The thrills and spills at this year’s women’s French Open have been endless and neither Barbora Krejcikova or Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova would have been high on many punters’ short list of potential winners.
This is a first Grand Slam final for both Krejcikova and Pavlyuchenkova, who is the world number 32 and ranked just one place above her Czech counterpart.
Consistent Krejcikova Showing She Is a Class Act
The Czech star claimed title honours in Strasbourg in the week leading up to the French Open and she has carried that form on in Paris.
Krejcikova had failed to go beyond the fourth round in her four previous appearances in the main draw of a Grand Slam but something has clicked in the French capital and she has performed exceptionally well.
The world number 33 understandably took time to hit top stride as she needed three sets to see off compatriot Kristyna Pliskova in her opener after just a three-day turnaround from her Strasbourg success.
But since then, Krejcikova has recorded four straight-sets victories, getting the better of Ekaterina Alexandrova, fifth seed Elina Svitolina, 2018 runner-up Sloane Stephens and one of the most exciting prospects ever to grace the women’s game, 17-year-old Cori Gauff.
She also defeated Maria Sakkari, who had toppled reigning champion Iga Swiatek previously, in the last four to suggest she is not fazed by the magnitude of the occasion.
Krejcikova has won her last 11 clay-court matches and has dropped just two sets across her six Parisian assignments. The Czech is
33/20 for another straight-set triumph.
Experience May Be a Factor for Pavlyuchenkova
Pavlyuchenkova is a 12-time winner on the WTA Tour and although this is her first taste of a Grand Slam final, she has competed in the quarter-final of a Grand Slam on seven previous occasions.
That added experience could be a big help to the Russian, who should be able to manage any nerves, and she has also come through a tough route to reach the title-decider.
The 32nd seed has overcome the Belarusian pair of Aryna Sabalenka and Victoria Azarenka, as well as the capable Kazakh performer Elena Rybakina, who had previously upset American great Serena Williams.
All three of those scalps came in three sets and the Russian is
27/10 to record another 2-1 win over Krejcikova.
Lengthy Battle in Store for Clay Crown
This is fresh terrority for both players and competing in the biggest match of their career must make nerves a factor.
Mistakes may be a common occurrence and that could lead to a lengthy battle. It is
5/4 that the match lasts over 2.5 sets, which makes plenty of appeal, but a stronger fancy would be backing over 20.5 games at
There were 13 breaks of serve in Krejcikova’s three-set semi-final success over Sakkari, which featured 38 games.
Pavlyuchenkova made lighter work of the inexperienced Tamara Zidansek in her semi-final, but her 7-5 6-3 win still featured 21 games.
The Russian’s three French Open contests prior to that also lasted 24, 29 and 39 games and given what is on the line, bettors should expect a similar outcome.
*All odds correct at time of writing