The first round of the French Open continues on Monday when the second day of the clay court Grand Slam is played out across the grounds of Roland Garros on what should be another excellent day of tennis.
Sometimes this slam takes a while to get going but that wasn’t the case on Sunday as we got some excellent matches, surprise results and the odd mixed in masterclass. Given the cast list we have, Monday should offer much more of the same.
Day 1 Recap
The big shock of the opening day was the demise of Dominic Thiem. Him losing was annoying enough given that he was our outright pick for the event but he lost from two sets up which made it even worse. Elsewhere Alexander Zverev had to come from two sets down to beat Oscar Otte but there were much easier wins for the likes of Naomi Osaka, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Aryna Sabalenka. The women’s draw did lose Angelique Kerber though.
It wasn’t a good start to the week for us from a betting standpoint with both bets losing key tiebreaks and then failing to turn things around. Corentin Moutet lost the third set tiebreak to Laslo Djere and went down in four sets while Amanda Anisimova lost the opener in a tiebreak and never really showed up in the second set. That leaves us with a bit of work to do heading into Monday.
Philippe Chatrier Court
The defending women’s champion Iga Swiatek will get her title defence underway first up on the main court. She takes on the Slovenian player Kaja Juvan. When they are done the highest seed in the bottom half of the men’s draw takes to the court to begin his quest for the title as Daniil Medvedev meets Alexander Bublik. Roger Federer then graces the clay of Roland Garros for the first time in a while when he finishes off the day session against Denis Istomin. The first night session in the history of this tournament sees Serena Williams start up her title defence with a clash against Irina Begu.
Suzanne Lenglen Court
The exciting youngster Jannik Sinner gets to open up the show on the second court on Monday when he meets the home man Pierre-Hugues Herbert before another home player steps onto court in the form of Caroline Garcia. She meets Laura Siegemund in a competitive looking match before Sofia Kenin starts her quest for a second Grand Slam title when she takes on the former champion Jelena Ostapenko. The French contingent keep on coming in the final match of the day on this court as Jo-Wilfried Tsonga takes on Yoshihito Nishioka.
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Simonne Mathieu Court
We start out with an all-French clash on the third court on Monday when Alize Cornet meets the wildcard Harmony Tan and when they are done another French player will be on court as Benoit Paire faces the stern challenge of Casper Ruud who has been in good form on the clay this season. The former US Open champion Marin Cilic is third up on this court on Monday. He has a date with the French wildcard Arthur Rinderknech before another former champion steps up to the plate with Garbine Muguruza facing Marta Kostyuk.
Best of the Rest
As always in the early stages of a Grand Slam, those with ground passes or access to the outside court streams have some great players to watch throughout the course of the day. John Isner, Bianca Andreescu, Belinda Bencic and David Goffin make up a great card on Court 14 with Elise Mertens, Petra Martic, Kiki Bertens, Jo Konta, Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka just some of the seeded players who will be in action across the grounds.
I’ll go with a couple of bets over the course of the day on the men’s side of things. The first of those bets is to take on Reilly Opelka. I should point out that the American made the last four in Madrid but the conditions there have always been quicker than they are here. Here they are really quite slow and I can’t believe his big serving game is going to be suited to here. That is evidenced in the fact he has never been past the first round here and he lost in the first round of the other two clay events he played, so he has to be vulnerable to Andrej Martin, who might be out of the top 100 in the world rankings but he is more at home on clay than on any other surface, a point he evidenced last week in Belgrade where he made the semi-final before losing a deciding set to Novak Djokovic having previously seen off the competent Nikoloz Basilashvili and Dusan Lajovic. Opelka might have an eye on the grass to come and anything here is a bonus. I don’t think he’ll get much though. At 2/1 the underdog feels overpriced here.
Sebastian Korda took on Pedro Martinez here in October and demolished him for the loss of just eight games and unless his week in Parma where he won the title has taken its toll I expect him to see him off with relative ease once again. Martinez has been competitive early in clay events but they have been a level below the one which Korda is operating at. The American is clearly a player on the rise, as we saw in Miami earlier in the season and the win in Parma should kick him on again. That might catch up with him the longer the week goes on but he should be fine here and I expect another one-sided win for the American in this contest.
I’ll go with just the one in the women’s draw while we wait for the runners and riders to establish themselves and the form to present itself a little bit. I will side with the woman who was competing in the semi-final here in October in Nadia Podoroska as she takes on Belinda Bencic, who is high up in the WTA rankings but much of her ranking is down to her play on hard courts rather than anything she has achieved on the clay.
Podoroska was something of a surprise package when she made the last four here last year before losing to the eventual champion Iga Swiatek but if she goes well this year it would be less of a shock. She has had a couple of decent tune ups for this event in Rome and Belgrade and although Bencic went well in Madrid, she didn’t beat anyone there and as I’ve said earlier in this preview conditions there are quicker than here. I make Podoroska a short price than the 3/4 we can get on her here so I’m happy to invest.
Back A.Martin to beat R.Opelka for a 3/10 stake at 3.00 with BetVictor
Back him here:
Back S.Korda (-1.5 sets) to beat P.Martinez for a 3/10 stake at 1.80 with 888sport
Back him here:
Back N.Podoroska to beat B.Bencic for a 3/10 stake at 1.73 with William Hill
Back her here: