2nd Round French Open (Wednesday)

French Open Round 2 

Stan Wawrinka – Christian Garin

In what is likely to be a great match, Stan Wawrinka and Christain Garin will meet after both players won both their matches without many issues (Wawrinka 3-1 and Garin 3-0). In Wawrinka’s first match, as a heavy favorite, he won three sets very easy over Jozef Kovalik, a player in the terrible form (6-1, 6-2, and 6-3). He did not lose his serve his entire match (losing first set in a tiebreak) and had 19 aces in his four sets. In Garin’s first match, although winning 3-0, he needed three tiebreakers to defeat the powerful serving Reilly Opelka. How these two players match up is very interesting with Stan Wawrinka being the veteran, more accomplished, and more experienced on this stage. Garin, on the other side, being an up and coming 22-year old who has been very good on clay (winning 66% of matches on this surface).

Our pick: Over 3.5 sets @ 1.55

This may be lower odds than we often look for, but it is hard to envision either player winning 3-0 here.  While Wawrinka may be the better player, I like Garin to put up a strong fight: “It is my first time in the main draw. I am excited about that. I want to do well, but it depends on many things. Roland Garros is my favorite tournament. I will give my one hundred percent. That is the only thing I know how to do. I don’t know if it will be this year or maybe next year that will be good for me in Paris, but I know I will fight hard.” I like over 3.5 sets here as Stan Wawrinka has only won 37% of his career French Open matches in a straight set fashion. Despite being the underdog, I would argue on clay, Garin is more than capable of at least taking a set given both players‘ recent form and Garin’s ability on this surface.

Marco Berrettini – Casper Ruud

Another interesting match features two players who looked great in round 1, Marco Berrettini and Casper Ruud. (Berrettini 3-1 and Ruud 3-0). In Berrettini first match, he dropped the first set in a tiebreaker vs. Pablo Andujar, and then proceeded to win three straights sets, holding serve in all remaining games. In Ruud’s first match, he was simply dominant over Ernests Gulbis winning 6-2, 7-6, 6-0 in straight sets. What was most impressive was how he Gulbis was only able to win 20 points off of Ruud’s serve through three sets. This match is an interesting set-up, with both players playing their best tennis on clay.

Our pick: Casper Ruud +4.5 games @ 1.80

Given both players and their success on clay this season so far, I will side with the value on Casper Ruud. Before the French Open, he played 24 matches on clay and only lost five of them. His worst loss to Juan Martin del Potro losing 6-4, 6-4. After his first-round match, Rudd said: “It was a good match, especially a good start. It was crucial to win the second set, I think. It was tough, that tie-break. I think that broke him a little bit and I gained a lot of confidence and energy after winning the second set and it showed in the third set.” It’s worth mentioning that Berrettini had 60 unforced errors in his first-round match and had to face 11 break points (his opponent only converted on 2 of them) Overall, I see Ruud as a fighter and a player who isn’t going to quit. He is solid on clay as well, and I see him as being a potential value that could give Berretti trouble. He may not win, but with some of these statistics in mind, I like him at +4.5 games. 

Petra Martic – Kristina Mladenovic

Lastly, we have one game from the women’s side that we are taking a closer look at between Petra Martic and Kristina Mladenovic. First, Kristina Mladenovic is coming off a straight sets win over Fiona Ferro. Although she won in straight sets, Mladenovic has room for improvement committing 20 unforced errors. Ultimately she won due to her aggression at the net and managed to win the majority of the big points that decided the match. On the other side, Petra Martic is also coming off a straight-sets win over Ons Jabeur where she won (6-1, 6-2). In the victory, Martic played very well only committing 8 unforced errors and looked impressive as she continues her amazing recent run in recent months.  She only won three matches in the first three months but has since only lost to Sloane Stephens, Caroline Wozniacki, and Karolina Pliskova. Currently is she an impressive 12-2 on clay this season.

Our pick: Petra Martic @ 1.80

In what is expected to be a tight match, I am going to give the slight edge to Martic. Given the number of unforced errors Mladenovic had in the first round, I think Martic has a slight edge with her movement and athleticism being her biggest strengths. She also leads the head to head series 2-1 with her only loss being due to a 2nd set retirement in 2013. It’s worth noting how Martic has slightly better clay statistics in her career winning at a 65% rate on clay opposed to 57% for Mladenovic. She also just beat Mladenovic in Istanbul a month ago and has a slight rest advantage looking at the number of recent matches played. Her confidence should be high coming into this match.

 

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