Fri, Jun 9, 2:31pm by Senior Writer
After a women’s French Open tournament chock full of upsets, Jelena Ostapenko will look to become to first unseeded champion of this tournament in 84 years when she faces Romania’s Simona Halep on Saturday.
The Latvian 20-year-old has become the darling of the tournament, having overcome the odds in her past three matches to book her spot in a maiden Grand Slam final.
She is the first unseeded women to make the French Open final since 1983, while you have go back another 50 years, to 1933 to find an unseeded winner at Roland Garros.
Of the 126 matches decided so far in the women’s draw, the outsider in the betting market has won 31.7 per cent of the time, or 40 of them. In the men’s draw it has been just 23 from 119 completed matches, or 19 per cent.
Ostapenko has contributed to three of those upsets, defeating Sam Stsour in the fourth round when a $2.20 outsider, Caroline Wozniacki at the same price in the quarters and Timea Bacsinszky at $2.25 in the semis. All of those victories were hard-fought three setters.
She is $4.10 with Sportsbet to beat Halep, who has been favourite since the start of the tournament. Fitness concerns saw the Romanian No.3 seed drift out to $5.50 at one stage, but she is now $1.24 to win her first Grand Slam.
Halep, who was beaten in the 2014 final here by Maria Sharapova, is aiming to become the first Romanian Grand Slam winner since Virginie Ruzici won this tournament back in 1978.
She will certainly never get a better chance to get herself a major, playing against a 20-year-old who has never previously won a WTA title.
Halep’s form doesn’t quite warrant the $1.24 price, however. She looked on the verge of a tournament exit when down a set and a break in the quarter finals against Elina Svitolina, while she needed three sets to get past Karolina Pliskova in the semis.
What makes a result even harder to predict is that these two have never met on the court. In theory, Halep’s experience should prove too much, but Ostapenko is riding an extraordinary wave at the moment.
Remarkably this is the Latvian’s 25th clay court match in the past two months, something which must be taking its toll, while Halep has played 21 clay court matches since late April.
With that in mind, this could turn into a slugfest, and while Halep looks the logical winner, she is too short to take with any confidence.
While just two of the past 15 women’s French Open finals have gone the distance, this looks a different type of contest. We will go for a three-set result to either player at the nice price on $2.87.
Suggested Bet: Total sets over 2.5 @ $2.87
Head to Head
J Ostapenko $4.10
S Halep $1.24
J Ostapenko 2-0 $6.50
S Halep 2-0 $1.67
J Ostapenko 2-1 $7.50
S Halep 2-1 $4.00
J Ostapenko (+1.5) $2.00
S Halep (-1.5) $1.67
Under (2.5) $1.36
Over (2.5) 2.87
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