2021 French Open Round 2 Odds & Picks: 3 Wednesday Second-Round Matches With the Most Betting Value (June 2)
Srdjan Stevanovic/Getty Images. Pictured: Thiago Monteiro.
The second round of the French Open begins on Wednesday, 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 on early Wednesday morning, I see particular value in a few matches:
Frederico Delbonis vs. Pablo Andujar
Start Time (approx.): 5:00 a.m. ET
I’ve long been a believer that an in-form Delbonis is a top-15 clay player in the world, and this season has done a lot to reaffirm my faith in the Argentine, which had admittedly been fading.
Delbonis has had a crazy run on the clay in 2021, going 23-9 all told with a run to the quarterfinals of the Masters 1000 in Rome, a close loss to Matteo Berrettini in the Round of 16 at another Masters 1000 the week prior, and a semifinal run in Chile. His cracking backhand has been a real pain for opponents, and that run should continue here against Pablo Andujar.
It’s not that I think Andujar didn’t do a lot to get his win over Thiem — while the World No. 5 is certainly in a rut right now — Andujar executed his gameplan to perfection. It’s also not to say Andujar doesn’t match up well with Delbonis, winning six of their seven meetings. I just think the fatigue should set in heavily here for Andujar, who is four years Delbonis’ elder and coming off a five-set match. I also think, objectively, Delbonis is playing far better tennis at the moment. Getting this kind of price at bet365 is too difficult to pass up.
Pick: Delbonis -163
Thiago Monteiro vs. Steve Johnson
Start Time (approx.): 9:35 a.m. ET
Monteiro is off to a fast start at Roland Garros, disposing of a very capable Francisco Cerundolo in straight sets back on Monday. I think his opponent on Wednesday, American Steve Johnson, will face a similar fate.
The fact is, Monteiro is built for clay. His muscular core and legs help him drive the ball to the baseline, and it’s a big reason why he’s been such a fast riser on this surface over the past two seasons. Coming off a run to the third round at Roland Garros in 2020, the 27-year-old appears to be back to that level after a short slump in the 2021 regular season. When Monteiro was going strong, he was pushing to be one of the 30-best clay players in the world.
I love Monteiro to crush Johnson here based not only on his form, but also the current state of the former World No. 21. Johnson has never been great on clay, and he hasn’t played much there at all but has been particularly bad over the past three seasons with a 3-11 record, which includes a loss in a Challenger tournament and three straight exhibition losses.
Even against weak or lethargic competition, this guy can’t get a win on the surface, and he’s only just 1-5 overall this year anyway! His backhand slice and weak second serves on clay should get crushed by Monterio, who should break with ease all match.
Johnson’s win over Frances Tiafoe in the first round says a lot more about where Tiafoe is right now. I don’t rate Johnson any higher after that. I’m taking Monteiro to win in straight sets, and you can find the best line on him over at DraftKings.
Pick: Monteiro 3-0 (+105)
Tommy Paul vs. Daniil Medvedev
Start Time (approx.): 3:00 p.m. ET
Look, I can read this market like a book. I know exactly why this line is moving. Medvedev has made some strides on clay over his past few matches on the surface (which he hates and can’t dominate on). The player he beat in the first round, Alexander Bublik, has been on fire for the last calendar year and is one of the most talented players on tour, not just on clay.
Reading between the lines here, not much has changed with Medvedev. If you actually watched his win over Bublik, the points were incredibly quick. Bublik was frustrated early on and decided to try and go for return winners or a quick serve and volley almost the entire match. This strategy didn’t work against Medvedev’s admittedly expert returning, but we learned little about where Med’s ground game is at. If anything, to me, it appeared he was less likely to win points the longer the rallies went on. The Russian simply can’t push his flat groundstrokes through opponents on this surface like we know he can on a hardcourt.
Tommy Paul, meanwhile, has a game built for clay with his big topspin forehand. He’s experienced and incredibly gifted on the surface and will give Medvedev a good fight here. I recommend selling a player this bad on clay at this high of a price. I’d make Paul a slight underdog here — maybe +175 — giving you immense value on the spread and moneyline. You can find the best line on the American at FanDuel.
Pick: Paul +6.5 Games -130 | Paul +300