2022 French Open Odds, Predictions, Picks: Molcan & Gasquet to Thrive as Favorites (May 23)
Fabrice Coffrini/Getty. Pictured: Richard Gasquet eyes a shot at the Geneva Open.
Day one of action from the French Open certainly didn’t disappoint on the men’s side.
Three matches went the distance – including the first fifth-set super tiebreak between Camilo Ugo Carabelli and Aslan Karatsev.
Another group of matches is on the way for day two from Paris. Let’s take a dive into a pair of men’s matches that present some value against the given odds.
Alex Molcan (-190) vs. Federico Coria (+155)
Note: Match is delayed until Tuesday due to rain.
This Lyon rematch is an intriguing one, because Alex Molcan goes from a 2.5-game favorite in a best-of-three match to a (slightly expensive) 3.5-game favorite in a best-of-five setting in Paris.
Normally, any major adjustment would be construed as an overreaction in the betting markets. Considering the 2.5-game spread was poor to begin with and Molcan ran away with that match, this spot is just the opposite – an underreaction from the market.
Molcan is a tough opponent for Coria for a multitude of reasons. First, Coria comes from the defense-first school of tennis.
Much of his game is predicated on his opponents committing errors, as he extends the rallies and tests their fitness. That’s not Molcan. The Slovakian is as rock solid from the baseline as his Argentinian counterpart.
Secondly, he does more on court. Where Coria is content playing long rallies as his balls are left centrally in the court and occasionally without much depth, Molcan is much better at moving the ball around and mixing up down the line shots off both wings.
Molcan also possesses the ability to end points on his own much more frequently than Coria.
The other real tough part of this matchup for Coria is that Molcan is left-handed, and Coria’s backhand can often be left far too short and in the center of the court. Should he leave too many of those up in or near the service boxes, Molcan is going to have a field day putting those points away.
Don’t be scared by a potential revenge spot here. The books haven’t adjusted enough, considering the matchup edges Molcan possesses in. This spread should be closer to an expensive -5.5 games than -3.5.
Pick: Molcan -3.5 games (-115 at PointsBet)
Richard Gasquet (-200) vs. Lloyd Harris (+165)
10 a.m. ET
Note: Match is delayed until Tuesday at 6-1, 5-2 due to rain.
Call it the day of the one-handed backhands at Roland Garros.
Two of the more notable players that utilize that groundstroke are both on court (let’s not forget Dusan Lajovic either) in Richard Gasquet and Stan Wawrinka (you can find the writeup on his match here).
It’s been a surprise of a clay season for the soon-to-be 36-year-old Frenchman. Gasquet managed to reach the quarterfinals of two ATP 250 level events and the semifinals of a third. The most recent – a semi last in Geneva – was just last week, meaning Gasquet enters Roland Garros with some form at his back.
His game is also pre-disposed to the slower conditions of European red clay, as he sports one of the highest spin rates on his groundstrokes on the tour.
Only Casper Rudd and Rafael Nadal use more. All of this bodes well as he looks to push into the second round in front of what is sure to be a raucous crowd later in the day in Paris.
On the other side of the net will be big-hitting Lloyd Harris, who will try to tame the crowd and keep Gasquet in line.
After a breakout campaign in 2021, Harris has struggled across surfaces in the 2022. He’s found it particularly tough on the European clay.
Harris was bounced from Monte Carlo by Marton Fucsovics in the first round. Then he found his only two wins of the clay season, before losing the first set to Alex de Minaur in Barcelona. Since then, he’s lost three matches on the trot.
Whether it’s clay-court form, playing style, comfort on the dirt or a matchup advantage, it’s clear the French veteran has the edge in this one. That is without taking into account what role the crowd may play.
Harris’ best hopes are an elevated first serve percentage to create a lot of free points, or the 35-year-old veteran to run out of gas. Those two things, however, don’t really go together.
Lay the games in this one.
Pick: Gasquet -3.5 games (-110 at DraftKings)