French Open Women's Day Five Tips: Schmiedlova risked as heavy favourites dominate

Big names exiting the French Open women's singles continued yesterday, and returning to see if there will be more today is Dan Weston...

Casualties - Raducanu, Sakkari, Kvitova

Emma Raducanu, Maria Sakkari and Petra Kvitova were the biggest casualties on day four at Roland Garros, with the Muchova/Sakkari match - as predicted - being an interesting clash of styles and very close indeed, with Muchova nicking both tiebreaks.

Heavy favourites - Swiatek with 'virtual bye'

As round two concludes today, there are 15 matches on the card - Mayar Sherif has given Tamara Zidanšek a walkover - and we see Iga Swiatek back in action, with the overwhelming tournament favourite having a virtual bye (according to the market) against the American, Alison Riske, who generally performs better in quicker conditions. Paula Badosa, Simona Halep, Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka are also among the strong favourites, albeit at bigger prices at around 1.20.

Underdogs - Schmiedlova against Kovinic

Many of today's favourites are around the 1.50 mark, with not many being bigger-priced than this. One of those is Danka Kovinic who surprised 25th seed Ludmilla Samsonova in round one with an underdog victory, which was particularly surprising considering that she retired last time out when 6-1 down to a player ranked outside the top 300.

Today, Kovinic faces Anna Schmiedlova, who as has often been the case in her career has been pretty inconsistent this year. However, Schmiedlova's numbers suggest that she's an around-average clay-courter at WTA level, and that's also the case for Kovinic too.

I'm not convinced that Kovinic should be as short as this, so Schmiedlova at 2.52 looks worthy of consideration.

Intriguing clash - Pegula versus Kalinina

Moving on, Jessica Pegula at 1.57 is also a favourite around that price point, and she faces an intriguing match against Anhelina Kalinina. I say intriguing, given that Kalinina hasn't completed or started their previous two head-to-head matches, and also the wide discrepancy in the market pricing ahead of their matches.

On hard court in January at the Australian Open, Pegula started at around 1.40 while she was much bigger on clay in Rome prior to Kalinina's withdrawal. Let's see how Kalinina's injury is, because she's a pretty decent clay-courter, and if fit, shouldn't be this price here today.

There's not an abundance else to discuss today, with the vast majority of favourites looking pretty justified in being priced at these lines, so let's go with Schmiedlova as an underdog today. 

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