French Open Odds, Predictions | Expert Picks For Muchova vs Avanesyan, Sabalenka vs Stephens

French Open Odds, Predictions | Expert Picks For Muchova vs Avanesyan, Sabalenka vs Stephens article feature image

NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Aryna Sabalenka.

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The round of 16 at the French Open is here and the level of tennis is through the roof!

I’ve found value on two of Sunday's women’s matchups — Karolina Muchova vs Elina Avanesyan and Aryna Sabalenka vs Sloane Stephens.

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.

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French Open Odds & Predictions

Karolina Muchova (-430) vs Elina Avanesyan (+330)

7 a.m. ET

Muchova played with fantastic controlled aggression in defeating Irina-Camelia Begu 6-4, 6-2. Muchova won 68% of her service points and was only broken once. The Czech won 57% of her first-serve return points, breaking on four occasions.

Despite the conditions not totally suiting her game, Muchova is now 7-2 this season on the dirt. She has an impressive 107-55 record on clay for career. Muchova is striking the ball beautifully right now, hitting within herself yet dominating from the baseline. The Czech's forehand is huge, she hits her spots on serve and she moves well.

Elina Avanesyan upset Clara Tauson 3-6, 6-1, 7-5 to reach the round of 16. Avanesyan only won 38% of her second serves and was broken six times, but she did win 58% of her first serves. The Russian won 53% of her return points, breaking on eight occasions.

Avanesyan has a 16-6 record on clay this year, with an incredible 115-54 career-record on the dirt. The Russian is a wall from the baseline, hitting with consistent depth and spreading the court nicely. She varies the pace and angles of her groundstrokes very well, understanding clay shot selection. However, se has a weak serve and underwhelming power from the baseline.

Muchova showed great patience against Begu, working the point until she had an opportunity to strike. Her aggressive strokes were hit at the perfect moment in rallies and with great control. She should be able to dictate in this one, spreading the court until she can put the ball away.

Avanesyan doesn't have nearly the offensive capabilities that Begu has. She was able to beat Tauson because of the Dane's poor footwork and shot selection. Muchova won't bail her out.

And, Muchova's foot speed and anticipation are good enough where even when Avanesyan does try to play offense, the Czech should still often be able to neutralize points.

Finally, when looking at Elo ratings, Muchova's overall Elo is 298.5 points higher than Avanesyan's and her clay Elo is 229.6 points above the Russian's.

Pick: Muchova 2-0 (-132 via FanDuel)

Aryna Sabalenka (-500) vs Sloane Stephens (+360)

2:15 p.m. ET

Aryna Sabalenka comfortably beat Kamilla Rakhimova 6-2, 6-2 to advance in Paris. Despite winning just 43% of her second-serve points, Sabalenka won 81% of her first serves and wasn't broken. In addition, the Belarusian won 48% of her return points and broke four times.

Sabalenka, who won Madrid this year, has a 12-2 record on the dirt in 2023. But, it's worth noting that nine of those victories came in either altitude or indoor conditions, which are both more favorable to Sabalenka's game. And while Sabalenka does have a career-record of 66-42 on clay, her power game doesn't suit the dirt particularly well.

She has a huge first serve and tries to overpower her opponents from the baseline, which is tougher on slow clay. This can frustrate the Belarusian, and the errors flow.

Sloane Stephens defeated Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 3-6, 6-2 in a tough third round match. Stephens won just 52% of her service points and was broken five times. But, the American thrived on return, winning 55% of her return points and breaking seven times.

Stephens, a former Roland Garros finalist, is 13-4 in 2023 on clay. As a professional, Stephens is a strong 128-69 on the surface. The American doesn't have overwhelming power, but when she's locked in, her speed, ability to absorb pace and counter-punching are terrific.

She can turn points around with the excellent precision on her defensive groundstrokes. And, when given the opportunity, the American can also step up in the court and hit with easy power.

The night conditions should help Stephens and hurt Sabalenka, as night tennis slows the ball down and diminishes power.

In addition, Stephens loves when opponents hit pace at her, as she can absorb that power and effectively counter-punch. Stephens, aided by the slow conditions and her foot speed, should be able to neutralize Sabalenka's power and successfully counter-punch.

Sabalenka should become frustrated and go for more on her groundstrokes than she should. Stephens should take advantage and keep this match close.

Pick: Stephens +5.5 games (-130 via PointsBet)

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