Only eight players now remain in the hunt for French Open glory in the women’s draw – and the world’s number twenty-four, Timea Bacsinszky, is undoubtedly the dark horse to clinch the title.

Match: Timea Bacsinszky vs Alison Van Uytvanck


Source: Marc Di Luzio @ Flickr

Selection: Timea Bacsinszky (-5 games)

Best Odds: 1.88 @ Pinnacle

For some reason, she is still getting virtually no attention in the mainstream media, with the likes of Garbine Muguruza and Lucie Safarova stealing the spotlight in the hunt for a sensational winner, but those who have been following tennis closely for the last year or so will know that Bacsinszky has made a lot of progress and that she also seems to have enough mental resilience to beat the very best in the business. Lesser players would have choked against Petra Kvitova, but she did not give up despite losing the first set in a horrible fashion, eventually coming back and getting a well-deserved victory over the lady that is going to be the world’s number two after the tournament ends.

Her next opponent, Alison Van Uytvanck, has also surprised many by getting so far in the Grand Slam, but what needs to be stressed is that she has not met any truly strong players on her way to the quarter-finals. While Bacsinszky has had to get past four formidable opponents, the highest-ranked player Uytvanck has faced so far was the world’s number thirty-two, Zarina Diyas, who does not like clay courts at all.

Therefore, we think that Bacsinszky will be able to get through to the next phase of the tournament without even breaking much sweat. Alison Van Uytvanck is a couple of levels below Kvitova and she relies a lot on her powerful shots, something that Bacsinszky is well used to now that she has already faced Keys and Kvitova, so anything else than a comfortable victory would be a surprise for us.