Afternoon French Open Picks, Previews: Fabio Fognini a Dangerous Underdog (May 25)
Adam Pretty/Getty. Pictured: Fabio Fognini.
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We have a jam-packed round two from Roland Garros.
The hectic 128-match first round has finally come to a close, and as the second round gets underway, some may need a rest and a day to sleep in and recharge.
Not to worry! We’ve got a pair of matches scheduled to be last on their respective courts to preview in this piece. So rest up, and get ready for some of the afteroon action!
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Magda Linette (-120) vs. Martina Trevisan (+100)
10:30 a.m. ET
Get ready for a long match between these two women. Neither possesses very much power and both love to make plenty of balls in each rally, looking to construct the point while waiting for an opening to pounce.
This would be one of those matches, where even if it finished in straight sets, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the time on court tick over the two-hour mark.
Ultimately, this one comes down who is the better clay-court player and who has the variety to break the potentially monotonous rallies. Trevisan fits that categorization moreso than Linette.
Other than Linette’s stunning round one victory over Ons Jabeur, her clay season hasn’t been anything to write home about. She made a decent run in Charleston on the quicker green clay, but it’s tough to really nail down who her second-best win of the red clay season has been – and that’s not because there’s a plethora to choose from.
It makes sense, given her style. Linette is solid from the baseline, but there isn’t any kind of jaw-dropping power, nor is there a whole lot of variety to what she does.
That may suffice against error-prone players, or other hard courters, but against the likes of Trevisan, she’s going to need to find more ways to win points, as she won’t be gifted many from the other side of the net.
Trevisan brings a bit more to the table than Linette, despite not possessing the most powerful groundstrokes. Her rally tolerance is elite and she also has sneaky power on the forehand wing when she wants to dial it up.
Just last week in Rabat she led the tournament with 97 winners, per OptaAce. That was done in just five matches, with only one of those going three sets.
For a more defensive-minded player, that’s impressive. It also shows Trevisan’s ability to dial up the pace a bit, as well as use her point construction to open up enough space, making winners much easier to find.
Take the player with more experience, better form and a more clay-court oriented game here at a relatively cheap price.
Pick: Trevisan ML (+100 via PointsBet)
Botic van de Zandschulp (-164) vs. Fabio Fognini (+136)
10:30 a.m. ET
Fabio Fognini in best-of-five tennis as an underdog on clay. Where do I sign?
Fognini’s ability from both wings is sublime. The cliche “he makes it look easy” comes to mind when talking about the pace he’s able to generate from the baseline. He may look relaxed and nonchalant, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t going to uncork a big forehand deep into the corner of the court.
His movement is solid, he has no issue slicing and he can move his opponents back and forth with ease.
Van de Zandschulp is a fine opponent. His game is solid from the ground, he’s got a big serve and powerful groundstrokes and he has comfort on the dirt. The problem is Fognini can stick with him when he’s at his best and the Italian possesses the more dynamic game.
As for motivation concerns with Fognini, there are a few reasons that fear shouldn’t be top of mind.
First and foremost, this is the French Open. If there is ever a time that Fognini will remained engaged, it’s over the course of these two weeks. Second, the Italian thrives off of crowd support. When the crowd is at his back, he rarely packs up and tanks.
That was evident in Rio de Janeiro earlier this season and the crowds in Paris love him. They were enthusiastically urging him on throughout his opening round match as well.
There’s never certainty when it comes to Fognini, but having him at nearly +140 on the moneyline is a mistake that should be bet.
Pick: Fognini ML (+136 via FanDuel)