Coco Gauff vs. Elise Mertens French Open Odds, Pick, Preview (May 29)

Coco Gauff vs. Elise Mertens French Open Odds, Pick, Preview (May 29) article feature image

Andy Cheung/Getty. Pictured: Coco Gauff.

Gauff vs. Mertens Odds

Gauff Odds-230
 Mertens Odds+175
Time7:30 a.m. ET
Odds via PointsBet. For tips on how to watch tennis, click here.

No. 18 seed Coco Gauff has cruised through her Roland Garros draw without dropping a set so far. In the third round, Gauff blunted Kaia Kanepi's power in a 6-3, 6-4 victory, but she'll face a different test in the fourth round against Elise Mertens.

Can Gauff continue her success against her first seeded opponent of the event?

Let’s look more closely at this round of 16 encounter.

Gauff Winning With Ease

In spite of Kanepi's huge serving, Gauff did very well on return. Gauff won 48% of her return points, including 55% on Kanepi's second delivery. This allowed the American to break five times in nine return games.

Gauff has dominated on return throughout the tournament. Against Rebecca Marino, Alison Van Uytvanck and Kanepi, Gauff won over 40% of her first-serve returns and over 50% of her second-serve returns, breaking at least five times in all three matches.

While it's a small sample size, Gauff has won 70% of her career matches on clay with a 37-16 record. This season, she has a 7-3 record on clay, having won multiple matches in Madrid, Rome and now Paris.

Gauff's game suits the dirt well. She moves well on clay and patiently waits for her opportunity to strike. While Gauff's forehand is a huge weakness, the clay gives her more time to set up and she hits with heavy topspin from that wing. Her backhand is incredibly effective, allowing her to control the baseline from that wing.

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Mertens Playing Solid Tennis

Mertens played solid tennis to beat Varvara Gracheva 6-2, 6-3. She returned very well, winning 51% of her first-serve returns and 67% of her second-serve returns. The Belgian broke six times in nine service games, while only getting broken twice on her own serve.

While Mertens was fortunate that Marie Bouzkova withdrew from their second round matchup, she also played high-level tennis in the first round against Elena Garbriela Ruse. In Mertens' 6-3, 6-1 victory, she won 48% of her first-serve returns and 78% of her second-serve returns.

Mertens has won 64% of her professional clay-court matches, although she came into Roland Garros with just a 2-2 clay record this season. There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding Mertens, given that she had to pull out of the Istanbul warmup event with an injury.

Nonetheless, Mertens' performance in Paris has put the injury concerns to rest.

The Belgian hasn't hit with quite as much power as fans are used to seeing, opting to play with very a high level of consistency and focusing on depth rather than power. With that said, when Mertens has had a window to hit a winner, she's been able to do so fairly effectively.

To beat Gauff, however, Mertens will need to be more aggressive in her mindset on court.

Betting Value

Gauff will have the best shot on the court in her backhand and the weakest in her forehand.

Mertens is overall solid and will be able to hang in rallies, get good depth on her shots and eventually target the Gauff forehand. Her anticipation and foot speed are also quite good and she will be able to hang in points until she can get the ball onto the Gauff forehand.

Mertens won't give away much for free, but given her lack of aggressive mindset on the court, it's hard to see her wrestling this match away from Gauff.

Therefore, the over seems like a good play, as Mertens will be able to hang in the match, but ultimately won't have the controlled aggression necessary to win outright.

Pick:  Over 20.5 games (-135)

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