French Open Odds, Predictions | Expert Picks For Svitolina vs Blinkova, Muchova vs Begu
Andy Cheung/Getty. Pictured: Elina Svitolina.
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The second round of Roland Garros was incredible and there's more exciting tennis to come!
I’ve found value on two of Friday's women’s matchups — Elina Svitolina vs Anna Blinkova and Karolina Muchova vs Irina-Camelia Begu.
Read on for my French Open expert picks.
Note: Match times are subject to change. Read here for tips on viewing tennis matches and seeing tennis odds.
WTA French Open Odds, Picks
Elina Svitolina (-220) vs Anna Blinkova (+175)
7 a.m. ET
Elina Svitolina came back from a set down to beat Storm Hunter 2-6, 6-3, 6-1. Svitolina hit seven aces and won 55% of her service points, but she was broken on five occasions. More impressively, the Ukrainian won 54% of her return points, breaking seven times.
Svitolina improved her 2023 clay record to 10-6, with a strong 125-66 career record on the dirt. The Ukrainian is balancing offense and defense well in recent matches. Svitolina hits her spots on serve and plays with controlled aggression from the baseline, particularly with her backhand. She moves well, effectively absorbs pace and counter-punches successfully. Svitolina is quick around the court and anticipates well.
Anna Blinkova recovered from a set deficit to defeat Caroline Garcia 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Despite winning just 44% of her second serves, Blinkova won 64% of her first serves and saved 14 of 18 break points. In addition, the Russian won 52% of her second-serve returns and broke on five occasions.
Blinkova is 10-6 on clay this season. As a professional, the Russian has a solid 67-48 mark on the surface. Blinkova is quick, defending and counter-punching fairly effectively. She doesn't have a big serve but hits with aggression from the baseline when given the opportunity, especially with her forehand. The Russian is inconsistent, however, and doesn't have overwhelming power.
These two just played last week in Strasbourg, with Svitolina comfortably winning 6-2, 6-3. Svitolina won 62% of her return points, breaking seven times. Given that Blinkova's serve is not a strength and Svitolina is a strong returner, expect this to continue.
In addition, Blinkova cannot hurt Svitolina from the baseline. While she does possess some firepower, she doesn't have quite the pop or control over her groundstrokes to effectively hit through the Ukrainian. Svitolina should neutralize Blinkova's power and has enough power of her own to wrestle away control of the baseline.
Finally, when looking at Elo ratings, Svitolina's overall Elo is 106.6 points above Blinkova's and her clay-court Elo is 137.6 points above the Russian's.
Pick: Svitolina -3.5 games (-120 via PointsBet)
Karolina Muchova (-150) vs Irina-Camelia Begu (+125)
10:15 a.m. ET
Karolina Muchova beat Nadia Podoroska 6-3, 0-6, 6-3 to advance in Paris. Muchova won 59% of her service points and was broken on four occasions. The Czech also won 46% of her return points, breaking four times.
Muchova is now 6-2 this year on clay, with a strong 106-55 career record on the dirt. She plays an attacking style with a fairly big, well-placed first serve and an aggressive baseline style. Muchova attacks, especially with her forehand, whenever she gets the chance. The Czech also likes to move forward and has excellent variety, particularly her backhand slice and touch shots.
Unfortunately for Muchova, on clay it's harder for her to attack the net, and her backhand slice is less effective.
Irina-Camelia Begu easily dispatched Sara Errani 6-3, 6-0. Begu won 59% of her service points and was broken twice. The Romanian also won 69% of her first-serve returns, breaking seven times.
Begu has a 7-3 record on clay this season and is an impressive 280-138 as a professional on the surface. Begu doesn't have any huge weapons, although she is precise with her serve and can successfully hit into targets, particularly with her forehand. Begu gets consistent depth and showcases excellent foot speed. The Romanian's anticipation and physicality are also strengths of her game.
These two recently played in Madrid (altitude clay), with conditions that help both of their games, and Begu won 6-4, 7-5. Begu was too solid from the baseline against a hit-or-miss Muchova, and that should continue in this match.
Muchova is unable to attack as effectively on clay as on other surfaces. Her slices should sit up and the slow conditions give Begu more time to track down her shots and effectively counterpunch.
Begu has a high tennis IQ and good direction on her groundstrokes, so she should be able to successfully attack Muchova's backhand.
Finally, Begu's return should limit the free points that Muchova receives in this match, as was the case in Madrid, with Muchova winning just 57% of her service points despite the altitude conditions.
The Romanian has the game to turn this into a physical war, and Begu is better suited for this type of match.
Pick: Begu ML (+125 via FanDuel)