2023 French Open Odds, Predictions | Expert Picks For Gauff vs Grabher & More
Ian MacNicol/Getty. Pictured: Coco Gauff.
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The second round of the French Open marches on with more exciting matchups.
I’ve found value on two of Thursday's showdowns —Schmiedlova vs Bolsova and Gauff vs Grabher.
Read on for my 2023 French Open expert picks.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing French Open matches.
WTA French Open Odds, Picks
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova (-135) vs Aliona Bolsova (+110)
5 a.m. ET
Anna Karolina Schmiedlova upset Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-1 to advance in Paris. Schmiedlova won 59% of her service points and was broken on three occasions. The Slovak won 61% of her return points, breaking seven times.
Schmiedlova is just 5-4 on clay this season, but is an impressive 198-109 on clay for her career. Schmiedlova lacks power, both on serve and from the ground. But, the Slovak is incredibly consistent from the baseline and gets great depth on her groundstrokes. She relies on her heavy forehand that is beautifully placed around the court.
In addition, Schmiedlova's touch shots are effective and her clay-court point construction is superb. The Slovak finds her opponents' weaknesses.
Aliona Bolsova got into Roland Garros as a lucky loser and made good use of her spot in the draw, defeating an overmatched Kristina Kucova 6-1, 6-2. Bolsova won 62% of her service points and was broken twice. In addition, the Spaniard won 63% of her service points, breaking on seven occasions.
Bolsova is now 12-7 on clay for the year, with an ITF $60k title in Koper. As a professional, the Spaniard is a strong 171-85 on the dirt. Bolsova has a well-placed serve and can ramp up the pace on her forehand, hitting with controlled aggression from that wing. Bolsova doesn't have overwhelming power, however, and her backhand can break down. She's also not the most dynamic baseline player.
Schmiedlova is the more dynamic player in this match. The Slovak has better variety, more fluid movement and higher rally tolerance compared to Bolsova.
She has a high clay-court tennis IQ and she should effectively target Bolsova backhand, while hiding her own backhand.
Schmiedlova was so effective in defusing Kudermetova's power and she should be able to do the same to Bolsova.
Pick: Schmiedlova ML (-135 via PointsBet)
Coco Gauff (-950) vs Julia Grabher (+610)
9 a.m. ET
Coco Gauff recovered from a set deficit to beat Rebeka Masarova 3-6, 6-1, 6-2. Gauff won 83% of her first serves, 56% of her second serves and was only broken twice. In addition, the American won 50% of her first-serve returns, generating 16 break points and breaking on five occasions.
Gauff, last year's French Open finalist, has an impressive 44-20 career-mark on clay. But, the American is just 4-3 on the dirt this season. Her struggles center around her forehand, as she over-emphasizes topspin from that wing, leading to disastrous results. Gauff's forehand is erratic and lands short often.
Julia Grabher got her Roland Garros campaign off to a good start, defeating Arantxa Rus 6-2, 6-3. Despite winning just 38% of her second serves, Grabher won 73% of her first serves and was broken once. The Austrian also won 64% of her return points, breaking on seven occasions.
Grabher was a finalist in Rabat last week, but showed no signs of fatigue against Rus. Grabher has improved her record in 2023 on clay to 11-7, with a strong 292-161 professional record on the dirt. The Austrian is in excellent form. Her forehand is heavy, powerful and well-placed.
Gauff looked better in the final two sets against Masarova but overall has had a very disappointing clay season. Grabher won't give Gauff the early-ball unforced errors that the American feasted on against Masarova, instead using her clay-court craft to work points until she has her opportunity to strike.
Grabher should have a lot of success in the forehand-to-forehand exchanges, as the Austrian is hitting her forehand with better pace and precision than Gauff right now. She should also effectively put away the short balls that Gauff coughs up from her forehand wing.
Pick: Over 18.5 games (-122 via FanDuel)