The French Open gets up and running on Sunday as the first round of the second Grand Slam of the year gets underway at Roland Garros, on a day where a surprising number of star names will grace the clay courts.
Usually in this tournament we are accustomed to a gentle start on the Sunday but that isn’t the case this year as we have genuine title challengers on the two main courts throughout the day and one or two more sprinkled around elsewhere.
Phillipe Chatrier Court
The winner of the last two Grand Slam titles gets us underway on the main court in Paris on Sunday when the number two seed Naomi Osaka begins the action against the Romanian player Patricia Tig. The first men’s match of the year on this court sees the US Open champion and former finalist here in Paris in Dominic Thiem grace centre stage. The Austrian meets Pablo Andujar before two former Grand Slam champions from the women’s draw take to the court as Viktoria Azarenka meets Svetlana Kuznetsova. The action on the main court is rounded off by Stefanos Tsitsipas taking on Jeremy Chardy.
Suzanne Lenglen Court
The enigmatic and completely unpredictable Fabio Fognini is the first seed to grace the second court on Sunday. He takes on the home wildcard Gregoire Barrere before the former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova gets her campaign underway when she meets the Belgian qualifier Greetje Minnen. The third game of the day sees the third seed in the women’s draw, Aryna Sabalenka, looking to open up her campaign against the qualifier Ana Konjuh. The US Open finalist Alexander Zverev gets the honour of closing the show on Sunday. He faces countryman Oscar Otte who came through qualifying successfully.
Simonne Mathieu Court
It is a day where the home players get to grace a decent stage over on the third show court on Sunday. That begins with a women’s contest which sees the wildcard Clara Burel taking on Danka Kovinic. Once they are done Marton Fucsovics meets Gilles Simon in what is expected to be the match of the day on this court. Corentin Moutet then meets Lasla Djere for a place in the second round before Oceane Dodin takes on the only seed on show in this part of the complex in Madison Keys.
Best of the Rest
There are a few seeded players dotted around the grounds for those on site or watching on home streams to enjoy. Our pre-tournament outright Paula Badosa is one of those while Angelique Kerber, Elena Rybakina, Hubert Hurkacz, Roberto Bautista Agut, Grigor Dimitrov and Karen Khachanov are just some of the other seeds in action. There is also British interest on the outside courts with Dan Evans also getting his French Open campaign up and running here.
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One bet interests me in the men’s draw on Sunday and it sees the home player Corentin Moutet taking on Laslo Djere in a match I think the Frenchman can excite the crowds in. Moutet made unwanted history here last year when he came out on the wrong side of a six hour first round epic so whatever happens here he’ll be hoping the job is done quicker than that. He might find Djere in the form where he wants him too because the Serbian hasn’t won a match above the ATP 250 circuit on European clay this year.
Moutet hasn’t been amazing above that level but he does have wins to his name and he warmed up for this event in an exhibition last week in which he was competing and impressing in some esteemed company. Moutet won that exhibition which included the likes of Daniil Medvedev, Taylor Fritz, Fabio Fognini and Cristian Garin and he has proper wins over Dan Evans and Denis Shapovalov in European events this season. I think that’s decent form and when you add in the inspiration of his home slam I fancy Moutet can upset the odds here.
I’ll go with just the one bet in the women’s draw as well which comes fairly late over on Court 9 where I fancy the former semi-finalist in this event in Amanda Anisimova to get the better of Veronika Kudermetova in a match where the Russian might just be overrated even though she won one of the events in Charleston earlier in the season. Kudermetova hasn’t done a huge amount since then though it has to be said and generally when she goes up in class she is beaten.
Anisimova is nothing like one of the top players in the game yet but she has the potential to be a lot better than her ranking, as she showed when making the last four here a couple of years ago. If you look at her results this season on the clay they are nothing special but three of her four defeats have been in deciding sets to higher ranked players – Elina Svitolina in Rome, Maria Sakkari in Madrid and Shelby Rogers in Charleston. Only Coco Gauff in Parma recently beat her in straight sets and she went on to win that tournament so even that wasn’t a terrible result. I think Anisimova can upset the odds in this one at a place where she should have positive memories.
Back C.Moutet to beat L.Djere for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with BetVictor
Back him here:
Back A.Anisimova to beat V.Kudermetova for a 3/10 stake at 2.10 with Coral