2023 French Open | Previews For Schwartzman vs Borges, Hurkacz vs Griekspoor
BSR Agency/Getty. Pictured: Tallon Griekspoor.
To the second round we go! The matches are still coming fast and furious, with another 64 slated to take place in the next two days.
Let's preview a pair of them from the men's side, and take a look at the matchups between Diego Schwartzman and Nuno Borges, as well as Hubert Hurkacz and Tallon Griekspoor.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for advice on viewing tennis matches.
2023 French Open Previews
Diego Schwartzman (-135) vs Nuno Borges (+110)
6:30 a.m. ET
After clawing back from two sets down last round against a tough opponent in Bernabe Zapata Miralles, Schwartzman has another manageable match in his second-round encounter with Borges.
Borges needed a fifth-set super tiebreak to beat John Isner – who hadn't played a match on European red clay yet and who hasn't won a match since mid-February – to book his spot in the second round.
With almost no weapons and a subpar backhand, the Portuguese pro is someone that has to rely on his sharp tactical play and point construction to win matches. It's why he's spent most of his career on the Challenger Tour to this point.
Coming up against another really solid baseliner in Schwartzman, he won't be able to rely on errors and opening space is going to be tough on these slower courts, with these heavier balls. Hitting through said space will also be a tough task for the 26-year old.
It's well-documented how much the Argentinian veteran has struggled this season. The form isn't where he'd like it to be. That said, he's started to round a corner, winning his first match in a month a few days ago and fighting back against Matteo Arnaldi in Rome in a match where the young Italian was absolutely on fire from his forehand wing.
Taking on someone without weapons should assist Schwartzman in his quest to reach the third round. He's defending fourth-round points from 2022 and a loss in this one would see him fall out of the top 100. With the matchup on his side and plenty of motivation, I'll take Schwartzman at a relatively cheap price.
Picks: Schwartzman ML (-135 via PointsBet)
Hubert Hurkacz (-250) vs Tallon Griekspoor (+200)
8 a.m ET
Speaking of players having tough seasons, this matchup features two of them.
Griekspoor has been battling injuries in recent times, while Hurkacz hasn't reached the quarterfinals of an event since Dubai in early March.
For the latter, his struggles are more pronounced in terms of the betting markets, where he's failed repeatedly to cover spreads and has also lost consistently as a favorite. It's an indication of two things. First, he's struggling right now and playing down to his competition. Second, he's consistently overvalued in the markets based on his name, ranking and serve.
In terms of his actual game, Hurkacz has a serve-and-push type style, racking up cheap points behind a massive first delivery, and playing some incredibly consistent tennis from the baseline. His movement and his return game, however, are pretty big weaknesses, with him particularly vulnerable on the return of serve.
Surface wise, clay is also where the big Pole would least like to play. His game is far more suited to grass and hard courts than the slower conditions the red stuff offers.
As for Griekspoor, he's in a decent position to exploit this matchup.
For starters, he has a strong serve and big forehand from the baseline. That should help him accumulate service holds against a relatively poor returner.
Next, clay is probably his preferred surface. Whether it's his best or not is up for debate, but he's certainly more at home on it than his opponent in this one.
Finally, the only potential concern here is the fact that the Dutchman retired after a set in Madrid and then withdrew prior to his second match in Geneva. The fact he gutted out a five-set win in the opening round serves as reassurance, seeing as his level was actually strong in the final two sets.
I'll back him to pull off the upset.
Pick: Griekspoor +3.5 games (+110 via DraftKings) | Griekspoor ML (+200 via PointsBet)