French Open Odds, Picks, Predictions For Paire vs Norrie, Bautista Agut vs Wu
Alex Pantling/Getty. Pictured: Yibing Wu.
The first round of the French Open continues on Monday morning in Paris, and unlike Sunday I'm eyeing some underdogs with incredible value.
From a suddenly inconsistent top player to some aging players, there are some great spots to fade here on the clay. I've picked out two below.
Let's get into how to bet Benoit Paire vs Cam Norrie and Roberto Bautista Agut vs Yibing Wu.
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French Open Odds & Picks
Benoit Paire (+500) vs Cam Norrie (-720)
5 a.m. ET
Most know Benoit Paire for his on-court antics rather than his actual match results, which will happen when you have three straight losing seasons. 2023 has been different for the eccentric Frenchman, though; he's put up a 20-19 record across all competition levels and has stayed busy this spring with a total of 16 matches on the clay.
Now, Paire is just 8-8 in these matches and his best result came at the Francavilla Challenger a couple of weeks ago where he fell to Alejandro Tabilo in the final. He's lost two in a row since then, casting some doubt upon his prospects heading into Roland Garros.
Paire claims he's yet to receive a code violation this season after years of being one of the sport's worst-behaved competitors, and I will take his word for it considering it'd take hours to corroborate that fact. He's been much more focused on winning matches in 2023 after years of mediocrity, and his long clay season is all the proof we need. The dirt has long been Paire's best surface, and he's been trying to extract every last ranking point and dollar it can give him before we head to grass season.
At any rate, I think we can trust Paire to put forth a great effort considering his season to this point and the fact that he'll be playing in front of the home fans in France. It's hard to find a player more beloved in this country, and I'd expect the crowd for this match to be one of the best in the entire tournament.
Paire nearly stole the second set off of Norrie when these two met at the US Open last year, and I think he can steal one on his preferred surface at arguably his favorite tournament. Norrie's level has been fleeting, as he's lot three of his last seven matches and escaped a couple more in close fashion. I've long been one of the Brit's biggest believers, but this level simply isn't the same as the one we've seen over the last couple of years.
I think the Frenchman could make some noise and put on an instant classic for what's sure to be a capacity crowd.
Pick: Paire +2.5 sets (-132 via FanDuel)
Roberto Bautista Agut (-255) vs Yibing Wu (+205)
6:30 a.m. ET
When Yibing Wu is on his game, there are few players who can beat him. He hits the ball with such incredible pace and is absolutely unrelenting in long exchanges from the baseline, driving his groundstrokes deep into the court over and over again and wearing down his competition.
It's how he earned himself his first career title on the ATP Tour earlier this year in Dallas and how he's earned wins over some of the toughest competitors around. After tuning himself up on the clay, I think he's ready to step to another highly-ranked player in Roberto Bautista Agut.
First of all, Wu has been excellent after a couple of bad losses in Barcelona and Madrid to begin clay season. He proceeded to win three of his next five matches, only losing via a retirement against Alexander Zverev last week in Geneva and in a three-set thriller against the talented Francisco Cerundolo. He's played enough matches on clay in the last couple of years and the last couple of weeks to calm any fears that he's not as good away from a fast hard court.
Bautista Agut, meanwhile, isn't a very good player on this surface. Despite hailing from Spain, he's never been much of a threat on clay and has had his best results on slow hard courts. He's now an even 15-15 on clay over the last three years and generally speaking hasn't looked very good on any kind of court. Bautista Agut is now 35-years old and enters Roland Garros at 11-13 on the season with five losses in eight matches on clay.
I think this is a mis-price. The younger Wu is a real threat to win this match with his incredible weapons and ever-improving game.
Pick: Wu ML (+205 via FanDuel)