Maria Sharapova was named as the bookmakers' joint favourite to capture the French Open despite the Russian not even being guaranteed a place in the main draw of Roland Garros. Sharapova only returned to action in Stuttgart this week after a 15-month doping ban left her without a world ranking and depending on wild cards to enter the main draws of tournaments, including the French Open where she has twice been champion.
The 30-year-old will learn on May 16 whether or not Roland Garros organisers will grant her a wild card. But bookmakers have no doubt that she will not only play in Paris but go on to win the title especially in the absence of Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova.
Ladbrokes, Coral, Betfred and bet365 made five-time major winner and former world number one Sharapova 6/1 favourite, the same odds as Romania's Simona Halep who has yet to claim a Grand Slam title. Sharapova has looked impressive on her return, easing into the semi-finals in Stuttgart without dropping a set in three matches.