French Open Round 4 Betting Preview: Djokovic, Fognini vs. Zverev Headline Monday’s Card
Susan Mullane, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Novak Djokovic
- The Round of 16 at the French Open continues on Monday with four matches.
- Novak Djokovic is a massive favorite over Jan-Lennard Struff but the other three matches should be highly entertaining.
- Daniel Scotti previews the conclusion of Round 4 at Roland-Garros:
The fourth round of the 2019 French Open concludes on Monday.
In addition to the conclusion of the suspended match between Kei Nishikori and Benoit Paire, we will also be treated to four more matches at Roland-Garros.
- Novak Djokovic (-3000) vs. Jan-Lennard Struff (+1200), 6:30 a.m. ET
- Fabio Fognini (-120) vs. Alexander Zverev (+100), 8 a.m. ET
- Dominic Thiem (-270) vs. Gael Monfils (+220), 8:30 a.m. ET
- Karen Khachanov (+170) vs. Juan Martin del Potro (-200), 10 a.m. ET
First on court will be Novak Djokovic facing off against Jan Lennard Struff. I don’t sense any upset brewing against the World No. 1. Djokovic has looked strong in Paris thus far, and while Struff has looked equally as impressive, Djokovic’s best is simply too good for Struff. I expect Djokovic to come through this one.
Later on, Karen Khachanov (+175) will be taking on Juan Martin del Potro (-225), and I find this one to be an extremely tough match to wager on.
It’s sometimes easy to overlook the fact that Delpo is still just returning from injury, and came into Paris with very limited matchplay. Having said that, in the limited sample we’ve seen from Delpo in his return, he has put himself in a winning position against Novak (in Rome), and finds himself now in the Round of 16 at the French Open.
If Delpo is fully fit and able to fire the forehand for however long it takes, he’s clearly got the class in this matchup. But any hiccup from Delpo, and Khachanov will be there to capitalize.
The value is probably with Khachanov, who has played Delpo tightly in the best-of-5 format before (Australian Open, 2018), but this is a no-bet match for me, given Delpo’s potential to win this one comprehensively, given he is fit.
Gael Monfils (+220) vs. Dominic Thiem (-270)
Perhaps the best match of the day will come when Gael Monfils takes on Domi Thiem. And while I thought Thiem was worth an outright bet before the tournament, I’m worried about this matchup — given how Gael has looked this week in Paris.
The home favorite almost anywhere he plays, Gael Monfils has really rallied behind the true local support at Roland Garros (where they love him even more). Gael’s been playing really aggressive tennis — and if he can make Thiem play more defense than offense, he’ll give himself a great shot to win this match.
This encounter will likely come down to whether or not Thiem, who has been a little shaky to start this tournament, can up his level and force the Parisian to defend.
I think both players will trade sets and this one will come down to a few key points later in the match. If Thiem’s going to win, he’s got to stay offensive. I’ve noticed this season that Thiem has used the slice more within rallies, something he did far less on clay in the past, and for the most part it’s been a successful tactic.
That said, against a player like Gael, who can go for any line on any shot, it’s a more vulnerable shot. I think Thiem’s going to have to fight fire with fire, which he’s shown in the past he can do as well as anyone.
But, with that gameplan, there is more margin for error. I think this match can go either way and look forward to watching it.
And that brings us to my favorite bet of the day: in the Fognini-Zverev match.
Fabio Fognini (-120) vs. Sascha Zverev (+100)
Fabio Fognini, now World No. 9, will take on Sascha Zverev in a fourth-round match that oddsmakers basically price at a pick ’em. For me, the line is fair — but, seeing that the last time the two played, just a month or so ago in Monte Carlo, Zverev was priced around -400, it goes to show the current forms of these two players.
There’s reason to be optimistic about Fognini’s chances in this march. First — and perhaps, most obvious — off all, Sascha’s gas tank may be running low.
Zverev is constantly hamstrung in Grand Slams, deeper in tournaments, because of the amount of mileage he puts on himself through tough early-round matches. And he’s done the same here in Paris, going the distance against John Millman and Dusan Lajovic, just one week after winning a tournament in Geneva.
Fognini invites physical rallies; and if Zverev’s legs aren’t ready for another grueling day at the office, Fognini will come out on top of most of the longer rallies.
I also like the way Fognini can counter-punch with the backhand. Zverev’s best shot is his own backhand, and Fognini is able to defend wide to his backhand wing (a pattern Zverev looks to take opponents out with). If Fognini can neutralize the Zverev backhand — and turn a couple of those points into winners of his own — it will take a lot of wind out of Zverev’s sails.
Fognini has looked laser-focused in Paris — and when he has that Fognini mojo about him, he can beat anyone on the planet. At this point in time, I’m not sure Fognini will even need his top level, but consistency will be key.
Some money has already come in on Fognini, but at this price I’ll be backing the Italian.