Swiatek facing pressure after thigh injury
Rybakina still with much to prove on clay
Sabalenka leads remaining contenders
Injury-doubt Swiatek odds-on for the title
Ahead of the women's draw later on today, there's a strange market dynamic for a women's Grand Slam, with the outrights on the Exchange looking more like a pre-tournament market for the men's event.
This is because it features an odds-on favourite - Iga Swiatek - who is currently trading a shade of odds-on at the time of writing, at around 1.9110/11.
However, there's a degree of risk facing Swiatek backers right now. She's quoted as saying that her thigh injury 'shouldn't be anything serious' but those who have taken the odds-on line will be anxious that this will indeed be the case.
This issue caused Swiatek's retirement loss to Elena Rybakina in Rome, and was her second loss to the Kazakh following a straight-sets defeat at Indian Wells in March.
In fact, Swiatek's last three losses read Rybakina/Sabalenka/Rybakina, so it's the duo at around 9.08/1 apiece who could pressurize the world number one at Roland Garros.
Despite that, though, Swiatek is running at around 115% combined service/return points won on clay this year - a stratospheric level - and some key point underperformance based on expectation, and several tiebreak losses, should be rectified by some simple mean reversion.
Rybakina price shortens following recency bias
Following her title in Rome - benefited by three opponent retirements in six matches - Rybakina has picked up significant market support to be perceived by the market as a real contender for Roland Garros glory.
However, despite that title, it's worth noting that her clay record both this year prior to Rome, and longer-term, is far from impressive. We have to go back to 2020 to find the last clay event she reached the final in - a weak field in Strasbourg - and 2019 to find her last clay title - an even weaker field in Bucharest.
So, for me, Rybakina has plenty to prove and I'm not a buyer of her at a similar price to Sabalenka, who has far better clay data both this year and longer-term. Ultimately, this is the consequence of recency bias via that title for Rybakina in Rome, and Sabalenka's surprise exit to Sofia Kenin in the Italian capital.
Data suggests Sabalenka is clear as the number two player on tour right now, so at current prices, makes more sense to me than Rybakina. Let's keep an eye on the draw for the two players. Opposing Rybakina in the quarter winner market, in particular, could be a viable option.
Doubts over all longer-priced contenders
The fact that the next player in the outright pricing is 26.025/1 illustrates quite how top-heavy the quality is in the women's event.
Looking down the list, there's fitness and/or current level question marks about every single player considered to have a 2-4% implied chance of the title, but with only three major contenders, there's going to be a weak quarter, and possibly two weak quarters due to Rybakina not being a top four seed.
Those quarters could give us some interesting opportunities post-draw, so I'll be returning over the weekend to discuss those options in more detail.
Find all your each-way betting for the Women's French Open right here!