3 Wednesday WTA French Open Second Round Bets: Is Another Top Seed in Trouble?

3 Wednesday WTA French Open Second Round Bets: Is Another Top Seed in Trouble? article feature image
Credit:

Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Elina Svitolina

  • 2019 French Open betting action rolls along on Wednesday with the first day of the second round on the women's side.
  • Brett Farrenkopf fancies three plays on the red clay, including one fade of another top seed in Paris.

With the first round of the French Open coming to a conclusion, it’s time to look ahead to Day 1 of the WTA second-round on Wednesday. We saw plenty of seeds drop over the first few days (Caroline Wozniacki and Angie Kerber, among others) and one of the favorites in Petra Kvitova bow out due to injury,

I think a few more could stumble in the second-round, including one I’ll be fading tomorrow. I’ll start there and then finish with two favorites I fancy on the women’s side for Wednesday.

Kateryna Kozlova +260 vs. Elina Svitolina

This is primarily a fade of Svitolina, who came into Paris with zero form. She greatly benefited from drawing Venus Williams on Sunday. Williams did not show up, hitting 15 winners to 34 unforced errors. Svitolina could have simply put the ball in the middle of the court and still would have won in straight sets.

Svitolina did finish with a respectable 11:10 winners to unforced errors ratio. She’ll also benefit from two days off to rest her knee. However, I don’t think the rest warrants a price of a -315 favorite.

Kozlova has had a very solid spring on clay, qualifying for all three tournaments she entered. She’s 11-3 so far in 2019 on clay and 10 of those wins were in straight sets, albeit not against the best competition. She did have  one notable win over top-five player Karolina Pliskova a week before Pliskova won the Rome title.

These two have met twice, but both were at ITF level events prior to 2014. There is not much to take away from either of those two Svitolina victories.

Given the fitness concerns of Svitolina, I make her a much shorter -205 favorite. Even if the two days of rest benefit Eli, I can’t pass up the value on Kozlova who actually opened at +290 before taking money. Give me the underdog in this all-Ukrainian affair.

Petra Martic (-120) vs Kristina Mladenovic

This is the match of the second-round in the bottom half of the draw. Both players excel on clay and are in very good form coming into Paris.

Petra Martic flew through Ons Jabeur 6-1, 6-2 on Saturday while Kristina Mladenovic beat fellow French-woman Fiona Ferro 6-3, 7-6 (3). Martic dominated her matchup, but her opponent helped by spraying the ball all over with 18 winners to 27 unforced errors. Ferro fared a little better versus Mladenovic, but had a similarly destructive winner to error ratio of 25:36.

Martic and Mladenovic met a month ago in the Istanbul quarterfinal where Martic earned a hard fought 7-6(4), 4-6, 7-6(2) victory. Martic served much better than Mladenovic that day which led her to victory.

 

Martic took time off after winning that Istanbul title before coming back to rack up another two impressive victories in Rome over Garbine Muguruza and Ashleigh Barty.

After showing zero form since making the quarterfinal here in 2017, Mladenovic has found her game again on the red clay. This spring has featured victories over Dayana Yastremska, Ashleigh Barty, Belinda Bencic and Caroline Garcia. She’s regained her confidence under the tutelage of a new coach and will have the support of the home crowd.

That said, I still fancy Martic in this match. She’s the more consistent player and has been very solid on clay this year. She’s also fared better at Slams of late, making at least the third round four times in her last eight major appearances. Mladenovic has only done that twice in her last 11.

Despite having the crowd against her, I also give the advantage to Martic in key point situations (break points, set points, match points). The Croat has a more consistent first serve, getting 68% of them in during 2019. That number is just 58% for Mladenovic, which should benefit Martic on those big points.

I have Martic priced as a -141 favorite, so I will dabble at -120 — but she must try and make sure to keep the French crowd out of the match.

Veronika Kudermetova (-155) vs Zarina Diyas

Going back to the well that paid off on Monday with Veronika Kudermetova. Diyas won her first-round match easily, however that came against a French wildcard ranked 298th in the world. This is a big step up in competition..

I also believe Diyas has not prepped for Paris in the interest of going far. Her first-round match marked her first clay match of 2019, as she spent most of spring in Japan playing ITF level events on hard and carpet courts. Diyas has also never performed that well in Paris. She has reached the third-round twice in eight chances but has never beat much in those efforts.

Kudermetova is just on a different level. Her performance on Centre Court after getting bageled in the first set versus Caroline Wozniacki was impressive to say the least. Despite not being 100% fit, Wozniacki still played well until she became very erratic in the final set.

Kudermetova put a dismal first set behind her and proceeded to hit 32 winners to 26 unforced errors over the final two sets. It was the Russian’s first main-draw match at the French Open to boot.

Kudermetova does not need to replicate those final two sets to get by Diyas; she merely needs to play to her average clay level. Hopefully, the confidence-boosting win over Wozniacki will lead 22-year-old Russian to another strong performance. I have Kudermetova as a -185 favorite.