It’s not Serena vs. The Rest of the WTA at Roland Garros. At least not by numbers.
Everyone on the WTA has a little extra in the tank when they play Serena Williams but they might want to conserve their energy for the rest of the field. Jeff Sackman for Heavy Topspin did a forecast for this year’s Roland Garros and discovered Simona Halep was the favourite with a 22.2% chance of defending her title. The rest of the WTA had chances of 10% or less.
What’s interesting is the dominance of previous decades has reduced as the overall field has become stronger. Clay is a notorious surface. Of the ten “weakest” favourites between 1989-2019, only three of them won:
Year Favorite Fave Odds 2010 Venus Williams 12.9% 2018 Simona Halep 19.1% * 2011 Caroline Wozniacki 22.0% 2019 Simona Halep 22.2% 2017 Simona Halep 23.0% 2006 Justine Henin 23.3% * 2005 Justine Henin 23.4% * 2012 Victoria Azarenka 24.1% 2008 Maria Sharapova 24.5% 2009 Dinara Safina 24.7%
(* Favourites who won that year)
Could Halep follow Henin in the above list and win consecutive titles as the favourite? Or is there another upset on the cards? It’s gonna be interesting.