The second round of the French Open saw some fireworks in the match between Kiki Bertens and Sara Errani. Bertens appeared to be struggling with cramps all match, and eventually Errani became frustrated with her usage of medical timeouts and stalling. In the third set, with the match leveled in “overtime” at 7-7, Errani started mocking Bertens’ injury on the court. Bertens eventually prevailed, and when she did she collapsed on the court and had to be taken off in a wheelchair a la Paul Pierce. Needless to say, there was not a racket tap/handshake between the two.
In other action, we mostly had another chalky round of tennis. This means that we are set up for some great matchups in round 3 and beyond. As far as top-10 seeds go, only Denis Shapovalov lost on the men’s side and only Karolina Pliskova and Victoria Azarenka lost on the women’s side. Serena Williams also pulled out of the tournament due to reaggravating the Achilles injury she sustained during the U.S. Open.
In terms of picks from my previous article, I went 3-1-1, with the two winners all being underdogs. Jelena Ostapenko looked fantastic against Pliskova, Barbora Krejcikova squeaked by Barbora Strycova in three, and Katerina Siniakova cruised through Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. The only loss was the Jack Sock/Dominic Thiem over, and Sock wasn’t able to convert on two set points in the third set that would have pushed the match over.
As far as how the outrights I laid out in my preview article fared, Elena Rybakina fell in a close match to Fiona Ferro in the second round. I felt before the tournament that this would be her toughest match through the first three rounds if Ferro were healthy. Rybakina’s shot making was not nearly as sharp as it needed to be if she were to get past a clay player as good as Ferro. Patricia Tig, who we have at +25000 for the tournament and +2500 for the quarter, now faces Ferro. This is a good spot to hedge here — I really don’t have much faith in Tig’s ability to beat Ferro. Should she win this match, I think she has a good chance against Sofia Kenin with how wild Kenin’s play has been so far. Tig doesn’t really have the ability to win matches on her own; she mostly keeps the ball in play and hopes her opponent will lose the match. That strategy will probably have a lot more success in later matchups against Kenin and Garbine Muguruza than against Ferro.
Round 3 Preview
Simona Halep – Amanda Anisimova: This half of the Halep quarter is outrageously good with this matchup and the next on deck. Last year the preternaturally talented Anisimova announced herself to the WTA scene with an upset over Halep in the quarterfinals of this tournament. Normally you’d associate someone with as much power as her as a grass or hard court player. However Amanda clearly likes this surface, and it makes sense that it suits her given how well she moves around the court. Halep is the best clay courter in the world, and after what happened in their previous matchup, there’s no way she will overlook this. It’s going to take a lot for Anisimova to pull this upset off again.
Iga Swiatek – Eugenie Bouchard: It has been quite a run for Bouchard since the restart. After barely winning a main draw match in the last two years, she’s now 11-3 in the last two months. This is by far the best she has played since 2017. Unfortunately for her, I think her run in this tournament will end here against future WTA No. 1 Swiatek. Swiatek represents the best opposition Bouchard has faced except for Elise Mertens in Prague. There’s a lot of Justine Henin to Swiatek’s game, between her ability to control points with her powerful groundstrokes, her movement on the court and her racket skills. Much like with Henin, that Grand Slam upside won’t truly be unlocked until she develops more consistency with her serve.
Elina Svitolina – Ekaterina Alexandrova: This is an interesting contrast of styles between Svitolina and Alexandrova. The No. 5-ranked Svitolina has never advanced past the semifinals of a major because once she gets up against the best competition she isn’t able to control points and stay in rallies as easily as she does against other players. This is another match that’s going to end up on Alexandrova’s racket — if she’s able to control her power, I like her chances to get the upset.
Cristian Garin – Karen Khachanov: Here is another good matchup of styles. Garin is a young Chilean that has already made five ATP finals and won four of them. Most of those have been on the ATP’s “Golden Swing” in between the Australian Open and Indian Wells, where a lot of clay court players travel through tournaments in South America. This is the furthest he has advanced in a major. He has a very good shot to reach the Round of 16 against Khachanov, who does not favor this surface.
Round 3 Plays
Kiki Bertens +201: What a weird price on Bertens. I know Siniakova has been playing well in the last couple events, and Bertens had a leg “injury” in her match against Errani. However, this price still feels way too low.
Barbora Krejcikova -105: Krejcikova came through for me last round, and I’m willing to go right back to the well here. This is another line that I don’t really understand — this seems like Pironkova is getting priced as if she had actually beat Serena Williams in the previous round instead of just advancing via Williams’ withdrawal.
Sonego/Fritz Over 39 games: This match has five sets written all over it to me. Vegas has it lined at -101/-112, and my model has it about -125 Sonego. The line that most interested me from this match was the total; in my model’s simulations the average match between these two had 42.26 games. I’ll take the 3.26 game value on the over.
Thiago Monteiro +173: Monteiro has looked very impressive, dispatching of Nikoloz Basilashvili and Marcos Giron with ease. I’m just not a big believer in Marton Fucsovics and especially not on this surface.
Garin/Khachanov Over 39.5 games: This is almost the exact same handicap of Sonego/Fritz. My model has this match going over 41 games.
Parlay Ideas: Maria Sakkari, Iga Swiatek, Jelena Ostapenko, Jannik Sinner, Maria Sakkari, Pedro Martinez
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