for her and we’ll take the consistency of Halep to cover the handicap.


Betting Strategy

 BACK – Simona Halep -4.5 Games at 1.91


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