2021 French Open Round 2 Odds & Picks: 3 Friday Third-Round Matches With the Most Betting Value (June 4)
John Berry/Getty Images. Pictured: John Isner.
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The third round of the French Open begins on Friday and with matches under their belts, some of these players’ form is just ever so slightly easier to read. With that, we should be able to get a better feel for how these matches will go.
With action resuming very early on Friday morning, I see particular value in a few matches:
Fabio Fognini vs. Federico Delbonis
Start Time (approx.): 6:15 a.m. ET
Delbonis is a dangerous player right now, bringing his A-game to every match these days, which in years’ past has been good enough to bang with some of the best clay players in the world. Delbonis’ backhand is absolutely firing at the moment, and should be trouble for Fabio Fognini.
Fognini is very much a player who needs to control the tempo of a match, injecting his own pace into rallies. I don’t think he’s going to handle Delbonis firing down the lines very well and should be thrown out of rhythm as the ball gets too deep on him. Fognini has impressed so far at Roland Garros, and holds a 4-3 career record against the Argentine on clay, but the value here is all on Delbonis.
He’s put together a better clay season than Fognini to this point, grinding out some ATP 250 events in preparation for a run here on the clay. This should be a long match that Delbonis winds up winning. You can get these lines at FanDuel.
Pick: Delbonis +158, Over 38.5 Games (-125)
Reilly Opelka vs. Daniil Medvedev
Start Time (approx.): 8:00 a.m. ET
It’s forecasted to be a cold, wet day in Paris on Friday, which should be perfect serving conditions. That means Opelka, who’s what we’d affectionately refer to as a “servebot” has a fighting chance here against Medvedev.
Sure, the World No. 2 has made some strides on clay over his last few matches, but to me he’s still in way over his head on this surface. This is the first time he’s ever won matches at Roland Garros, where he’s had bad loss after bad loss through the years. His game simply does not translate; his flat groundstrokes aren’t a weapon without the ability to skid the ball off the ground.
While you’d think Opelka should have his hands full trying to ace Medvedev off the court with his deep returning position, he’s already beaten him once in his career and also has pretty decent net skills, which should help him take advantage of the fact that Medvedev will be pushed back beyond the baseline. In addition, he’s improved his ability to get the ball back in play off of wings and looks like he’s developing into a more complete player every time he takes the court. He covered the game spread against Rafael Nadal in Spain last month and should cover again here against a mediocre player on clay. I think Opelka takes at least a set and sends another to a tiebreak, perhaps even avenging his best friend Tommy Paul’s loss on Wednesday. Find the best line on him at William Hill.
Pick: Opelka +5.5 Games (-137), Opelka +300 (0.5u)
John Isner vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas
Start Time (approx.): 3:00 p.m. ET
Speaking of servebots in prime serving conditions, we have to talk about how good Big John looks on the clay. He’s coming off a quarterfinal run in Madrid, where he pushed Dominic Thiem to the brink in the third set, and he’s getting set to face another one of the top players in the world in Tsitsipas.
I think Tsitsipas is a great bet to win it all here at Roland Garros, but this could be one of his toughest matches on the way there. The Greek has taken down Isner in their last three meetings, though they were closely contested and came after the American took the first two. These two players know each other well, and in a best-of-five format it’s very difficult in a scenario like this to sweep your opponent clean with all the variance that comes with the format, and with the volatility of a clay court.
Isner should push this to at least one tiebreak with the way he is serving and hitting his groundies, and for that reason I love taking him to win a set at these odds. He has been playing exceptional tennis and should give Tsitsipas a run here.
Pick: Isner +2.5 Sets (-124)