Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Johanna Konta
- French Open betting action rolls along on Sunday with the start of the fourth round on the women's side.
- Stuckey previews all four matches, highlighted by a showdown between former Slam winners Garbine Muguruza and Sloane Stephens.
Week 2 has arrived. We will kick off the fourth round of the French Open on Sunday in Paris with four women’s matches from a wide-open bottom half of the draw.
Let’s take a closer look at each of the four matches. I will close with my full WTA betting card for Sunday.
2019 French Open WTA Record: 11-6-1 +9.24 units
Kaia Kanepi vs. Petra Martic -240 | O/U: 21
Sunday, 5 a.m. ET
These two players have both made numerous mini-runs at Slams throughout their careers. Despite their ages, this will actually mark their first career meeting. Both players fancy the clay. Kanepi owns an impressive 29-8 mark on the red dirt over the past three seasons, while Martic leads the Tour with clay wins in 2019 with an impressive 15-2 record.
Martic is just playing at another level right now. Despite a much more difficult path to the R16, Martic got to this point with much more ease than Kanepi. The Croat brushed aside two in-form players in Kristina Mladenovic and Karolina Pliskova. And not only is she yet to drop a set, but she also hasn’t lost more than three games in any of the six sets she has played.
The Pliskova win should also serve Martic well in preparation for this match against another power player. I also don’t expect Kanepi to keep serving as well as she has, while that superb Martic kick serve should remain steady.
Meanwhile, Kanepi hasn’t had the toughest path but has played a ton of tennis. She has played almost 100 more service points than Martic. I think the 33-year-old Estonian, who isn’t exactly known for her supreme fitness, may hit a wall after back-to-back three-set wins.
Martic is playing such clean tennis and should have too much class here.
Donna Vekic vs. Johanna Konta -120 | O/U: 21.5
Sunday, 6:30 a.m. ET
Another matchup of seeds who have split their career series (3-3) and have never clashed on clay. Despite their seeding, it’s fairly surprising to see both players in the second week of the French Open. Clay has been the worst career surface for both players, but they’ve both played tremendous tennis so far this tourney.
This wouldn’t be a surprise second-week matchup at Wimbledon on the grass. You may recall an absolute classic between these two in 2017. Konta ended up pulling it out 10-8 in the third set.
Konta has been the biggest surprise of the tournament so far, considering she had never made it out of the first round at the French Open before this year. But that first-round win lifted a monkey off her back and clearly gave her the confidence she needed at Roland Garros. It also didn’t hurt that Konta came in on a roll, having made two clay finals in Rome and Rabat.
These two are good friends, as Vekic trained in the UK as a teen. They know each other’s games well. However, I’ve learned not to get in front of Konta when she gets on a roll. She is extremely streaky and simply playing better tennis right now. While she still brings a hard-court brand of tennis to the clay, which I think will be her ultimate demise, I don’t think it will be this round.
Konta has the much more reliable first serve, and those free points should be the difference.
Sloane Stephens vs. Garbine Muguruza -138 | O)/U: 21.5
Sunday, 11:30 a.m. ET
This is the popcorn match of the fourth round on Sunday on the women’s side. Surprisingly, these are the only two previous Slam winners remaining in the bottom half. In fact, they’re the only two who have even made a Slam final. The winner will be the favorite to make the 2019 French Open final.