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2022 French Open Picks, Analysis: How to Bet Azarenka-Petkovic & Isner-Barrere (May 25)

2022 French Open Picks, Analysis: How to Bet Azarenka-Petkovic & Isner-Barrere (May 25) article feature image
Credit:

Christian Kaspar-Bartke/Getty Images. Pictured: Gregoire Barrere.

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After three long days of tennis at the French Open which saw 128 matches played in just the first round between the men’s and women’s draws, it’s finally time to move on to the final 64 in each field.

Let’s take a look at some of Wednesday’s early action, with a pair of underdogs that could keep things more interesting than you’d think.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.

Victoria Azarenka (-300) vs. Andrea Petkovic (+240)

5 a.m. ET

Another match at a grand slam, another match where Victoria Azarenka is being priced up based on her name.

Playing an opponent who can bring much of what Ana Bogdan did to the table in Andrea Petkovic, it’s hard to make the case that Azarenka should be considered a 75 percent favorite on clay.

Azarenka’s flat, powerful style just doesn’t work as well on clay, and she lacks the spins, slices and drop shots to add margin for error and dynamism to her game.

The serve and forehand still work, but as rallies get extended, the errors become more and more likely.

Her best chances on the surface come against those that generally can’t hit with her and are forced to leave balls short.

Those that are astute on the red dirt – that can hit with Azarenka and that can play with some spin to back her up and not let her swing freely every time – find more success.

Bogdan was a player that fit that profile as Azarenka’s first opponent (she did lead 7-6, *6-5, after all). Petkovic also fits the bill.

More often than not, Petkovic is a decent fade on clay. However, at a pick ’em price to simply win a set, it’s more than worth a shot.

Don’t be scared off by the price. There is certainly a risk Azarenka will redline and ease through, but over her last few years against this type of player, Azarenka hasn’t had many straight forward experiences.

Pick: Petkovic +1.5 sets (-110 via PointsBet)

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John Isner (-357) vs. Gregoire Barrere (+260)

5 a.m. ET

Another player that is usually a reliable fade on the red clay but shows some promise on Wednesday is Frenchman Gregoire Barrere.

He came from two-sets-to-one down in his opening match against Taro Daniel, using the spectacular support from the French crowd to spur him on.

Barrere’s flatter game also started to work more and more as the match went on, and Daniel left more balls in the center of the court, allowing Barrere to use his pace to end the points.

As for the big American, Isner needed a trio of tiebreaks to win in four sets against another serve-oriented Frenchman in Quentin Halys.

This match projects similarly to his last, as Barrere has a terrific first serve and can put away his first forehand with ease. His serve-forehand style isn’t usually effective on the slower courts like those at Roland Garros, but against Isner they work to his benefit.

Finding ways to back Barrere here wouldn’t be the worst idea, but with multiple tiebreaks entirely possible, there’s a strong chance he’s able to extend this match beyond the basic three sets.

Should this get to four or five sets, it’s tough to see how it stays under the 38.5 game total.

Pick: Over 38.5 games (-118 via BetMGM)

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