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French Open Odds, Picks, Preview: Tsitsipas to Recover For Easy Second Round Win (May 26)

French Open Odds, Picks, Preview: Tsitsipas to Recover For Easy Second Round Win (May 26) article feature image
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Eurasia Sport Images/Getty. Pictured: Stefanos Tsitsipas.

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After a day of much-needed rest, the bottom half of the men’s draw gets back to it on Thursday as they’ll play out the second round of the French Open.

Of the players mentioned in this article, not one of them was able to get off court in under two and a half hours in the first round,  averaging about 3h02m of court time between them.

Let’s dive into a pair of second round matches from the men’s draw.

Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches.

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Cristian Garin (-190) vs. Ilya Ivashka (+155)

8:30 a.m. ET

One excellent clay courter and one player who really came into his own on the surface during the 2021 season, each of these two bring something to the table.

Ilya Ivashka has an impressive combination of movement, power and decent control off both wings from the baseline.

At his peak, Garin is super steady, with great consistency and the ability to open up on the forehand wing if a ball is left short and he sees space to hit a winner.

This match has all the makings of at least a four-set contest, with the Chilean getting a touch more respect in the markets than he may deserve. Ivashka began his campaign on the red dirt in sluggish fashion, which could be depressing his price a tad.

It’s important to put that start into context, though. Ivashka’s first match on clay was his first in two months, and he played a clay-court specialist in Lorenzo Sonego. His next loss was to Stefanos Tsitsipas. Nikoloz Basilashvili, Lorenzo Musetti and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina are no slouches either.

The fact is, Ivashka has had a tough schedule this clay season. You could make the case almost all of the players he lost to are better than Garin and he took a set off of each of them other than Sonego. Even his loss in straight sets last week in Geneva (played in altitude) went 24 games.

Backing Ivashka to stretch this match out into a four or five-set affair on the game total is a good look.

Pick: Over 37.5 games (-115 via PointsBet)

Stefanos Tsitsipas (-10000) vs. Zdenek Kolar (+1700)

10 a.m. ET

While Stefanos Tsitsipas had what could be argued as the worst draw of the opening round, he now gets a Challenger Tour journeyman in the second round.

Zdenek Kolar, on the other hand, goes from Lucas Pouille – a player past his prime who hasn’t recovered from injury and is poor on clay – to one of the top clay courters on the planet.

While the gulf in ability in this one goes without saying, there is a market that is exploitable in this matchup.

The total has been set at 28.5 games. That may seem very low for a best-of-five set match, but considering a scoreline of 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 gets the job done, I still see the number as a bit off.

Oddsmakers know how much better Tsitsipas is than Kolar. That’s how the low total comes to fruition. The key here is how much of an edge Tsitsipas has when it comes to the serve-forehand combo, and how his weaker one-handed backhand will be masked against the serving of Kolar.

In the first round, Kolar looked like the better player from start to finish against Pouille. That was expected, but he still ran into trouble throughout trying to keep his break leads. Now he’s playing a better returner in Tsitsipas, who he’ll be lucky to break more than once himself.

Factor in Tsitsipas surely not wanting to spend more than three sets on court again in the second round, and this total looks to be valuable at 28.5 games.

Pick:  Under 28.5 games (-105 via PointsBet)

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