The third round of the French Open singles draws gets underway on Friday which means that for the first time in the tournament the seeded players can meet each other, which should elevate the standard of the event enormously.
We have had some major shocks along the way in the opening two rounds but we still have the majority of the expected contenders through to this stage, which should mean we get plenty of competitive tennis over the weekend and beyond.
Day 5 Recap
It was another day in which the big names in the men’s draw made it throughout without too many problems but we lost the number one seed in the women’s draw as Ash Barty was forced to retire with injury in her match but the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek all came through without dropping a set while Roger Federer came through in four sets. Elsewhere, the likes of Gael Monfils were beaten but the likes of Elina Svitolina, Coco Gauff and Elise Mertens came through.
It was a second winning day in a row for us on Thursday and there are definite signs that the tide is turning for us. The day began with an annoying loser with Astra Sharma predictably losing by six games when we were on the +5.5 games. The week has been a bit like that for us but we can’t complain too much because the game line in the Cameron Norrie and Lloyd Harris match was covered by one. Marco Cecchinato won as easily as expected to guarantee a profit on the day.
Phillipe Chatrier Court
The day begins with a very good looking match in the women’s draw with the former Grand Slam champion Victoria Azarenka meets the former finalist at this level in Madison Keys. When they are done the German number one Alexander Zverev takes to the court again. He plays Laslo Djere and you would think he will need to play better than he has done thus far. The day session concludes with the legendary fixture of Serena Williams meeting her fellow American player Danielle Collins who has the power to cause some problems. We continue behind closed doors for the night session and that sees Stefanos Tsitsipas taking on the big serving challenge of John Isner.
Suzanne Lenglen Court
The action over on the second court starts with the women as well with Elena Rybakina taking on an Elena Vesnina who is powering her way through the draw on her return to the tournament. The first men’s match on this court sees the dangerous Fabio Fognini taking on Federico Delbonis who will need to have recovered from a five set match. Daniil Medvedev will look to make the second week of this Slam for the first time in the third match of the day when he meets Reilly Opelka before the action concludes with Marketa Vondrousova going up against Polona Herzog.
Simonne Mathieu Court
Two seeded players get the action underway over on the third court on Friday when Aryna Sabalenka takes on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova before Kei Nishikori looks to continue rolling back the years when he takes on Henri Laaksonen who has had a good tournament thus far. Pablo Carreno Busta follows them onto the court when he meets Steve Johnson who wouldn’t have been expected to make it to this stage. The last match on this court sees our outright pick Paula Badosa going up against Ana Bogdan.
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Best of the Rest
There are only four singles matches left for the outside courts on Friday and in truth the quality is largely on the main courts but if you are in Paris and have a ground pass ticket then mixed in with the doubles and wheelchair action you have the likes of Carlos Ruud, Daria Kasatkina and another of our remaining outright punts Cristian Garin in action so there are talented players to watch but the majority of them are on the show courts.
Just the one match catches my eye from a betting point of view on Friday and it is one of the matches between the two unseeded players Kei Nishikori and Henri Laaksonen. It is fair to say that neither man has had things their own way in this tournament. Nishikori has had to come through a deciding set in both of his matches to date while the Swiss ace has gone to four sets in his two games, the latest against the obdurate Roberto Bautista Agut.
I find it hard to see either of these men winning in straight sets, their games aren’t really set up for that. They both lack that big shot that can dominate the court on this surface so I think we’re looking at a match that has at least four sets and potentially even another decider for the Japanese player. That therefore makes me think that the 34.5 games line looks a little on the low side to me. You would think four sets gets this covered but a couple of close sets could get it done in three so I like the over here.
I like a similar bet in the women’s draw on Friday and that comes in the all-American clash on the Philippe Chatrier Court between Serena Williams and Danielle Collins, a match where I would imagine plenty will expect Serena Williams to win. She might well do that but I wouldn’t say she is a certainty against a Collins who grew in the estimations of plenty when she was brave enough to reveal her medical condition earlier in the year and who certainly has the game to back up the support she gets.
I like Collins and it was only eight months ago she was a quarter finalist in this tournament having previously made the last four at the Australian Open so she clearly rises to the occasion in the big tournaments. Collins lost to Kenin here last year but she did beat Garbine Muguruza in this round so she has the pedigree. Serena has almost been unnoticed here so far but there were clear signs in her win over Mihaela Buzarnescu that she fancies the job here. She’ll never admit it but the demise of Naomi Osaka boosted her chances here tenfold even allowing the record of the Japanese ace on this surface. Williams had to fight to beat the Romanian in the last round but she was prepared to do it, as she was when Sabalenka launched the kitchen sink at her in Melbourne earlier in the year. I’m expecting a right good battle here and one which can go beyond 21.5 games.
VOID – Back K.Nishikori vs H.Laaksonen – Over 34.5 games for a 3/10 stake at 1.80 with Bet365
Back S.Williams vs D.Collins – Over 21.5 games for a 3/10 stake at 1.95 with 888sport
Back it here: