2022 French Open Predictions, Picks: Expect Hurkacz-Zeppieri & Ruusuvuori-Humbert to Be Lengthy (May 24)
Quality Sport Images/Getty. Pictured: Ugo Humbert hits a backhand at the Barcelona Open.
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Whether it was the rain or the slew of matches that went longer than the minimum number of sets at the French Open, day two was a long one.
With some of the matches coming up on the men’s side for Tuesday, don’t expect anything different. Brew a pot of coffee and settle in for what will be another long day!
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Emil Ruusuvuori (-147) vs. Ugo Humbert (+120)
5 a.m. ET
The first match to discuss here is between two guys who generally enjoy quicker courts.
They are both more power-centric and they can be bothered for different reasons on clay.
In the case of Emil Ruusuvuori, it’s simply a lack of comfort. He made his mark through the Challenger circuit on quicker indoor hard courts and moving to clay is an obvious adjustment.
His patience in the past was a huge problem, as he looked to end points quickly, rather than building them and waiting for his chances. As a result, the errors came fast and free.
For Humbert, it’s more about the bounce. Humbert prefers the lower-bouncing courts where the ball skids through.
The upside for both is that they can still rip their first serves and smash balls from the baseline.
Ruusuvuori has also put in work on his rally tolerance on clay, and it has paid off. In 2022, his break percentage has risen to 35.1%, which is four points better than his average for the last 52 weeks of play on the surface.
With both players able to hold serve relatively well, both possessing minor red flags and the talent level being relatively equal, the expected total for games should be up around 38.5 or 39.
Getting this one at 37.5 games in a match that is very likely to need four or five sets is worth a play.
Pick: Over 37.5 games (-105 via DraftKings)
Hubert Hurkacz (-769) vs. Giulio Zeppieri (+500)
10 a.m. ET
Another match that has the potential for being a rather long one, despite the disparity in the moneyline pricing, is between 12th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz and Italian youngster Giulio Zeppieri.
As is usually the case with lopsided matches like this, the moneyline and many other markets are skewed to the favorite primarily because the opposition is almost completely unknown to most of the market.
Zeppieri is an enigma of a player. He has an incredible amount of talent, yet he is still relatively raw.
Arguably a byproduct of the massive amount of Challenger tournaments Italy has taken on over the past three years or so, Zeppieri has played plenty at that level, but he is only 20 years old.
Zeppieri has a strong clay game which includes a decent serve, solid groundstrokes and very strong movement. His issues, as is often the case with young players, are mostly in the consistency department.
He’s as likely to breeze through players like Jack Draper or beat Alex Molcan on the red dirt as he is to lose to Nerman Fatic or Manuel Guinard.
That’s why Zeppieri is such an intriguing player to back as such a heavy underdog. The talent level is there when he’s on, and he’s comfortable on the surface.
The flip side of this handicap is that Hurkacz isn’t the greatest on the slower European clay. His results have been much better this season, but his game can still be far too serve-reliant for a surface that demands more in order to succeed.
Zeppieri isn’t likely to win this matchup, but he certainly has the tools to push and trouble Hurkacz enough to take a set. Instead of the +2.5 sets market, though, the over 3.5 sets provides a bit higher of a price with limited risk.
Pick: Over 3.5 sets (+100 via DraftKings)