The French Open singles begins on Sunday and unlike some years the opening day of this tournament is absolutely loaded with star names across the Roland Garros complex in Paris, especially the show courts.
We are sometimes eased into the competition here but that is not the case this year as both the men’s and women’s draws begin in style. We now have three show courts and another with plenty of decent games on show.
Philippe Chatrier Court
We begin on the main court with the Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber in action when she goes up against Anastasia Potapova before the classy Greek player Stefanos Tsitsipas opens up his campaign for the fortnight. He goes up against Maximilian Marterer before Roger Federer makes his return to Roland Garros. He goes up against the form horse Lorenzo Sonego in a match which could get trickier than he would like if he lets it. The show court action concludes with our main tournament pick Karolina Pliskova taking on Madison Brengle.
Suzanne Lenglen Court
The former US Open champion Marin Cilic is first up on the Suzanne Lenglen court when he faces the potentially tricky Italian player Thomas Fabbiano before Kei Nishikori gets his campaign underway. He takes on the French wildcard Quinten Halys. The third match of the day on this court is an all-French clash as Kiki Mladenovic takes to the court to face Fiona Ferro. The final match of the day sees the beaten finalist of 12 months ago, Sloane Stephens, taking on Misaki Doi to round off the action.
Simonne Mathieu Court
Garbine Muguruza gets her quest for a second French Open title underway in the opening match on the new court as she meets the American player Taylor Townsend. Nicolas Mahut was given a wildcard into the singles draw and his reward for that was a meeting with Marco Cecchinato in the second match on this court. Surprisingly the match of the day has been saved for this arena and it comes in the third game when Venus Williams takes on Elina Svitolina in a match worthy of coming much later in the tournament. We end with David Goffin going up against Ricardas Berankis for a place in the second round.
Best of the Rest
Not all of the courts are being used for first round matches on Sunday but is you have a ground pass or are watching the streams online there are some decent players on show. Grigor Dimitrov and Belinda Bencic headline the Court 1 card while former champion Svetlana Kuznetsova is the star show on Court 14. Albert Ramos-Vinolas is out on Court 7 while there is a decent card on Court 13 too where Ernests Gulbis gets the action underway.
I’ll go with the one bet from the men’s draw on Sunday and it comes in the match between Albert Ramos-Vinolas and Laslo Djere. If this was a year or two ago AR-V would be a pretty solid favourite and worthy of backing to make it through but times change and he no longer is that. Instead I fancy the young Serb to come through here. The Rio champion is at home on clay and he has the bigger weapons than his Spanish challenger here. A lack of Grand Slam experience is a negative but only a slight one. I expect Djere to justify favouritism in this one.
I can’t resisit a punt in the huge match of the day in the women’s draw where Venus Williams meets Elina Svitolina. The Ukrainian isn’t at her best at the minute and I think that makes this one turn into a bit of a titanic tussle. Venus is sliding down the rankings but that is as much down to inactivity than a loss of ability but she’ll raise it for the big stage. I expect Svitolina to be fully prepared for what is going to come at her here. I’m not sure who I would back to win the match but before it is done I do think we’ll go beyond 20.5 games in a match that screams three sets about it.
WON – Back L.Djere to beat A.Ramos-Vinolas for a 4/10 stake at 1.75 with BetVictor
Back V.Williams vs E.Svitolina – Over 20.5 games for a 4/10 stake at 1.80 with Betway