This Saturday sees the first final match from the second Grand Slam event of the tennis season as the world numbers 13 and one in Lucie Safarova and Serena Williams go head-to-head on the Parisian clay looking to claim their first and 20th Grand Slam title respectively. Looking at the history of matches between these two players quickly things look ominous for the Czech player but can she continue to excel and surprise us once again at Roland Garros this summer?
Online bookmaker WilliamHill.com do not have much faith in the world number 13 as they make her the large underdog to take her first Grand Slam title in her first singles Grand Slam Final. Their 2015 WTA French Open Final odds are as follows.
Serena Williams to win – 1.29
Lucie Safarova to win – 3.75
The reason that Safarova is such an outsider in a two horse race is that previously mentioned ominous record against the world number one. The American top seed and world number one has won all eight of her previous meetings with Safarova, including claiming 6-0, 6-1 and 6-4, 6-1 wins on clay in the Charleston Final and Quarter Finals in 2012 and 2013. They have since met twice, both matches happening last year on hard courts in Montreal and Beijing, where Safarova showed vast improvements to push Williams to 7-5, 6-4 and 6-1, 1-6, 6-2 victories. Can the 28 year old Czech, who is five years the junior of her French Open Final opponent, go one better on the biggest stage in the first meeting of these two players in 2015?
Williams does not bring her usual dominating form into this French Open Final as her six matches on the red clay of Roland Garros have seen her win just two matches in straight sets. She has needed to come from behind against Anna-Lena Friedsam, Victoria Azarenka and Sloane Stephens in the second, third and fourth rounds before defeating Sara Errani in straight sets in the quarter finals. However, her slow starts and poor form in the early stages of matches at the 2015 French Open struck once again in the final four as she trailed 6-4, 3-2 Swiss 25 year old Timea Bacsinszky before reeling off ten games in a row to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 and move to within touching distance of her 20th Grand Slam title.
While the world number one has been struggling on the clay in the French capital the world number 13 has been in dazzling form as she has breezed through the tournament so far without the loss of a single set. She has seen off reigning French Open champion and world number two Maria Sharapova in round three and eliminated another winner of this title in seventh seed Ana Ivanovic in the semi finals. Another upset would shock the tennis world, but can Safarova claim her first win against Serena Williams in Paris this weekend?
Despite her fine form at the French Open this year we feel that Lucie Safarova will struggle later on in this final match due to her form against Williams, her lack of experience and the top seed finding her form as she has done throughout this tournament. However, the debutant in Grand Slam finals certainly offers value if both players continue their respective forms in this decider. However, we feel that we have found much more value on this match that will see the eyes of the world turn towards France as we expect the slow starting Williams to lose the first set, as she has done in four of her last five matches at Roland Garros, against the in-form Safarova before finding her feet once again and easing to the title in Paris.
Our money is on Serena Williams to lose the first set and win the match at odds of 5.75 in the William Hill Sportsbook!