2019 ATP French Open Round 2 Betting Preview: Can American Taylor Fritz Advance?
USTA. Pictured: Taylor Fritz
- Round two of the 2019 French Open begins Wednesday at 5 a.m. ET, so get your bets in early!
- The best ATP bets for Wednesday and Thursday includes one French favorite and three moneyline underdogs.
The first round of the 2019 French Open was relatively chalky on the ATP side, with only five seeded players (Nikoloz Basilashvili, Marco Cecchinato, Daniil Medvedev, Denis Shapovalov, and Frances Tiafoe) dropping their opening matches.
The Round 2 slate kicked off early Wednesday and will continue on Thursday. The Wednesday wagers didn’t go so well, so we’ll try to bounce back on Thursday with two matches.
Martin Kližan vs. Lucas Pouille
Thursday, 9:50 a.m. ET
Kližan was my only ATP pick on Tuesday, and he pulled out the win in a crazy five-set match over Mikhail Kukushkin (3-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3) where Kližan dropped the first two games of the fifth set after storming back from down two sets.
He ultimately dictated the play, with 56 winners and 62 unforced errors (37 and 34 for Kukushkin), and succeeded once he started moving forward later in the match (26/34 net points won).
Pouille is the higher-ranked player, is coming off of a semi-final appearance at the Australian Open, and has made it to the third round in his past two French Open appearances.
But Kližan has better stats on clay; a 4.7% advantage on serve, and an 8% advantage on the return.
Pouille is 1-7 in tour matches since the Australian Open, though he did recently win an ATP Challenger event in Bordeaux by beating up on four players ranked above 150.
This should be a much closer match than the odds would indicate, especially with Kližan riding high on confidence after a significant comeback effort.
The Pick: Martin Kližan (+168)
Taylor Fritz vs. Roberto Bautista Agut
Thursday, 10:20 a.m. ET
Fritz is the lone American male advancing out of Round 1 after a dominant 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 victory over Australian Bernard Tomic.
The San Diego native has been heating up after spending the last eight weeks playing on the clay, with a 9-3 record since the beginning of May. He’s also had the benefit of losing to Novak Djokovic twice on the surface.
Fritz also beat Bautista Agut at the Lyon Open on May 23, dropping a first set tiebreak 8-6 before taking the final two sets and the match: 6-3, 6-4.
The American dominated statistically. He never faced a break point, while Bautista Agut fought off four of six. Fritz also out-aced him 16-7 and won 53% (100/187) of the points. He’s going off as a significant underdog here.
The 18th seeded Spaniard has made it to the third or fourth round at Roland-Garros for four of the past five years, but Fritz poses a legitimate threat to that streak.
Their service stats on clay are very similar over the past year; Fritz ranks 39th (76.6%), and Bautista Agut ranks 38th (78.0%). However, Bautista Agut has a 9% edge in return stats.
But Fritz is just 21-years-old and has gained significant experience and confidence over the surface over the past two months.
Double No-Look 👀
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) May 20, 2019
Wins over opponents like Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Diego Schwartzman, Gregor Dimitrov, and Guido Pella are proof that Fritz is improving.
The only question is whether he can beat Bautista Agut for the second time in a week, in a five-set match at a major.
The Pick: Taylor Fritz (+197)
Juan Ignacio Londero vs. Richard Gasquet
Wednesday, 6:30 a.m. ET
Gasquet has made it to the third round or further (quarterfinalist in 2016) at Roland-Garros in every year dating back to 2011. Londero had never previously qualified for the main draw at a slam event but did upset Basilashvili in the first round (6-4, 6-3, 6-1) on Monday.
Londero is 11-8 on tour in 2018, but the Argentinian has struggled since winning his hometown Cordoba Open in February. He’s 4-9 against top-100 players since February 11, and Gasquet (39th) is the fourth highest ranked player he has seen this year.
Londero has the edge in service stats, holding nearly 4% more of his service games on clay (79.3% vs. 75.4%) over the past year but Gasquet has a 10% edge in the return game (31.7% vs. 21.7%), the home crowd on his side, and a long history of getting through this round.
The Pick: Richard Gasquet (-135)
Stan Wawrinka vs. Cristian Garín
Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. ET
This is a heavyweight second-round matchup between the old guard and the new.
Wawrinka is a three-time slam winner and a former French Open champion; winning in 2015 over Novak Djokovic after Djokovic eliminated Rafa Nadal in the quarterfinals.
Stan has always had a strong service game due to his power, but he is likely losing a bit of athleticism at the age of 34.
His return stats have declined considerably since the end of the 2017 calendar year when he was unable to defend his US Open title due to a knee injury:
Even if Wawrinka is 99% of what he once was, Cristian Garin is going to be a handful. The Chilean is a terrific defender, winning 27.7% (8th) of his return games on clay over the past year. He has also held 79.6% (24th) of his service games.
Garin ranks as the best player under pressure on tour, and I picked him as my darkhorse semi-finalist before the tournament. I knew that his path would have to go through Wawrinka, and I have been looking forward to betting on this match.
I’ve been a stan for Stan throughout his career, but I think Garin edges him out in five sets.
The Pick: Cristian Garín (+172)