Four contenders; Simona, Kiki, Karolina & Vika

Narrowing down who I think will win in Paris has been a tricky task especially on the women’s tour. I’ve managed to narrow it down to four leaving out some big names…

Simona Halep

Do I have doubts? Yes, do I have expectations? Yes.

It’s a tough one, defending a title is a tough job and Halep has never had to defend a title of such magnitude. Do I think she is playing great right now consistently? No. I watched her in Madrid and I saw ruthless and rustiness in her game. She has the knack for turning it on and blowing players off the court so I wouldn’t rule anything out. I think defending the title here would be the biggest achievement on the tour this year to date.

Kiki Bertens

Kiki has got us thinking. She’s fearless and does carry her emotion on court. I feel like she plays well when there is pressure on her.

I saw this when she played against Simona Halep and her entire run in Madrid to the final against four grand slam champions and didn’t drop a set. She has had some excellent results but that transition to take it into one of the biggest tournaments in the world is tough but I would have her down as a favourite.

Karolina Pliskova

Watch this space. I think Pliskova could do something big here. She said her win in Rome was a miracle but she seems to be producing them on clay more often than not of late.

Conchita Martinez and her are on the right track and with some adjustments which she has been making on the clay she should go far here.

Victoria Azarenka

Probably the surprise name here. Vika has been playing some excellent tennis lately. The run with Ash Barty in doubles is helping her game and they won their first title in Rome together but she seems more free when playing singles.

It has been like watching Azarenka from a couple of years back and when she is relaxed on that forehand her intensity cannot be matched. She did have some injury issues in Monterrey and Stuttgart but seems over them now and I feel like she could do this.

Who did I miss?

Kvitova and Osaka.

I just don’t see them right now as contenders. Form isn’t too great of late with Naomi suffering with some injuries and I think there are more prepared players. Petra, I just don’t see it happening. She leads the Shenzhen race but too many of her defeats this year have been against the form players.

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