After each round of play at Roland Garros, we'll run the numbers with UTR to get a better sense of who is most likely to win the title, and to reach some of the tournament's deeper rounds.
Take a deep breath, Rafael Nadal fans, and get one thing straight—the Roland Garros win probabilities shown below are based on a multitude of factors. The most important factor? Draw difficulty.
Rafa will forever be the king of clay. But because he will likely play Dominic Thiem in the semifinal—a player who has beaten him on clay four times before—his chances of reaching the championship (39.6%) fell slightly below those of Novak Djokovic (41.7%). Look closer and you'll see that Nadal has a higher chance of reaching the quarterfinal and semifinal than Djokovic, before the Thiem element is added to the equation.
Both Andrey Rublev and Stefanos Tsitsipas, fourth and fifth on the list, survived from two sets down on Tuesday, while Diego Schwartzman (eighth) dropped just four games in his first-round win over Miomir Kecmanovic. Roberto Bautista Agut made the list at seventh, but he will likely need to squeak by Pablo Carreno Busta and Matteo Berrettini to reach the quarterfinal. It's Rublev who owns the most favorable draw after the top three, as the best player remaining in his path to the quarterfinal is Dusan Lajovic.
As usual, the women's field remains more open compared to the top-heavy men's side, but it's Petra Kvitova, not Simona Halep, with the best percentage chance of winning the tournament.
This make perfect sense. The following players are just a few potential threats lurking in consensus favorite Simona Halep's quarter of the draw: Amanda Anisimova, Iga Swiatek, Maria Sakkari and Kiki Bertens. The highest-ranked players in Kvitova's section are Petra Martic, Sloane Stephens and Karolina Pliskova. That's not necessarily a murderer's row given their current level of play, and Pliskova's perennial underperforming at majors.
Also, if you haven't noticed, Serena Williams is not among the top eight most likely title threats. That's because she shares her quarter with Elina Svitolina, Victoria Azarenka and Elise Mertens.