French Open Monday Odds, Picks, Previews: Zheng to Compete With Swiatek (May 30)
Shi Tang/Getty. Pictured: Iga Swiatek.
The round of 16 at the French Open is heating up and there are two matches on Monday’s order of play where I’ve found value.
Read below to see two plays to think about from Monday at Roland Garros, including a play on Iga Swiatek vs Qinwen Zheng.
Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.
Daria Kasatkina (-200) vs. Camila Giorgi (+155)
5 a.m. ET
Daria Kasatkina has not dropped a set at the French Open so far. In her latest victory, Kasatkina defeated Shelby Rogers 6-3, 6-2.
Against Rogers, Kasatkina put together a very effective serving performance. She won 72% of her first-serve points, 64% of her second-serve points and she was only broken once. On return, Kasatkina was excellent. She won 51% of her return points and broke serve five times.
While Kasatkina has had a fortunate draw, she’s still only dropped a combined ten games so far this tournament.
Kasatkina moves very well on clay, blunting opponents’ power and turning points around when she gets the opportunity. She has a heavy forehand and a consistent backhand, so it’s no surprise that the Russian’s won 72% of her career clay matches.
Camila Giorgi was 0-3 on clay coming into Roland Garros, but has played incredible tennis this tournament. Giorgi advanced to the round of 16 with a 4-6, 6-1, 6-0 win over Aryna Sabalenka.
Giorgi won 76% of her first serves and was only broken twice in the match. However, Giorgi will want to clean up her second serve, as she won only 36% of her second-serve points.
The Italian had struggled throughout 2022 coming into Roland Garros, posting a 4-7 overall record. However, Giorgi is dominating from the baseline with easy power from both wings and she is striking the ball cleanly. While unforced errors are a problem for Giorgi, she’s kept her rally tolerance high this week.
Kasatkina wants to play long rallies and work the points, while Giorgi wants to play quick rallies with her aggressive style of play. The clay surface does suit Kasatkina well in this regard, but Giorgi is powerful enough to hit through any surface.
There will be times in this match where Giorgi overwhelms Kasatkina with power and other times where the Russian is able to bait Giorgi into unforced errors with her consistency and movement.
Just like their previous meeting in Lyon, I expect this one to be tight and go the distance.
Pick: Over 21.5 games (-110 via BetMGM)
Iga Swiatek (-2500) vs. Qinwen Zheng (+975)
9:15 a.m. ET
Swiatek has continued her winning streak at Roland Garros. She has now won 31-straight matches, her latest being a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Danka Kovinic.
Against Kovinic, Swiatek won 67% of her service points overall, including 74% of her first-serve points. On return, Swiatek won 48% of her return points and broke Kovinic’s serve five times. Swiatek was a little more erratic from the baseline than usual against Kovinic, pressing to a fault at times.
In addition to winning 31 straight matches, Swiatek has also won 20 sets and five tournaments in a row. While she wasn’t able to sustain it, Kovinic was able to trouble Swiatek when she decreased her margins and hit with power, rushing Swiatek from the baseline.
Qinwen Zheng was fortunate in the third round of Roland Garros. Alize Cornet was injured and retired with Zheng 6-0, 3-0 up.
Before facing Cornet, Zheng had impressive victories over Maryna Zanevska and Simona Halep. In all of Zheng’s matches in Paris so far, she’s won at least 85% of her first-serve points and at least 55% of her second-serve return points. Zheng has easy power that’s tough for opponents to handle.
Zheng plays first-strike tennis, trying to take control of the baseline and end points quickly. While the sample size is small, Zheng is 48-15 on clay in her career. Her big-hitting game translates well to the dirt, as it gives her more time to get set up to hit her powerful groundstrokes.
Swiatek is having an unbelievable stretch of play and is clearly the best player in the world. She will punish Zheng with her heavy forehand and her excellent movement will be important in this match.
However, a lot of the players who have challenged and/or beaten Swiatek this season have been power players who have been able to rush her and hit with a high level of power.
Zheng fits this mold well.
Pick: Zheng +7.5 games (-145 via BetMGM)
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